International Day Against Homophobia, IDAHOBIT.
The term “homophobia” (Homophobia: from the Greek homos – the same and phobos – fear, fear) appeared relatively recently – in 1972. Prior to this, the phenomenon, which today is called homophobia, was a social norm. To refer to the irrational fear of homosexuals, rejection and neglect of members of sexual minorities, the term “homophobia” was first used by the psychiatrist George Weinberg.
The 20th century was, without a doubt, the most homophobic historical period: the deportation of gays to concentration camps under the Nazi regime, the Soviet Gulag, blackmail and persecution in the United States during the McCarthy era … Obviously, all this seems very distant to us. But in many countries, the situation of gays remains exactly that now.
Homosexuality discrimination is observed everywhere: in at least eighty countries homosexuality is prohibited by law, in many countries it is punishable by imprisonment of up to ten years. Sometimes the law provides for life imprisonment. In another dozen countries, the death penalty is applied to homosexuals.
The idea of establishing the International Day Against Homophobia on May 17 was put forward by the French writer and scholar Louis-Georges Ten. The day was not chosen by chance – it was May 17, 1990 that the General Assembly of the World Health Organization excluded homosexuality from the list of mental illnesses. Ten expressed the hope that this day will help change for the better the lives of those people who need it most.
International Day Against Homophobia has been officially celebrated since 2003. The recognition of this day poses certain obligations to the international community, which has already come together in the fight against many other forms of discrimination and social violence, but so far in most states it has not provided broad support in the fight for the rights of sex minorities.
The goals of this Day are to counteract any physical, moral and symbolic violence towards people with a different sexual orientation or gender identity; supporting and coordinating all initiatives around the world that help all citizens achieve equal rights; a broader campaign to protect human rights.
For example, in a number of countries that supported the initiative to hold this Day, on May 17 various events and campaigns, campaigns and flash mobs are held related to the International Day against Homophobia and aimed at raising awareness of the planet’s population about the problem of homophobia through the media, as well as promoting bills on equal rights for homosexual and heterosexual persons.