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International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia & Transphobia (IDAHOBIT)

Published: 17th May 2022

It’s hard to believe it was only 30 years ago that the World Health Organisation (WHO) removed homosexuality from the ‘Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems’.

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To commemorate that milestone, every year on 17 May, people across the globe recognise and celebrate International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia & Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).  

Yet despite progress in areas such as same-sex marriage legislation, highly publicised pride events and inclusive workplace practices, the LGBTIQA+ community continues to face homophobia, biphobia, interphobia, and transphobia, online and in person, leading to people feeling unsafe, insecure, alienated and like they can't be themselves.  

“Sexuality and gender identity or intersex status aren't always visible, so creating a culture where everyone feels safe, even if there aren't any visible LGBTI people is even more important.” - (www.idahobit.org.au) 

 

Why is it important for everyone to understand this? 

At Murdoch we promote a welcoming environment that celebrates all identities and experiences. To continue raising awareness and pushing for positive outcomes, we aligned our hugely popular Ally training with IDAHOBIT, but, once again, it has filled to capacity with a wait list.  

The popularity of the training suggests Murdoch staff are invested in our collective responsibility to improve the culture, safety and allyship of the queer community our colleagues, students and visitors so, they can bring their whole selves to work. 

Dr Rebecca Bennett chairs the LGBTIQA+ Advisory Group and reminds us that IDAHOBIT is as important as ever.  

“Thirteen anti-trans bills have been passed in the USA, just this year; hurtful debate about gender affirming surgery and subsequent transphobic commentary has been making headlines in the upcoming federal election campaign, and there is a very real possibility that the Religious Discrimination Bill will be reintroduced, which will allow educational employers to discriminate against people on the LGBTIQA+ spectrum for religious reasons."

“This political and media climate makes it a difficult and anxious time for people on the LGBTIQA+ spectrum and it is really important for allies to take a public stand in solidarity against homophobia, biphobia, intersexism and transphobia,” Rebecca said. 

Staff and students who identify as members of the queer community have various networks to connect with at Murdoch, including the Queer Collective and LGBTIQA+ staff network. Importantly though, the Ally network plays an important role in making support visible. 

What does visible support look like? 

  • Attend ALLY Training  
  • Update your presentation slides to include personal pronouns 
  • Introduce yourself to your class/people you’re presenting to with your pronouns 
  • Wear pronoun pins, Ally lanyards and rainbows on significant days 

Leading research

Dr. Bep Uink is part of a research team behind the Walkern Katatdjin (Rainbow Knowledge) project, investigating the intersectional needs of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTIQA+ community for data concerning their mental health and wellbeing.  Phase 1 was completed in 2021, with a Community Report that aims to increase awareness of the experiences, perspectives and needs of young LGBTQA+ Aboriginal people and lead to better understanding and support.  

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTQA+ young people report feeling proud of both their cultural identity and their LGBTQA+ identity- but recognise that both identities are targets of systemic oppression. During IDAHOBIT it is important to remember intersectional identities and what we can do as allys to reduce oppression based on culture, gender, sexuality, and abilities”. 

Additional reading and resources: