The International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) was created in 2004 to draw the attention to the violence, and discrimination experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex, transgender people, and all others with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics. 
The date of May 17th was specifically chosen to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder.
May 17 is now celebrated in more than 130 countries, including 37 where same-sex acts are illegal. Thousands of initiatives, big and small, are reported throughout the world.
Many different entities participate in the global mobilisation around May 17. Some organisations add Lesbophobia or Intersexphobia as distinct focuses. Acronyms also vary, from the initial IDAHO to IDAHOTB or IDAHOBIT; however, the Day is not one central trademarked brand and everyone is free to communicate as they wish.
Rather, IDAHOBIT is an opportunity that everyone should take advantage of, to take action, on whatever issue and in whatever format that they wish.
Breaking the Silence
“Breaking the Silence” is the theme for 2020. In our families, in our social circles, at work, for many of us, our Sexualities, Gender Identities or Sex Characteristics must be hidden. We wander through most of our lives with the stigma of feeling ashamed of who we are. On May 17, the IDAHOBIT will be breaking some of that silence. 
The Day is a moment when thousands of ideas and initiatives converge over a single vision: freedom and equality for all sexual and gender minorities.
You can join in whichever way you want: shout out on your social media, organise an event near you, contact your local LGBTQ+ organisation to see what they have planned, call on your local authority to get them to celebrate the Day, decorate your home, organise a movie night, etc.
Be Creative, this is YOUR day!
IDAHOBIT during Lockdown
The LGBTQ+ community in India has been celebrating IDAHOBIT every year; largely through offline events organised by community collectives in major cities. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, the entire country is locked down. The economically poor, and daily wage earners are deprived of their means to earn; many of whom are LGBTQ+ community members. Some are living with their family, and may not be open about their sexuality at home. We are witness to increasing cases of domestic abuse against some members of the community. During these challenging times, breaking the silence to fight the prejudice of the society is far more significant.
The silence must be broken to address the following concerns, including but not limited to:
- Bullying faced by LGBTQ+
- Social exclusion of LGBTQ+ within family and society
- Stigma, discrimination with respect to healthcare access
- Stigma, discrimination against people living with HIV
- Invisibility of community due to lack of LGBTQ+ inclusion at workplace
- Blackmailing, violence for being LGBTQ+
- Critical issues with regard to COVID-19 pandemic
- Stereotypes of LGBTQ+, and
- Non-existent representation of community in the Legislature, Executive, Judiciary and Media
Physical distancing doesn’t have to mean social distancing. Communities are more important than ever, and physical distancing should mean getting socially closer. May 17 will provide a key opportunity for this, and here are some ideas about how to make it happen.
Ideas & Activities
Click a selfie with a powerful expression (around the theme i.e. Breaking the Silence) and post it on your social media story/post with #IDAHOBIT2020 and tag the Humsafar Trust social handle for a shoutout. (Picture Source: QGraphy)
Share Your Story
Break the Silence by sharing YOUR story with us on social media using #IDAHOBIT2020. Don’t forget to tag the Humsafar Trust Handle.
Make your own PRIDE Masks and wear it proudly.
Display PRIDE flags, posters or banners on your window, doors or balcony.
Be a part of online events which community-based organisations will be conducting throughout the day. Participate and do your bit.
Watch a movie with your family & friends through video conferencing apps. Please ensure to watch them on authorized OTT/digital platforms only.
For more information on IDAHOBIT, visit https://may17.org