2018 IDAHOBIT Grants to celebrate LGBTI Community Allies

Rainbow Heart HandsLGBTI rights advocates are celebrating allies as part of a range of activities marking International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT) on Wednesday 17 May 2018.

The global theme for IDAHOBIT 2018 is Alliances for Solidarity – which aims to acknowledge the important need for LGBTI people and their allies in the broader community to continue to work together in challenging anti-LGBTI hate, and promote diversity and inclusion.

In celebration of IDAHOBIT 2018, ACON will support local community initiatives throughout NSW through the provision of a small grants scheme. Now in its sixth year, the IDAHOBIT Community Grants will award 10 community groups and organisations $500 each to go towards activities that increase awareness of IDAHOBIT and demonstrate this year’s theme.

ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill said IDAHOBIT is an important opportunity for the community to come together and make a stand against homophobia, transphobia and biphobia. “Despite significant progress made over recent years in fostering a more inclusive society in Australia including the legalisation of same-sex marriage, many LGBTI Australians and families continue to be targets of prejudice, discrimination and exclusion,” said Mr Parkhill.

“Indeed, just because of their sexuality or gender identity, many Australians are separated from family and friends, harassed in their workplace or on the sporting field, abused by their neighbours or assaulted on the street. Left unchallenged, homophobia, transphobia and biphobia can have profound impacts on the health and wellbeing of people in LGBTI communities. This is why IDAHOBIT is so important and why the annual movement continues to capture the interest of more and more people right across NSW.

“This year’s theme – Alliances for Solidarity – also gives us a chance to reflect on the important role of allies,” added Parkhill. “As was evident during the campaign for marriage equality, alliances are critical in our fight for equality and social justice, and we thank our many allies for their continued support for our communities.”

IDAHOBIT takes place every year on 17 May, the day in 1990 that homosexuality was removed from the World Health Organisation’s International Classification of Diseases. Celebrated in over 130 countries, IDAHOBIT aims to unite millions of people in support of the recognition of human rights for all, irrespective of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.

In NSW, an IDAHOBIT campaign has been developed by the Stronger Together Alliance – a working group comprising community, health and advocacy organisation. Members of the Stronger Together Alliance are Positive Life NSW, HIV/AIDS Legal Centre, City of Sydney, Inner City Legal Centre, the NSW Police Force and ACON.

The campaign will incorporate various social media activations including a video, profile frame and a virtual event on Facebook inviting people to share why they are proud to be an LGBTI ally.

“ACON is proud to work with our partners in celebrating the rich diversity of our vibrant communities across NSW,” said Mr Parkhill. “By raising visibility we hope to continue to address prejudice and discrimination, and work towards fostering an inclusive and cohesive society that is healthier for us all.”

For more information about the grants, visit: www.aconhealth.org.au or visit ACON’s Safety and Inclusion Project here. Applications close 8 April 2018.