Annual event raising awareness of LGBTQ discrimination in West Northamptonshire goes online once again

Together: Resisting, Supporting, Healing! the theme for this year's International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT)

Friday, 14th May 2021, 11:09 am
Updated Friday, 14th May 2021, 11:16 am

This year's International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) celebrations in West Northamptonshire will be held online once again on Monday (May 17).

West Northamptonshire Council will be hosting a flag-raising ceremony, speeches and a 'minute of noise' at 12pm to raise awareness of the work still needed to end discrimination towards LGBTQ people on its Facebook page.

Stuart Lackenby, from the council, said: “We are delighted to put together a small-scale digital celebration of IDAHOBIT for audiences to enjoy and experience in the safety and comfort of their own homes.

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Supporters at Northampton Pride 2019, another celebration of the LGBTQ community
Supporters at Northampton Pride 2019, another celebration of the LGBTQ community

“This year’s IDAHOBIT marks the 31st anniversary of the World Health Organisation removing homosexuality from the Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems.

“This important day reminds us how far we’ve come but can also inspire us to continue progressing towards a community where residents feel safe, included and accepted reminding us of the importance of tolerance and respect.”

The celebration covering this year’s theme, Together: Resisting, Supporting, Healing!, will start with the flag raising ceremony across the region.

Followed by speeches from Northampton mayor Rufia Ashraf, council assistant chief executive Rebecca Peck, and Matthew Toresen, the community co-chair of the LGBTQ and allies forum.

Matthew said: "IDAHOBIT is a chance to remember and commemorate all the LGBTQ people around the world whose voices are silenced by oppression.

“As someone who has fought for equality in this country I'm keenly aware that there are millions of people worldwide still living in fear, often for their own lives, and it is our duty to support their journeys to a safer life.

“The Covid-19 lockdown has also created new issues with many LGBTQ people in this country trapped in hostile households and IDAHOBIT should also remember them."

Facebook users can also help spread awareness about the IDAHOBIT by updating their profile with an supporter profile frame or by sharing a support message with #IDAHOBIT21 and #diversityandinclusion.

Last year's IDAHOBIT celebrations in Northampton were also held virtually during the first coronavirus lockdown.

The Lowdown charity offers remote support to anyone struggling including counselling, wellbeing and emotional support, sexual health and contraception. Find out more at thelowdown.info.