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May 17 – International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

May 17 – International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia


OPSEU’s Rainbow Alliance is pleased to join in commemorating May 17 as the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO).  This day empowers members of the LGBTTIQQ2S (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, intersex, queer, question, two-spirited) community and their allies to stand up against the violence and discrimination people continue to face because of their sexual orientation.  This global day of action also highlights how shameful homophobia and transphobia truly is.  IDAHO not only educates but also celebrates the many accomplishments of the LGBTTIQQ2S community in the ongoing struggle for a prejudice-free world.

May 17, 1990 marked the day the World Health Organization (WHO) removed homosexuality, listed as a mental illness, from the International Classification of Diseases.  Since 2010, IDAHO is officially recognized in many countries around the world including Costa Rica, Brazil, Australia and of course, Canada.  IDAHO also received official recognition from the European Union courtesy of the European Union Politics (EUP) Intergroup that focuses on promoting LGBT rights.

Fondation Émergence, a Montreal-based organization that has been part of this international movement since 2003, has identified its 2013 Campaign as “Fight the Homophobia Web Virus.”  The organization itself has always advocated for equal rights as basic human rights regardless of one’s sexual orientation.  This year, it is taking it one step further by:

  • fighting homophobia on the Internet and in social media;
  • making people aware of the presence of homophobia in the Web world;
  • informing Internet users of the effects that homophobia and bullying have on the health of their victims;
  • proposing initiatives to defeat cyberhomophobia;
  • encouraging website administrators to limit the use of pseudonyms and to prohibit conduct that isn’t cyberethical; and
  • making Internet users aware of the importance of reporting and denouncing homophobic or bullying remarks to the appropriate authorities.

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