Homophobia is an insidious phenomenon that often succeeds in taking hold in a subtle, discreet and often invisible ways. Nobody is immune from hostility and hurtful acts directed towards homosexuals and homosexuality itself. Even we as homosexuals may adopt homophobic behaviors to shield ourselves from the hate and aggression that comes from homophobia.
The International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) strives to fight all forms of Homophobia. Large scale, world-wide efforts like this are needed, as 1.5 billion people globally still live under regimes which criminalize gay relationships.
Held on May 17th, the day is set aside as a rallying cry to everyone, offering all persons an opportunity to gather and reach, regardless of their sexual orientation.
Spearheaded by Fondation Émergence, “National Day Against Homophobia” was organised for the first time in Québec on June 4, 2003. Fondation Émergence and their partners worked hard to have this annual day be observed throughout Canada. What’s more, countries such as Belgium, France and United-Kingdom caught on to the idea and have set up similar events. As the word spread, May 17 became the day selected as the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO). This date was chosen based on the World Health Organisation’s decision to decategorise homosexuality as a mental disorder.
Last year, events taking a stand against homophobia were held in seventy countries. This year, IDAHO coordinators say activists in 95 countries around the world have planned some form of event.
To learn more about Fondation Émergence and the International Day Against Homophobia, visit Fondation Émergence‘ s website or to find more information on the events taking place around the world to mark IDAHO today, visit dayagainsthomophobia.org.
Dave and Stephan