Why is Observing IDAHOBT on Wednesday May 17 Important?
IDAHOBT stands for International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.
I have heard on more than one occasion the question “Why is there still a need to observe LGBT dates?” – even occasionally by LGBT people.
I presume after marriage equality people think we finally have equality but in actuality we don’t, we exist in a fragile truce where the people who wish to not tolerate LGBT people are forced to remain silent by laws that can be easily overturned in parliament.
The truth is nothing is assured, and on occasion this fragile “truce” shows cracks, particularly recently in the last few months have proven. One need only look to media reports and we see in Melbourne Anti Transgender Rights protesters join with Neo Nazis, a visually horrifying image especially for transgender people to see a Nazi salute in front of Parliament to show their hate for transgender people, and then in the aftermath the media make their anti transgender sentiments a mere after thought – nobody mentions the possible physical danger this vigilante group and their ilk and their allies present to vulnerable transgender people in the outer suburbs and rural Australia, and how these sentiments can trickle down to the school ground to transgender children being bullied in schools.
In Sydney, we saw peaceful LGBT protesters being violently bashed by men in black from a conservative and violent religious sect in a coordinated and premeditated attack, we saw you LGBT young people surrounded by hundreds of men and being punched and then “dragged away by their hair”, a directive that was broadcast online via the internet the day before.
Even political leaders are not safe from homophobic vitriol, the much respected and admired openly gay Independent Alex Greenwhich was a victim of a public homophobic smear assault on more than one occasion from the problematic leader of the problematic political party One Nation, who coincidentally was appearing at the place where the LGBT young people in Sydney were violently assaulted only weeks before.
There are also rising incidents of verbal and physical attacks towards transgender people, gay people and drag queens on Oxford Street, the spiritual heart of Australia’s Gay Community.
Whilst these negative incidents are happening in Australia it is even more worrying when you consider the Australian LGBT Population is considered one of the safest in the world, imagine what other LGBT Populations are experiencing internationally who do not have the laws that are meant to protect us in Australia?
Let us not forget these incidents were sparked by Posie Parker, a visitor who was allowed to come into the country to openly teach, encourage and also gave permission to these people to openly show their hatred towards us, who encouraged alliances with the Neo Nazis and other violent extremists – and that she enjoyed police protection the whole time she was in Australia at the cost of the Australian taxpayer – us.
This Wednesday on May 17 as we observe IDAHOBT, hopefully you will understand a little better why this date and other LGBT Days through the year is still important, because these dates are still so important as markers to spread education so that hopefully one day tolerance and true equality can exist so we can all feel happy and safe regardless of identity, sexuality or gender.