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International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia 2024

The International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) was created in 2004 to draw the attention to the violence and discrimination experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people, and all of those with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics.


*Please note this article discusses themes of violence and discrimination in relation to gender and sexuality, and will touch on issues of homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, racism and misogyny. Resources and support are included at the end of the article.

If you experience or witness homophobia, biphobia or transphobia you can access support and / or report (anonymously if preferred) through the Queen Mary Report + Support tool.

What is the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT)?

The date of 17 May was specifically chosen to commemorate the World Health Organization declassifying homosexuality as a mental disorder, which only happened in 1990. The day is incredibly important for raising awareness about the ongoing challenges faced by the LGBTQIA+ community, and for highlighting the work that still needs to be done to ensure that everyone can live free from discrimination and violence.

The theme for IDAHOBIT in 2024 is "No one left behind: equality, freedom, and justice for all": in a time where the progress made by LGBTQIA+ communities worldwide is increasingly at risk, it is crucial to recognise the power of solidarity, community, and allyship across different identities, movements, and borders. 

Why is IDAHOBIT needed?

Many LGBTQIA+ people continue to experience bigotry, hatred and discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or sex characteristics.

Hate crime statistics released in 2023 by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) revealed that England and Wales has continued to become a less safe place for lesbian, gay, bi and trans people. The statistics showed:

  • An 11% increase in hate crimes against trans people in a year, and by 186% in the last five years;
  • Hate crimes on the basis of sexual orientation up by 112% in the last five years;
  • Hate crimes based on sexual orientation and transgender identity are the most likely to involve violence or threats of violence.

It is also important to recognise the intersectional nature of identity, for example the majority of hate crimes committed in England and Wales are racially motivated, accounting for over two-thirds of such offences (70%); and the impact this can have on LGBTQIA+ individuals who may suffer homophobia, biphobia or transphobia in combination with racism, ableism and other prejudices.

Homophobia, biphobia or transphobia does not take place in a vacuum, separate to the environment in which it occurs. Rainbow Europe is a project of ILGA-Europe that tracks and rates the legal and policy situation of LGBTQIA+ people in Europe. Their annual index provides a country-by-country analysis of the legal rights and protections for LGBTQIA+ people and will be updated shortly for 2024. Last year their 2023 Rainbow Map showed that the United Kingdom had again dropped down the list, from 14th in 2022 to 17th in 2023.

What is Queen Mary doing about homophobia, biphobia and transphobia?

At Queen Mary we want to create an inclusive environment where LGBTQIA+ staff and students are celebrated; where everyone can be themselves and be treated with kindness, dignity and respect.

Our Strategy 2030 sets out Queen Mary’s commitment and ambition to be the most inclusive university of its kind, anywhere; realising this vision means being a university of choice for LGBTQIA+ people to study and work.

Homophobia, biphobia and transphobia can take many forms such as name-calling, derogatory jokes, intrusive or hostile questioning, threatening to ‘out’ someone, as well as unwanted physical contact and violence. It can happen verbally, in writing, in person or virtually (e.g. by email, messages, social media). Whatever form it takes, it is always unacceptable.

Queen Mary’s Trans Inclusion Statement of Commitment 2022 lays out the University’s balanced approach and position to trans inclusion. As well as synthesising our legal duties it further incorporates our Values (Inclusive, Proud, Ambitious, Collegial, Ethical).

If you experience or witness homophobia, biphobia or transphobia you can report it (anonymously if you like) and / or access support through the Queen Mary Report + Support tool. Full details of our Preventing Harassment, Bullying and Hate Crime and our Dignity at Work and Study procedure are available online.

Incidents of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia may constitute a criminal offence as a hate incident or hate crime under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 and the Criminal Justice Act 2003. If you believe you have been a victim of a hate incident or hate crime you are within your rights to contact the police.

As a student at Queen Mary, you may wish to access a variety of support including:

There are also lots of external organisations who can offer support, which are listed at the bottom of the page. 

What can you do to help combat homophobia, biphobia and transphobia?

If you feel safe to do so, you can be an active bystander and call it out. Make it clear that you won’t tolerate this kind of behaviour in any form.

You can find out more about the LGBTQIA+ community by accessing the following:

Further sources of information, resources and support were also published as part of LGBTQIA+ History Month 2024 and remain accessible.



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