Even though strides in human rights campaigning have come on leaps and bounds to improve the quality of life for those in marginalised communities, it would be naïve to say that things couldn’t be better still. Here at SARI we know all too well the impact that homophobia, biphobia and transphobia can have on a person who identifies as LGBTQ+.
That is why today we stand with those in raising awareness around International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) and its theme for this year of “Together always: united in diversity”.
IDAHOBIT was established in 2004 to fight discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people, and people with other diverse gender identities. Today, it is celebrated in more than 130 countries. And the reason it is marked on May 17th each year is because this was the day in 1990 when the World Health Organisation (WHO) declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder.
Even though the day is meant to raise awareness that people who identify as LGBTQ+ sadly, still suffer hate crimes on an all too frequent basis, it is also an opportunity to remember how far human rights have come and to celebrate those who have paved the way for others.
Across the UK, 26,152 homophobic hate crimes and 4,355 transphobic hate crimes were recorded by the police over 2021/22. Transphobic hate crimes increased by 56% from 20/21, the largest increase seen for any of the hate crime strands this year and one of the largest increases seen for any hate crime classification in recent years. The homophobic classification saw an increase of 41%. This does not even account for the large number of hate crimes that go unreported.
These figures show that even though as a society, many people try to be as inclusive and progressive as possible, there is still a lot of work which needs to be done to support people who are LGBTQ+. This is why here at SARI we support anyone who has been a victim of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia to empower them and feel like they have a voice in the world.
This year’s theme, “Together always: united in diversity,” was decided through a large consultation with LGBTQ+ organisations from around the world. This theme will allow for advocacy and celebrations in many forms – be they human rights defenders, LGBTQ+ civil society groups, millions of people in our communities, and/or our allies.
In a time where the progress made by our LGBTQ+ communities worldwide is increasingly at risk and in some places going backwards, it is crucial to recognise the power of solidarity, community, and allyship across different identities, movements, and borders. We must not give up fighting for fairness and safety for our LGBTQ+ communities. We must not let complacency set in. Human rights for our LGBTQ+ communities in the UK are at grave risk of being eroded.
To mark International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia this year, as well as getting this message out there and continuing to be there at all times for all LGBTQ+ people who face hate, SARI has teamed up with the Diversity Trust, VOCAS, OTR BANES and Curo Housing Association to host an event in Bath. During the event there will be presentations around how to reduce and prevent homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in our communities, what support is available for people who have been victims and also open the discussion to members of the public to see what more needs to be done.
The event will be held this evening at The Maltings, Lower Bristol Road, Bath, BA2 1EP from 6pm – 8pm. For more information and to find out about registering, email email@example.com