International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) is celebrated around the world each year to bring attention to the discrimination and violence LGBTQ people still face, as well as to recognize advancements in LGBTQ equality.
At least 75 countries criminalize same-sex relationships and in up to 10 countries same-sex conduct may be punishable by death. HRC stands in solidarity against homophobia, transphobia, biphobia and all forms of hate facing the LGBTQ community across the globe.
Ahead of this year’s celebration, here are five things you should know about IDAHOT:
1) IDAHOT is celebrated annually on May 17 to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder in 1990.
2) IDAHOT was created in 2004 to draw the attention of policymakers, political leaders, social movements, the public and the media to the violence and discrimination experienced by LGBTQ people and those who do not conform to socially defined sexual and gender norms internationally.
3) IDAHOT was initially known by the acronym IDAHO for International Day Against Homophobia, but “transphobia” was added in 2009, followed by “biphobia” in 2015 to recognize the different and specific issues at stake for transgender and bisexual people.
4) IDAHOT is now celebrated in more than 120 countries, including in at least 30 countries where same-sex acts are illegal.
5) According to DayAgainstHomophobia.org, IDAHOT is commemorated by millions of people around the world, and the day has been given official recognition by many authorities at all levels, from city councils to national governments, to regional institutions and U.N. agencies.