Olympic Education

International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

From around the world, organisations, companies, governments, cities and individuals are getting ready to celebrate sexual and gender diversities.

The international Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biophobia takes place every year on May 17th. Why May 17th you might ask yourself? Well… May 17th is a symbolic date for LGBTQ individuals. Long considered a mental illness, homosexuality was removed from the list of mental disorders by the World Health Organization (WHO) on May 17, 1990. This annual day was founded in Montreal in 2003 by the human rights group Fondation Émergence to make our society more inclusive for all sexualities.

It 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. As noted above, homophobia, transphobia and biphobia are still present and are manifested by, among other things, penalizing these individuals by discriminatory laws or even capital punishment. In certain countries, despite receiving legal equality, the rights of LGBTQ people are not visible in their day-to-day lives and social equality has still not been achieved. Therefore, it is necessary to take the opportunity to raise awareness about the realities of LGBTQ people to eliminate prejudice and stereotypes.

“We’re ready, society is ready. It’s just about raising awareness with the next generation so we don’t have to hide who we are and you can feel safe in an environment, even in sports or at school.” – Charline Labonté, three-time Olympic gold medallist (Ice Hockey)

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