International Day Against Homophobia

[Image: Two Goldfish facing each other, looking as though about to kiss. Words to the left of the fish: Same-sex Couples: A Love Story. Below that, the site name is visable: homophobiaday.org. Words to the right of the fish: May 17: International Day Against Homophobia. Participate! This day belongs to you (with you being in block letters).

Image source. Copyright Gai Écoute / Fondation Émergence 2011. All rights reserved. Used with permission

Hello everyone!

So I thought that I would let you all (I know that there is only like one reader at the moment) know that 17 May, 2011 marks the 7th annual International Day Against Homophobia. While this has nothing to do with the kinky lifestyle that I lead, this has everything to do with what I stand for as a person.


Some Interesting Facts:

  • On this day in 1990, the World Health Organization (WHO) made the decision to remove homosexuality from their list of mental disorders.
  • Before this, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), the book used by psychologists and psychiatrists in North America and other parts of the world, removed homosexuality as a mental illness in 1986.
  • The International Day Against Homophobia is officially recognized by the following governmental bodies:
    • The United Kingdom
    • The European Union
    • Mexico
    • The Netherlands
    • Costa Rica
    • France

Notably absent, though is Canada, my home and one of the first countries in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. ( =( )


Events:

There are a number of events planned near me. As usual, the most active area around me seems to be the heart of Downtown Toronto. However, there are events in Chatham, London (Ontario), Windsor, Barrie, Thunder Bay, and just about the entire Golden Horseshoe, in Ontario. There are also events in Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, and Quebec (the city), as well as internationally. For events near you, ask the oracle using terms like “Anti-Homophobia Day” or “Day Against Homophobia” and your area.


A Transgender Critique:

On the official website, the full name of the day is called “International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.” However, I struggled to find a single mention of Transphobia, other than in the Frequently Asked Questions section. The history of the movement, and how the movement is often described seems to make it about homophobia and prejudice towards people based on sexuality, not based on gender identity or gender expression. I feel like the addition of the word Transphobia serves to try to make the movement sound more inclusive than it actually is. I actually wonder if this addition was mostly to do with the critique that the Gay (GL and sometimes B) communities don’t actually include gender identity or expression. I think that is notable for those that are heading this movement to recognize this; however, I feel like this is only superficial. And I feel this way because of the lack of mention on the official site. I feel that if the movement genuinely wanted to address the issue of Transphobia, there would be some mention, some reference to more knowledgeable projects dealing with Transphobia, like Remembering our Dead or Transgender Europe’s Murder Monitor project.

So, until I feel that Transgender people are truthfully and earnestly included in this day, I will continue calling it the International Day Against Homophobia, as the day was originally coined.

Here’s hoping that my opinion changes next year!

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