In Queensland, the 30th anniversary of IDAHOBIT is heading online

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The Queensland Council for LGBTI Health is planning a special online event this month to mark the 30th anniversary of IDAHOBIT.

IDAHOBIT stands for International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia. It’s recognised every year on May 17.

On that day in 1990, homosexuality was removed from the World Health Organisation’s International Classification of Diseases.

Thirty years later, each IDAHOBIT raises awareness of LGBTIQ equality and the discrimination many of us continue to experience around the world.

While we can’t gather together in person this year, Queensland’s IDAHOBIT commemorations are moving online.

The Queensland Council for LGBTI Health will bring together a virtual panel of LGBTIQ+ Sistergirl and Brotherboy folks from across the state on Sunday, May 17.

The panel will step through the history, challenges and achievements and reflect on the learnings for how we approach the world today.

To join, RSVP to the link at the Eventbrite page here. More details, including the login information, will be sent out prior to the event.

Queensland Council for LGBTI Health CEO Rebecca Reynolds told this year’s 30-year milestone was an important one.

“While that time has passed, coronavirus and the current lived experiences of LGBTI communities and Sistergirls and Brotherboys means there are still so many important issues to discuss,” she said.

“We need points of connection and togetherness that are visible, strong and proud.

“As an organisation that was founded within another public health crisis, I’m really pleased we have the opportunity with this event to hear the voices of so many experienced and diverse members of our communities.

“Their experience enables us to talk through what lessons for today we can take from our historical resilience and community mobilisations, and how we can connect that to our responses today.”

What IDAHOBIT means to Queenslanders

Two of the Queenslanders who are planning to commemorate IDAHOBIT are Sharm, who lives in Port Douglas, and Dave, who lives in Cairns.

Sharm told the main purpose of the May 17 mobilisations is “to raise awareness of violence, discrimination, and repression of LGBTI+ communities worldwide.”

And Dave believes IDAHOBIT “provides the opportunity to for us to demonstrate to society that in this country LGBTIQ people are a significant and diverse sector of the community.”

“That as individuals we don’t need to be classified as to being of any particular sexuality persuasion or preference.

“That we are who we are because in this country we have the freedom and scope to express ourselves in the manner or characteristic with which we as individuals are personally comfortable with.

“[And] at the same time recognizing that there are many countries and societies that are repressive towards LGBTIQ people and culture.”​

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