IDAHOBIT 2021: International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia
According to a 2019/20 Home Office report on Hate Crime, 18,375 crimes were reported because of someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. That figure is an increase of 244% over the last five years. On average it equates to more than 50 reported crimes per day.
During the pandemic it would seem that things have got worse. A Galop report (the main LGBT+ anti-violence charity in the UK) found that 4 in 5 respondents had experienced some form of transphobic hate crime in the previous 12 months. 7 in 10 said their daily routine had been adversely affected by transphobia.
The impact of homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia hate crime cuts deeper than physical injury. In a report on LGBT+ online hate crime published towards the end of 2020, it reported that online victimisation had led to:-
40% of respondents experiencing ongoing depression
62% of respondents experiencing stress
67% of respondents experiencing continuing issues with anxiety
On a personal level I lost a man I loved very deeply because of a hate crime. I am now in a very loving and supportive relationship, and have been for 19 years, but that loss will never leave me. Coming out about your sexual orientation and gender identity is commonly discussed as if it is an event which, once faced, one can then move on from and begin to progress. This has not been my experience, nor has it been the experience of friends and others I have met within the LGBT+ community. In many ways coming out is a continuous process. It begins long before you share it with others for the first time and knowing it will continue long beyond the last person to whom you came out.
IDAHOBIT is marked globally on the 17th of May. In the most recent figures I have found, 132 countries hold events to mark the day and continue to work to support the LGBT+ and intersectionally connected communities. As a university we mark IDAHOBIT every year. This year LGBT+ poet laureate Trudy Howson has given us permission to use her IDAHOBIT poem. Staff and students from across the university have performed the poem in this video.
The hate crime statistics show that despite the legal freedom won by the LGBT+ community, there is still a long way to go. As members of the university community we can all do simple things to show our stance against hate. Incorporate our preferred pronouns (mine are He and Him) into our email signatures and introductions at meetings. And continue to encourage conversations, even on a small scale, to make inroads into confronting and addressing prejudice and hate.
Please show your support against violence and discrimination experienced by the LGBT+ community #IDAHOBIT