Friday, May 15, 2009

International Day Against Homophobia (May 17th)

I have to admit, I ignored mentions about this for several weeks, just because it was about IDAHO, took me some time to understand that this was not about some state in the US, but simply an acronym.

The International Day Against Homophobia goes back to an idea of Louis-George Tin, today the president of ILGA's French section. May 17th was chosen as the date to coordinate international activities against homophobia as it was on May 17th, 1990, that WHO removed homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases. What started in 2005 with only a small group of countries participating evolved into a day with activities in over 50 countries worldwide. For a full list of the countries and detailed description of the objectives of this day, please read the according ILGA document Taking Action!.

This year, in 2009, the name was changed to "International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia", though everybody keeps referring to IDAHO.

Following the lobby work of the Spanish national federation FEGLTB the Spanish Parliament asked the Government on May 5th to officially recognize May 17th as the "International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia" (hat tip @ ana)

Organizations offer or participate in a wide range of activities and this year's May 17th being a Sunday will probably/hopefully attract even more participants. It's impossible to mention all of them, you don't even find an exhaustive list on the official page, so I'll just give you an overview on the diversity of events and actions.

Another great site is this Canadian one :, which also provides you with promotional banners

You probably all heard about the IDAHO Challenge, which asks you to create a video and submit with the site by May 10th (eurOut reported).

If you're in or around Berlin that day, you might check out a rally and symposium organized by LSVD (German Lesbian and Gay Association) referring to their ongoing campaign to include lesbian and gay persons in the German constitution (eurOut reported).

Also in Berlin, you can participate in the "protect every kiss 2009" event

Some pride events coincide with the International Day Against Homophobia, as e.g. in Blackpool or the Belgian Lesbian & Gay Pride in Bruxelles.

There are definitely many more events, are you participating in any these? What do you think of this idea?

This article was originally written for and published at eurOut.

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