IDAHOT sounds like a new potato to rival the french fries at McDonald’s. But it’s much more widespread and important. May 17th is IDAHOT day. So, what is it? It’s International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
This Day, celebrated since 2004, is the largest LGBTI Solidarity event to occur globally to bring attention to the violence of LGBT individuals. It has 1,000 events taking place in 120 countries worldwide. Think of it as a global celebration of Sexual and Gender Diversities. IDAHOT is recognized by international institutions, governments, and marked by UNESCO.
Why We Need This Day:
· Same-sex relationships are still illegal in 72 countries (37 of them are UN member states). In places like Chechnya, you can be killed if you’re LGBT or beheaded in Muslim countries.
· LGBT employees are still not out in the workplace.
· LGBT students do not feel safe at school and miss at least one day of school per month.
· Forty per cent of homeless population consist of LGBT children evicted from their homes.
· Transsexuals have the highest suicide and assault rates of the LGBT population.
· In some states, therapists are allowed to practice conversion therapy that tries to make the patient straight and is not only ineffective, but produces dire side effects in the LGBT person.
What To Expect On May 17:
· In San Francisco, at Harvey Milk Plaza, LGBT activists will continue to pressure Russia to act against Chechnya. With the pink triangle in the background (sign of The Holocaust), co-created by Patrick Carney, he will speak about the significance of remembering LGBT Holocaust victims.
· Chelsea Manning, the Army transgender intelligence analyst convicted of a Wikileaks leak, will be released from prison after serving the bulk of her thirty-five prison sentence, and being commuted by Obama before he left office.
· In other areas of the world, Lithuania kicks off the celebration. In Chile, the local governments joined the Rainbow Campaign initiated by the national LGBT group, Movhil. Kosovo is holding a march to ask for the right to register same-sex partnerships.
For Allies: Teachers, Companies, Social Media
· Teachers can use this day to organize an activity in class to inspire change. Unesco, among others, has developed a specific IDAHO lesson plan for both primary and secondary levels.
· Companies can organize events, issue communications, launch reports and train internally for diversity acceptance.
· For more inclusive plans to download, go to https:// www.dayagainsthomophobia.org
· Use hashtag #May17Because.
When Your Child Is Gay: What You Need To Know
For more detailed advice, see book, co-authored with a mother of a gay son and a psychiatrist, Jonathan L. Tobkes, M.D.