IDAHO (International Day Against Homophobia) was launched in 2004 by a group of gay activists to commemorate the day the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from the list of mental disorders in 1990. The day is an opportunity for all to fight for sexual diversity and gender freedom.
The organisation is urging people to take action on May 17th by flying a rainbow flag at their home, work or school and join the Enough is Enough! campaign to take action against homophobia. Enough is Enough! was launched in 2009 and aims to encourage people to take action to tackle homophobia. Supported by celebrities including Sir Ian McKellen and Anthony Cotton it has over 20,000 ambassadors and has reached over 1.5 million people. As part of the campaign, Safer Schools Packs have been given out to over 500 schools across the UK aiming to tackle homophobia in schools.
“The Day is about creating a space for everyone to take action,” said IDAHO international coordinator Joel Bedos.
“This year’s campaign theme is ‘Fighting homo/transphobia IN and THROUGH education’. Although there are many examples of schools which have over the past few year consistently been working to create conducive and safe learning environments, research from many countries still reveals the general high levels of abuse, harassment and verbal or physical violence experienced by young people in schools,” said an IDAHO spokesperson.
This IDAHO will be the biggest yet with over 90 countries taking part putting on a range of events and celebrations.