The International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) is an annual event celebrated every May 17. It is coordinated by the Paris-based "IDAHOBIT Committee", founded and presided over by Frenchman Louis-Georges Tin. The day aims to coordinate international events that raise awareness of LGBT rights violations and stimulate interest in LGBT rights work.
May 17 was the day that homosexuality was removed from the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1990.
IDAHOBIT was conceived in 2004 to commemorate the WHO’s decision to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders in 1990. A year-long campaign culminated in the first IDAHOBIT on May 17, 2005. 24,000 individuals as well as organizations such as the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA), the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), the World Congress of LGBT Jews, and the Coalition of African Lesbians signed an appeal to support the IDAHOBIT initiative. IDAHOBIT activities took place in many countries, including the first LGBT events ever to take place in the Congo, China, and Bulgaria.
In 2009 transphobia was added to the name of the campaign, and activities that year focused primarily on transphobia (violence and discrimination against transgender people). A new petition was launched in cooperation with LGBT organizations in 2009, and it was supported by more than 300 NGOs from 75 countries, as well as three Nobel Prize winners (Elfriede Jelinek, Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, and Luc Montagnier). On the eve of the 2009 IDAHO day, France became the first country in the world to officially remove transgender issues from its list of mental illnesses.
Organizations in more than 70 countries in the world now include the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia as part of their annual mobilization plan.[clarification needed] In some of them, IDAHOBIT has become the major focal point of action.
Louis-Georges Tin and two other IDAHOBIT members started a hunger-strike on June 2012 to urge the French president Hollande to introduce a UN resolution decriminalising homosexuality. Same-sex marriage has been legal in France since May 18th, 2013.
The main purpose of IDAHOBIT is to raise awareness, which in turn provides an opportunity to take action and engage in dialogue with the media, policymakers, public opinion, and wider civil society.
One of the stated goals of IDAHOBIT is to create an event that can be visible at a global level without needing to conform to a specific type of action. This decentralized approach is needed due to the diversity of social, religious, cultural and political contexts in which rights violations occur. Instead of depending on one method or a central policy agenda, IDAHOBIT seeks unity in spirit, but diversity in expression.
Some of the activities that take place during IDAHOBIT include raising media awareness of homophobia and transphobia, lobbying policymakers for equal rights, organizing visibility actions, and connecting with like-minded organizations.
In 2003 the Canadian organization Fondation Émergence instituted a similar event, the National Day Against Homophobia, which was held on June 1st. In 2006, they changed the date to May 17, in order to join the international movement.
In 2006, The Declaration of Montreal was created and adopted by the 2006 World Outgames. The Declaration demanded that the United Nations and all states recognize May 17 as the International Day Against Homophobia.
In 2010, Lula, then president of Brazil, signed an act that instituted May 17th as the National Day Against Homophobia in his country.
IDAHOBIT is also officially recognized by the EU Parliament, Spain, Belgium, the UK, Mexico, Costa Rica, Croatia, the Netherlands, France, and Luxembourg. It is also recognized by numerous local authorities, such as the province of Quebec or the city of Buenos Aires.
In 2012, the city of Liverpool, England became the first in the world to create, participate and engage in IDAHOBIT 50, the world's first attempt at municipal level to mark IDAHOBIT with a free programme of events. The event is supported by 50 leading organisations based in Liverpool.
In several other countries (e.g. Argentina, Bolivia, Australia, and Croatia) national civil society coalitions have called upon their authorities to have IDAHOBIT recognized.
As of 2012 few countries have passed legislation at the federal level that includes full-fledged legal recognition for LGBT couples such as marriage, adoption, inheritance, and insurance rights, despite the efforts of IDAHO participants. Some countries continue to criminalize homosexuality or transgender identity and persecute LGBT people, sometimes violently. LGBT people in these countries may be vulnerable to state violence or hate crimes, and LGBT organizations or movements may be vulnerable to state-sponsored harassment. An ILGA report issued for IDAHOBIT 2009 confirmed that no less than 80 countries still consider homosexuality illegal. In seven of these countries, homosexual acts are punishable by death. In almost all countries, transphobic laws limit the freedom to act in ways that do not conform to the roles and expectations that are culturally determined by a person’s sex at birth.