It’s possible a lot of people reading this have no idea what IDAHOBIT is or what it stands for, which is something that needs to drastically change.
IDAHOBIT stands for ‘International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia’ and is observed all around the globe on the 17th of May. This year is especially significant: it marks the 30th anniversary of the World Health Organisation removing homosexuality from the Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems.
In our society currently, the statistics around LGBTQIA+ youth who deal with abuse and mental health issues are appalling:
- 75% of LGBTQIA+ youth experience some form of discrimination
- 61% experience verbal abuse
- 19% experience physical bullying
- 24.4% of lesbian, gay and bisexual people deal with depression, compared to 8% for the rest Australia’s general population
- 36.2% of trans people in Australia deal with depression
Which are overwhelming statistics when put into perspective.
For those of you in these situations or know somebody who is, there are many organisations that you can reach out to for help. Some of the organisations you can reach out to include:
- Queerspace Youth, an LGBTIQ+ health and wellbeing support service.
- (in)visible, a community-driven program that connects queer and trans people from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds (aka queer and trans people of colour, or QTIPoC) through workshops and events
- Zoe Belle Gender Collective, a trans and gender diverse-led advocacy organisation, named in honour of late transgender activist Zoe Belle.
- Switchboard Victoria, which provides peer-driven support services for the LGBTIQA+ people, their families, allies and communities.
- QLife, which provides anonymous and free LGBTI peer support and referral for people in Australia wanting to talk about sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships.
- Thorne Harbour Health, which provides a range of health services including counselling to LGBTI communities.
As well as many more wonderful organisations who are out there to help you, and make you feel safe, loved and accepted as and for who you are.
There are many ways you can participate in IDAHOBIT activities even while at home. Minus18 offers a variety of online options for training for acceptance and awareness in schools and workplaces, as well as online activities and safe spaces for LGBTQIA+ youth. If you visit the IDAHOBIT website you can find many options for activities from work, home, school, as well as pride memorabilia etc. Minus18 are also holding online activities on their Instagram every week to help create safe spaces for LGBTQIA+ people everywhere. Among their store they have packs for your work, your school, even your desk as well as pins, flags, educational posters, books, bandanas and more. If you’re not a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, but would still like to show your support, they offer ally badges and stickers.
Many other great organisations also offer amazing support and activities to those in the LGBTQIA+ community. Nillumbik Youth are hosting an online panel You Can’t Ask That, this Sunday from 1-2 pm. Queerspace Youth have an IDAHOBIT-related event planned for June and an art hang planned for this Sunday from 1-2 pm.
All the support is much needed and welcome during these times where people may be stuck at home with their ~phobic parents, constantly living in an environment where they can’t be themselves and are told they don’t deserve love. IDAHOBIT is a day of love and acceptance in these harsh times; consider hosting an online event or even just something within your household, and make sure to tell your queer and trans family and/or friends that they are loved, valued, and perfect just the way they are.
Cover image via Zoe Belle Gender Collective. (They have a range of brilliant posters available to download – check them out!)