PFLAG London Chapter & Pride London Festival invite you to our annual celebration for the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia.
This year we will be celebrating with a special night of entertainment on Thursday, May 16th at London’s historic Aeolian Hall.
What is IDAHOT?
It was created in 2004 to draw the attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, social movements, the public and the media to the violence and discrimination experienced by LGBTI people internationally.
In under a decade, May 17 has established itself the single most important date for LGBTI communities to mobilise on a worldwide scale.
The Day represents an annual landmark to draw the attention of decision makers, the media, the public, opinion leaders and local authorities to the alarming situation faced by lesbian, gay, bisexuals, transgender and intersex people and all those who do not conform to majority sexual and gender norms.
May 17 is now celebrated in more than 130 countries, including 37 where same-sex acts are illegal, with 1600 events reported from 1280 organizations in 2014.
These mobilisations unite millions of people in support of the recognition of human rights for all, irrespective of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia is not one centralised campaign; rather it is a moment that everyone can take advantage of to take action.
The date of May 17th was specifically chosen to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder. The International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia has received official recognition from several States, international institutions as the European Parliament, and by countless local authorities. Most United Nations agencies also mark the Day with specific events.
2019 IDAHOT Theme
Over the past decades, protection of LGBTQI+ people and all people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions or sex characteristics has greatly expanded. This progress is well worth celebrating, and this is why May 17th is also, and maybe foremost, a day for celebration.
But in many places around the world, LGBTQI+ people still face injustice and live in fear and danger, sometimes for their very lives, as was obvious in the case of Tanzania just recently.
The latest ILGA global report on State-Sponsored homophobia lists 72 states that still criminalize same-sex sexual relations. In 45 of these States the law is applied to women as well as men. Many more States restrict the freedom of speech on gender and sexual diversities, or put other forms of legal pressure.
On the other hand, only 63 States provide some form of anti-discrimination protection and in some places, initial progress in Justice has been followed by regression.
This is why more legal and policy reforms are necessary to ensure Justice and Protection for all LGBTQI+ people.
But they alone cannot do everything. While social climates have in some places become better over the years, making people feel safer in their societies, in other places violence, including killings, and stigma have actually increased. Authoritarian and fascist regimes are on the rise and threaten Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and we witness a worrying rise in attempts to whip up moral panics and to scapegoat LGBTQI+ people. And people with diverse gender identities or expressions are still the main targets of social violence and injustice.
On May 17th, individuals, organisations, institutions, corporations, etc. will speak out against LGBTIQI+phobias, continuing our collective journey towards societies that ensure justice and protection for all. In a fair and just world, no one shall be left behind!
Note on Global Focus issues: Each year a large consultation among activists takes place to identify one issue that is considered by most as a priority. But this focus issue is by no means the only possible focus for May 17 mobilisations. Everybody should feel totally free to pursue whichever objective they hold at heart.
For more information about IDAHOT, visit: www.dayagainsthomophobia.org