International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia
The Netherlands have always been a frontrunner in the area of equal rights for the LGBTI community and show a high level of social acceptance. The Dutch pride has been organised since 1996 and celebrates freedom and diversity. Also, the very first same-sex marriage law was passed in the Dutch House of Representatives on December 19 2000, and came into effect on the 1st of April 2001. The following month, the first gay marriage ceremony was performed in Amsterdam by mayor Job Cohen. However, not everyone is lucky to grow up in a country that protects and accepts the identity of its inhabitants. Therefore, there is an international day to pay attention to the hardships that people in the LGBTI community endure, the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia (also IDAHO, IDAHOT, or IDAHOBiT). On May 17, international events are organised that raise awareness of human rights violations in the LGBTI community, such as online readings and social activities. The date was chosen because on May 17 1990, the WHO (World Health Organization) removed homosexuality from their International Classification of Diseases list. Many Dutch embassies have also paid attention to IDAHO, including the Dutch Human Rights ambassador, Bahia Tahzib-Lie. The Dutch ministry of Foreign Affairs has made a video of all the rainbow flags being raised at Dutch embassies around the world, such as London, Helsinki, Singapore and Wellington. During the COVID-19 crisis, the discrimination of people in the LGBTI community continues, and can even increase. LGBTI people often experience some form of stigmatisation in health care systems, making them reluctant so seek out medical help. Especially in these troubling times, this can make LGBTI persons particularly at risk for enduring health complications with the coronavirus. Therefore, this day is now even more important than earlier years, and the Netherlands want to emphasize the urgence of social acceptance of the LGBTI community. To read more about the IDAHOT in the Netherlands, visit their website or FB page.