My best favourite holiday in the LGBTI+ calendar

Wakapila Tinashe

If you can ask me what is my favourite ‘holiday’ in the LGBTI+ community calendar, I wouldn’t think twice but I would tell you without hesitation that it is the International Day Against Homophobia Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT). Every year in May 17 & 18, we observe IDAHOBIT, this year 2019, Durban will be celebrating and commemorating this significant day by the Beach Front under the theme ‘Justice and Protection for all’.

The 18th May will be the day to raise awareness on the violation of rights and stimulate interest in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer and Asexual the acronym goes on (LGBTIQA+) rights work worldwide. What is more interesting about the observation of “IDAHOBIT” is that, it gives many individuals a platform to advocate and speak out on injustices served to the minority group.

For more knowledge on how this phenomenal day that is celebrated world-wide was conceived, I did a bit of a research just to share with all those interested and to instil the culture of identifying and recognising our own commemorations whether they are in our country’s calendar or not.

The IDAHOBIT formerly known as International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO), was founded by Louis-Georges Tin. According to the research the below history narrates the events of how the organisation came to life.

“For a long time in Germany, May 17 had been unofficially labelled as a sort of “Gay Day.” Written in the date format 17.5. it had a natural affinity with Paragraph 175 of the Penal Code, the rule dealing with homosexuality (homosexuals were called “one hundred seventy-fivers”).The day, as a concept, was conceived in 2004. A year-long campaign culminated in the first International Day Against Homophobia on May 17, 2005. 24,000 individuals as well as organizations such as the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA), the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), the World Congress of LGBT Jews, and the Coalition of African Lesbians signed an appeal to support the “IDAHO initiative”. Activities for the day took place in many countries, including the first LGBT events ever to take place in the Congo, China, and Bulgaria. In 2009, transphobia was added to the name of the campaign, and activities that year focused primarily on transphobia (violence and discrimination against transgender people). A new petition was launched in cooperation with LGBT organizations in 2009, and it was supported by more than 300 NGOs from 75 countries, as well as three Nobel Prize winners (Elfriede Jelinek, Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, and Luc Montagnier). On the eve of May 17, 2009, France became the first country in the world to officially remove transgender issues from its list of mental illnesses. Frenchman Louis-Georges Tin was founder of the day, and acted as its Committee Chairperson until his resignation in September 2013. He was succeeded by internationally renowned Venezuelan trans rights activist, lawyer and law professor Tamara Adrián, who became one of the first trans legislators in Latin America in 2015.Louis-Georges Tin and two other Committee members started a hunger-strike on June 2012 to urge the French president Hollande to introduce a UN resolution decriminalising homosexuality. In France, same-sex marriage has been legal since 18 May 2013; a decision announced on May 17. Biphobia was added to the name of the campaign in 2015. {Credit for online Archives}

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Day_Against_Homophobia,_Transphobia_and_Biphobia

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