Brisbane illuminated for IDAHOT celebration
The Brisbane River was a mass of coloured lights on Saturday night May 17 to mark the International day against Homophobia & Transphobia (IDAHOT).
True to its promise, the Brisbane City Council illuminated the Story Bridge in rainbow colours in honour of IDAHOT, after a campaign by resident lobby group BLAG (Brisbane Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Intersex & Queer Action Group).
The illuminations followed a day marked by an inaugural event held in New Farm Park where City Councillors Victoria Newton and Vicki Howard along with Jackie Trad MP joined approximately 60 community members and service providers to hear personal stories of discrimination and the lingering impact of phobic responses to gender and sexual identity.
The assembled agencies, representing non-government and government services, also spoke about their responses to the irrational fears and prejudices raised through homophobic and transphobic bias.
The day culminated in a riverside Healing and Remembrance ritual, led by civil celebrant Gai Lemon.
"There is tremendous importance in acknowledging the harm that has been perpetrated against the LGBTI Communities in the past, and which sadly continues into our present,” Lemon said.
“This small acknowledgement today allows us to draw comfort in knowing we are not alone, and that those of us who have confident voices must stand strong for those who have yet to find theirs.”
Phil Browne, Convener of BLAG said, "This is a day of empowerment for people who are on the receiving end of discrimination."
Browne commended the Brisbane City Council for illuminating the Story Bridge and for promising to do so in coming years, saying the Council sent a "powerful symbol of validation to LGBTI residents.”
[Image] courtesy David Alexander, Star Observer.