International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia & Transphobia (IDAHOT) takes place on the 17th May 2015. It commemorates the day, in 1990, that homosexuality was declassified by the World Health Organisation as a mental disorder and aims to raise awareness regarding discrimination and prejudice that lesbian,gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people face in society.
LGBT people around the world are still subject to ostracisation, imprisonment and execution merely for whom they love. According to figures published by Stonewall, the UK LGBT campaigning charity, 77 countries worldwide have made same sex relationships a crime. Five of these countries punish same sex relationships by the death penalty. Furthermore, since 2008, 1,612 cases of murdered trans people have been reported in 62 countries.
Scotland has made progress towards equality, but there still remains much work that needs to be done. In Scotland sexual orientation aggravated hate crime rose by 22% in 2013/14. The theme of IDAHOT this year is Young People as they are specifically at high risk of being exposed to homophobic, transphobic or biphobic attitudes and expressions within the family, educational institutions, the health system and social settings.
Survey results of young people by LGBT Youth Scotland found that 61% of respondents had experienced homophobia or biphobic bullying in school. Of those who had experienced homophobic or biphobic bullying, 32% felt that this had damaged their employment prospects.
These figures make disturbing reading. That's why Unite has written to Scottish council leaders asking for their participation in raising awareness of IDAHOT with their staff and showing their support for LGBT service users.
You can show your support too- please download our Unite placards for your collective and individual use in your workplaces and communities. There is no place for homophobia, biphobia or transphobia – join us in helping to stand against persecution and bigotry.
For further information please contact Unite Womens’ and Equalities Officer Elaine Dougall on 07810157904