We've got 5 points of discussion for your IDAHOBIT activation!
May 17th is the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia. Not only is it a day to stand in support of your LGBTIQ friends, family and colleague, but it is also a day of discussion to raise awareness and squash discrimination. Here are 5 things you should discuss on IDAHOBIT to create a safe and inclusive environment for all.
Use the day to challenge Homophobia - unfortunately negative attitudes and feelings toward people attracted to the same sex or broadly still exist - generally delivered in verbal form, with 75% of LGBTIQ community experiencing harassment. This doesn't just include abusive words, but phrases that include ‘that’s so gay,’ which culturally can still have an impact. On IDAHOBIT, it is the perfect time to discuss how to ensure your community avoids homophobic language, such as using non-homophobic phrases like ‘that’s so lame’ instead.
Biphobia is abuse towards someone who is attracted to more than one gender, and even includes when that person's identity is erased. Biphobia in its simplest form can involve telling someone that it is ‘just a phase’ or to ‘pick a side,’ or even, ‘you haven’t found the right man/women yet.’ You can decrease biphobia by educating yourself and others on misconceptions about bisexuality, with statistically, the prevalence of Bi identities becoming more prominent in 2019. Plus, it's 20-bi-teen!
Interphobia happens when a person is treated less favourably than another person in a similar situation because that person has physical, hormonal or genetic features that are neither wholly female nor wholly male; a combination of female and male; or neither female nor male. Often, people are unaware/uneducated of intersex individuals - IDAHOBIT is a great day to learn more. Take the time to bring awareness of intersex individuals and help build visibility. By creating conversations, it minimises stigma and crushes any pre-conceived notions.
Transphobia describes negative feelings or actions towards someone who is trans or gender diverse. Transphobia comes in numerous forms like discriminatory language or restrictions on the use of toilets or uniform you can wear. You can be an ally by not making any assumptions about a transgender person’s sexual orientation and not asking inappropriate questions about a transpersons genitals, surgical status or sex life. Further, if you don’t know what pronouns to use, listen and ask - it isn’t a big deal! You could create conversations to support all-gender public restrooms and make your school, company, community groups truly trans-inclusive.
IDAHOBIT is also important to shine a light on the experiences of young LGBTIQ people. Majority of LGBTIQ people in Australia will experience abuse before they are 25, with 80% experiencing it at school. LGBTIQ young people are 2x as likely to experience depression and anxiety and 4x more likely to attempt suicide compared to the national average. It is important to build a safe environment for all youth so they can thrive and truly be themselves. By creating conversations, you can educate youth and reduce any barriers. Adopting strategies in schools and communities demonstrates acceptance and provides a safe space to talk about sexual identity.
Ultimately, IDAHOBIT is a day to challenge discrimination, celebrate pride and create safe spaces. By keeping lines of communication open, we can all play a role in supporting the LGBTIQ community and allow them to thrive when they feel visible.
IDAHOBIT Campaign Coordinator
*Statistics sourced from https://www.idahobit.org.au/index.php/get-active/the-stats