Gather to end prejudice

The Inclusive Communities Network at the celebration to mark International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia. Photo: Radim Cechvala Story:

THE Inclusive Communities Network celebrated IDAHOBIT with a story sharing panel discussion featuring locals and their stories about what it’s like to be young and queer in south west Sydney.

Friday, May 17, was IDAHOBIT: International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia and around Australia (and the world), schools, workplaces and organisations hosted events, large and small, to stand in solidarity with LGBTQIA communities. This year’s theme is Justice and Safety.

Host and community activist Lauren Foy said: “Despite significant progress made over recent years in fostering a more inclusive society in Australia including the legalisation of same-sex marriage, many LGBTQIA Australians and rainbow families continue to be targets of prejudice, discrimination and exclusion.

“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 impact on the health and wellbeing of people in our 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.”

According to panellist Dr Siobhan Irving of Sydney Queer Muslims, “with a population of over 966,000 people, communities in South West Sydney are socially, economically, culturally and linguistically diverse”.

“To meet the needs of all our local communities over the next decade, greater attention will be needed in planning for prevention and treatment services, specifically relevant to LGBTQIA young people’s health and well-being. More importantly, it is an investment in social cohesion.”