Today is the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia, also known as IDAHOBIT. The date commemorates when the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from the Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems on 17 May 1990.
IDAHOBIT reminds us we must stand with and celebrate LGBTIQA+ people and communities across the globe, raise awareness and acknowledge there is still significant work required to eliminate LGBTQIA+ discrimination. People who identify as LGBTIQA+ experience family violence and intimate partner violence at similar rates to those who identify as heterosexual. However, LGBTIQA+ people face systemic discrimination, erasure, and additional barriers to accessing tailored family violence support.
Safe and Equal stands against homophobia, biphobia, intersexism and transphobia. We recognise the ongoing violence and discrimination that LGBTIQA+ people face on a daily basis, particularly in the context of family violence, and continue to advocate for change. We celebrate the wisdom, strength and humour of LGBTIQA+ communities, and strive to make our organisation an inclusive space where everyone is welcomed and valued.
There is a lot of work occurring across the organisation to promote and support LGBTIQA+ community partnerships and collaboration. Recently, we partnered with Switchboard to develop a tip sheet to help practitioners responding to family violence provide LGBTIQA+ inclusive support.
Last week, we joined with gender equity and women’s safety organisations across the nation to speak out in support of inclusion, dignity and respect for trans women. This Fair Agenda initiative is in response to the disturbing attempts by some political candidates to foster division by attacking the rights of trans women to participate in community and professional sports. We are deeply concerned about this divisive, hate-filled debate and its potential to fuel increasing violence against trans women and girls. You can read the joint statement and add your support here.
We are also proud to be working towards achieving our Rainbow Tick accreditation, which ensures Safe and Equal is a safe, inclusive and affirming organisation and employer for LGBTIQA+ communities.
Finally, we are excited to be co-hosting an upcoming webinar with Switchboard and the Zoe Belle Gender Collective, to commemorate LGBTIQA+ DV Awareness Day on Thursday 26 May. The webinar is an opportunity to learn how we can better respond and support trans women of colour who are experiencing family and intimate partner violence.
These are all important steps, but there is much more work to be done to ensure our sector can provide safe and inclusive support to all LGBTIQA+ people.
If you’re interested in finding out more about how you can support and advocate for the LGBTIQA+ community, for IDAHOBIT and beyond, take a look and share content from Minus18 and Switchboard, two organisations doing critical work towards supporting and creating space for LGBTIQA+ people. There’s also a page on the Safe and Equal website that provides more information on how services can support LGBTIQA+ people experiencing family and domestic violence, including a list of specialist services and programs.