IDAHOBIT stands for International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia. It takes place all around the world on May 17th with parades, protests and other events. Its main purpose is to raise awareness of violence, discrimination and repression of LGBT communities worldwide with a decentralised approach. People of all sexualities and genders get together to celebrate being LGBT+, or to show their support. For LGBT+ people who live in countries where they are oppressed, it’s a chance to come together as a community and seek strength.
But that’s all on a grand scale, with thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours put into organising such events. As high-school students, we don’t really have that time or money. So, what can you do to show your support and participate in IDAHOBIT day?
A Couple of Ideas
1. Attend a Pride Parade
If there’s one in your area, attending a pride parade is a fantastic idea! You don’t have to be LGBT+ to attend, and it’s a great opportunity to immerse in the culture and learn about the diversity of the LGBT+ community. Pride parades celebrate the strength that LGBT+ people have to rise against discrimination and oppression, which is a important message to spread on IDAHOBIT day.
2. Wear something rainbow.
It doesn’t have to be a gaudy fedora or a sparkling jacket; just tying a simple rainbow ribbon around your wrist or pinning a rainbow badge to your bag is enough! The rainbow’s become an iconic symbol of the LGBT+ community, and through accessorising with something as symbolic as that, it’s a simple yet powerful way to show your support for the LGBT+ community and fight back against homophobia, biphobia, intersexism and transphobia.
3. Have a bake sale.
This one depends on your school agreeing, but having a bake sale with all funds raised going towards LGBT+ organisations is a great way to get your peers involved and also have an impact on the wider community. You can also make the baked goods LGBT+ themed – cupcakes with a colour scheme of the different LGBT+ flags would be hella cute! It would also spread the message throughout your school community and encourage others to get involved as well.
4. Speak up.
Don’t be a bystander. Speak up and take action when you see someone getting bullied for their sexuality or gender if you feel safe to do so. It starts with you – but there’s also plenty of help out there if you need it. By standing up to bullies, you’re stopping discrimination against a minority and empowering them to stand up for themselves.
5. Donate to a LGBT+ organisation
You don’t have to donate hundreds of dollars; a couple of bucks can make all the difference. There’s almost definitely a LGBT+ organisation that’s based in your state that you can donate to. If not, national organisations are also a good choice. Although different organisations have different goals, some of them help fund homeless shelters for LGBT+ minors and adults who aren’t safe in the own home. Whichever one you donate to, you can rest easy knowing that your money is going towards LGBT+ people who need it.
These are just a couple of ideas – don’t feel restricted by them! Holding a school event or participating in a community one, or just doing something individually; it all helps fight against the stigma that LGBT+ people face day after day. LGBT+ or not, we can all show our support one way or another this May 17th.