A non-exhaustive guide to what YOU can do to support friends and community, as brought to you by our lovely AMSS Queer Officer, Kaitlyn Hunt.

This coming Friday the 17th of May is IDAHOBIT, the much more user-friendly acronym for the International Day Against Homophobia Biphobia and Transphobia. So, in the lead up to this day, I thought I would share some information on why this day is so significant, as well as what you can do to help support queer friends, family and colleagues.

HISTORY TIME: On May 17, 1990, the World Health Assembly of the World Health Organization approved the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD 10), which no longer listed homosexuality as a diagnosis! As such, May 17th was chosen in 2004 as the date for IDAHOBIT. Hey, there’s a fun fact that you can pull out at your next shindig!

Some less fun facts are that 75% of queer youth experience some form of discrimination, while 61% experience verbal abuse and 19% experience physical abuse. This discrimination has a severe impact on the wellbeing of queer people, with 24.4% of lesbian, gay and bisexual people and 36.2% of trans people experiencing depression. This is compared to the rates in the general population at approximately 6.8%.

IDAHOBIT aims to help reduce these statistics by making the lives of queer people safer and happier.

This is a day of visibility, it’s a time for us all to stand together with the LGBTQIA community and show our support for those who might be doing it tough. It’s also a time to reflect on our own behaviours as well, and to think about what we can do to make our communities safer and more accepting.

Some things that you can do this IDAHOBIT are:

  1. Be visible in your support: Wear something rainbow. Whether that be some flashy make-up or a tie-dye shirt. Maybe some crazy socks? Whatever you like! Have fun with it!

  2. Call out, or call in, discriminatory behaviour: If you see or hear something that’s not on, don’t let it slide. There are a couple of ways to let someone know that what they’ve said or done isn’t okay. You can ‘call out’ the person, and politely address the issue as soon as it arises by pointing out the behaviour that’s harmful. Or alternatively, you can ‘call in’ behaviour, by chatting to someone after the fact and explaining why their behaviour wasn’t appropriate.

  3. Check in on queer friends and family: Sometimes the best thing you can do is ask someone how they’re doing. Lend an ear, or a hand, and help out those who might be having a rough time.
  4. Donate to LGBTQIA charities: not everyone has the money to spare for donations, and it’s absolutely not a necessary part of being a good ally. But for those who are interested, there are a load of charities that do fantastic work in supporting queer people, a few of which I have listed below:
    Minus18 - https://www.givenow.com.au/minus18
    The Pinnacle Foundation - https://thepinnaclefoundation.org/donation_page/
    Beyond Blue - https://donation.beyondblue.org.au/donate

    And of course, IDAHOBIT isn’t the only day you’re able to do these things! (Even wearing rainbows, live your best life my friend) and it’s up to all of us to help make a difference.

    Hope you all have a lovely week, and I’ll see you around soon!