Finally, Brisbane will proudly play a civic role in this year’s International Day against Homophobia. Brisbane City Council confirmed that the rainbow pride flag will fly from City Hall on IDAHOT Day. The city’s iconic Story Bridge will also light up in a rainbow light display.
The announcement is a win for local LGBTIQ activists. Lord Mayor Graham Quirk disappointed them last year by refusing a request to fly the rainbow flag from City Hall. City halls in many other major cities around the world fly the flag to commemorate the day.
Brisbane City Councillor Vicki Howard who represents Brisbane’s Central Ward told QNews the news filled her with delight. Recently, council reviewed its long-standing policy regarding the flying of flags and banners from City Hall. Consequently, they decided flying the rainbow flag will send a message of inclusiveness.
Cr. Howard said flying the flag on IDAHOT Day signals an important council philosophy.
“The flying of the rainbow flag certainly holds a lot of meaning for me. Its image dovetails elegantly with our wish for Brisbane to be an increasingly accessible and inclusive city. Indeed, a city where everyone has an equal opportunity to be a part of and experience what Brisbane has to offer.”
IDAHOT is commemorated around the world to remember the harm caused by homophobia and transphobia. That harm leads to the over-representation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, and Queer (LGBTIQ) people in mental health and also suicide statistics.
The World Health Organisation officially declassified homosexuality as a mental illness on 17 May 1990, 25 years ago. IDAHOT commemorates that date.
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