17 May is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
Created in 2004 to draw the attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, social movements, the public and the media to the violence and discrimination experienced by LGBT people internationally.
May 17 is now celebrated in more than 130 countries, including 37 where same-sex acts are illegal, with 1600 events reported from 1280 organizations in 2014. These mobilisations unite millions of people in support of the recognition of human rights for all, irrespective of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.
The acronym and title of the day has evolved over the years:
- 2004 International Day Against Homophobia - IDAHO
- 2009 International Day against Homophobia & Transphobia - IDAHOT
Biphobia was incorporated into the title in 2015, but has not been included in the acronym IDAHOT. It still appears that bisexuals seem very invisible to a great deal of people and organisations.
It is worrying that bisexuals have to face biphobia from without the LGBT community, but more worrying that we still face biphobia from within the community (Christopher Biggins for one example), a community we support. The omissions of the Bi - no matter how trivial it may seem to non-Bis, - is very disconcerting and demoralising to bisexuals. As a community we should ensure that all strands of the LGBT community are supported and helped to be visible, hence the various visibility days. This is a very important subject to myself and many other bisexuals. We just seek for others to acknowledge we exist and to allow us to be visible.
Throughout the web it is reassuring to see that the phrase International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) is being used as a preference and is clearly inclusive and making visible those who identify as bisexual. However the main site is decidedly lacking in Bi visibility - especially over the IDAHOT acronym.
I have raised these issues with the organisation directly and am awaiting a response.
I remember when we first voted on creating the Bisexual members’ Rep within Proud which came from a desire and need to acknowledge, support and make visible those members who identified as bisexual. I firmly believe we should challenge any and all individuals and/or organisations who by deliberate action, or through omission, marginalise, disenfranchise or diminish any strand of the LGBT community.
I am reassured that within Proud and PCS we show our full commitment to full inclusivity and visibility by incorporating the Bi into the acronym in (and the UK LGBT community in general) where the day is referred to as IDAHOBIT – let us hope that the rest of the world will one day feel adult enough to be ensure visibility and inclusivity of all the strands.
Bisexual members’ rep
PCS and PCS Proud are committed to ensuring that tackling discrimination and promoting equality continue to be at the heart of everything we do and are proud to support International Day Against Homophobia Transphobia and Biphobia.
The focus for 2017 is families. You can get more information on the day, events and how to get involved online.
NB: Bi Visibility Day is 23 September; a more in-depth article will be forthcoming nearer the day.