(Photo Credits: IDAHOTB Committee / CC0)

Today—May 17, 2020—marks the 30th International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT). IDAHOBIT was founded in 2005 and this particular date was chosen to commemorate the declassification of homosexuality as a mental disorder by the World Health Organization (WHO) on May 17, 1990. IDAHOBIT is now being celebrated annually in 132 countries ever since 2016.

The observance aims to “coordinate international events that raise awareness of LGBT rights violations and stimulate interest in LGBT rights work worldwide” and this year’s theme is breaking the silence. 

As we all know, over 100 PRIDE events have been cancelled or postponed this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, face-to-face events of all kinds are banned this year due to the COVID-19 crisis and while celebrating is a little tricky because of these trying times, it doesn’t mean it’s not doable. What’s more is that during this coronavirus pandemic, “LGBTQI people are among those at heightened risk,” says UNFPA. For example, stay-at-home restrictions increase LGBT youth and adults’—specifically those who are “confined in hostile environments with unsupportive family members or co-habitants”—exposure to “violence, anxiety, fear and depression,” explains UNFPA. Then of course there’s an issue about how gay men in the US continue to be unable to donate blood despite new coronavirus rules among many others.

This is why now, more than ever, it is important to break our silence and speak about the issues that matter to the LGBT community. Take a look below at the ways in which we can observe IDAHOBIT at the comforts of our home:

  • we can blog about why IDAHOBIT matters to us personally
  • the internet knows no boundaries which is how we can participate in various online events and discussions on social media wherever we are in the world whether we came from Mexico, Canada, Vietnam or Uganda, there are events happening somewhere. In Azerbaijan, for example, Rengareng Azerbaycan (Colorful Azerbaijan) is asking its supporters to “draw a rainbow on a piece of paper, hang it on window, take a picture of it and share on social media.”
  • Read about IDAHOBIT and read about other LGBTQ+ people’s stories and share it online.
  • Donate on various organizations that advocate for LGBTQ+ causes. Check here and here.

Happy International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, guys! 

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