May 17 - a day dedicated to raise awareness on Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia by WHO
May 17 - a day dedicated to raise awareness on Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia by WHO

May 17 marks International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, observed by World Health Organisation –WHO

The international agency marking the day stated, “On the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (#IDAHOBIT). WHO celebrates the right of EVERYONE to live a healthy, dignified life & celebrates diversity in people’s sexual orientation & gender identity”. 

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As per the data shared by the WHO, in more than 70 countries, laws criminalize same-sex relationships between adults, undermining LGBTQI+ people’s access to health services. 

More information can be provided at – https://www.who.int/news-room/questions-and-answers/item/gender-and-health. 

Significance of Day: 

The aim behind observing the day is to coordinate international events that raise awareness of LGBT rights violations & stimulate interest in LGBT rights work worldwide. By the year 2016, the commemorations had taken place in over 130 nations.   

The first International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia was celebrated on May 17, 2005. Providing support to the IDAHO initiative, a total of 24,000 individuals, as well as organizations such as the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA), the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), the World Congress of LGBT Jews, and the Coalition of African Lesbians penned down an appeal.

LGBT events are being conducted in several countries to celebrate the day. The initial LGBT events took place in Congo, China, and Bulgaria. 

May 17 was specially selected to mark the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder. Meanwhile, in 2009, transphobia was counted as the name of the campaign, and activities that year focused primarily on transphobia. 

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Biphobia was added to the name of the campaign in the year 2015.

The day also raises awareness of – violence, discrimination, & repression of LGBT communities worldwide, which in return provides an opportunity to take action & engage in dialogue with the media houses, policymakers, public opinion, and wider civil society.