Today, May 17, we acknowledge IDAHOBIT as a day for our communities to go rainbow and stand up against discrimination. Whether you are part of the LGBTQIA+ community or you’re an ally – today we stand together.
But why May 17? This date commemorates the anniversary the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases in 1990. Prior to this homosexuality was classified globally as a mental illness. That’s only 33 short years ago.
As recently as 1997, being gay was illegal in some parts of Australia – and until five years ago, same sex marriage was not recognised in our country. While we have certainly come a long way in the advancements of LGBTQIA+ equality, the unfortunate reality is that these milestones are very recent in our experience.
With this in mind, IDAHOBIT has two main purposes.
- Today is an opportunity to celebrate pride and allyship of the people who have worked to build equality around the world.
- And to raise awareness of the discrimination LGBTQIA+ people still face today.
Australia-wide research conducted by Latrobe University highlights the prevalence of discrimination still occurring around our country:
2 in 3 LGBTQIA+ youth experience harassment or abuse due to their identity. That’s 66% of our young people. But discrimination of this kind is not confined to the classroom.
A study of almost 7,000 LGBTQIA+ people of all ages in Australia found that 1 in 3 people have experienced verbal abuse in the past 12 months because of their identity. This includes insults, humiliation and threats, just for being who they are.
It’s worth repeating again. One third of LGBTQIA+ people have experienced abuse in the last 12 months.
When it comes to creating a world where everyone is safe to be themselves – there's still work for us to do.
Here at Extended Families, we strive to create a place where all our people belong and ensure that what we do and the way we work is inclusive of everyone – including those within the LGBTQIA+ Community.
Today we are acknowledging IDAHOBIT and part of this commitment is creating a workplace where everyone belongs. We are acknowledging that there is still more work for us to do in creating a space where LGBTQIA+ people belong. This is an ongoing process, and we are committed to creating a safe and inclusive space for everyone.
Minus18 is Australia’s charity for improving the lives of LGBTQIA+ youth and they have great resources on their website for anyone want to know more.