What's special about May 17?
The International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) was created in 2004 to draw the attention to the violence and discrimination experienced by lesbian, gay, bi, transgender, intersex people and all other people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics.
The date of May 17th was specifically chosen to commemorate the World Health Organisation’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder.
The Day represents a major global annual landmark to draw the attention of decision-makers, the media, the public, corporations, opinion leaders, local authorities, etc. to the alarming situation faced by people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics.
May 17 is now celebrated in more than 130 countries, including 37 where same-sex acts are illegal. Thousands of initiatives, big and small, are reported throughout the planet.
Even if every year a “global focus issue” is promoted, 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, on whatever issue and in whatever format that they wish.
Many different entities participate in the global mobilisation around May 17 and as a consequence, it receives many different denominations. Acronyms vary, from the initial IDAHO to IDAHOTB or IDAHOBIT.
"Societal attitudes against LGBT and intersex persons should not be used as justification to promote discriminatory laws and policies, to perpetuate discriminatory treatment" - Nils Muiznieks (Commissioner for Human Rights Council of Europe)
Increasing knowledge on how we can best support our LGBTQ+ students and colleagues reduce discrimination, supports our diverse community and makes our environment more inclusive for all.