How to celebrate IDAHOBIT during COVID-19

IDAHOBIT stands for International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism, and Transphobia.

It’s celebrated worldwide on 17 May—the day that, in 1990, the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases. This year’s theme is Breaking The Silence, a theme chosen to honour and amplify the LGBTIQA+ people who don’t usually get the spotlight.

Due to COVID-19, IDAHOBIT’s usual focus on community events, socialising, and storytelling is going to be a little different, but it's not as though the LGBTIQA+ community isn’t used to celebrating our pride and diversity in underground and counter-cultural ways already. Here are some of the creative ways that IDAHOBIT celebrations are happening online this year!

For LGBTIQA+ people:

If you’re missing your usual IDAHOBIT schedule, City of Banyule are livestreaming their flag raising, running a storytime, and hosting an exhibition in the evening. Learn about these events at their website here. You can also watch City of Yarra’s flag raising and participate in a trivia session with Art Simone here, and stay tuned for their youth IDAHOBIT art zine!

If you have opinions about the movies you’re watching in isolation and want to talk about them on video, hop on the Melbourne Queer Film Festival’s Couch Critic here and tell them all about why Top Gun is gay (we already know this one, you’ll have to get more creative than that).

Tilde, Melbourne’s Trans and Gender Diverse Film Festival, is returning early with an Autumn Pyjama Party Movie night here. Grab some snacks, put on something comfy and tune-in for some of tilde's favourite trans and gender-diverse cinema!

Are you passionate about the arts? Safe in the Southwest’s IDAHOBIT Community Grants have enabled the digital exhibition of Iuventus, a collection of powerful, haunting, and sometimes playful photo collages by Connor Ovenden-Shaw about youth, gender, sexuality, and growing up in rural Victoria. The show is hosted digitally by The F Project Arts in Warrnambool, and you can check it out here.

If you want to make some of your own art and are 12-25 in the Moonee Valley, Valley Youth are hosting a free online watercolour workshop where materials will be delivered to your house! Participate in Paint The Rainbow with Rainbow Valley here.

If you’re keen to hop on a hashtag, Access Health and Community, headspace Hawthorn and Boroondara Youth want you to #showusyourrainbow by taking a photo of something decorated with a rainbow and tagging them on Facebook or Instagram. You can also email #showusyourrainbow photos to Cobaw Health here, who are teaming up with Macedon Ranges Shire Council to celebrate IDAHOBIT in their council area.

If you’re pumped about the new changes to Victorian birth certificate legislation, you can learn about changing your gender marker at Victoria Law Foundation’s webinar here! You can also access community grants to help you change your name and gender marker with Transgender Victoria here.

If you’re more interested in action this IDAHOBIT, hear about how COVID-19 is affecting the LGBTIQA+ community and talk about how to fix things with Switchboard Victoria. Their lunchtime discussion on Staying Well Together is here, and will feature community advocates, experts, and Mama Alto!

Lastly, if you want to take five minutes to talk about how COVID-19 has affected you, you can do the Equality Australia survey here, which will help them direct their advocacy to where our community hurts most.

For professionals:

It’s not too late to swap your Zoom background to something festive—there are Minus18 designs for it here, or get creative! Once that’s done, get your professional development hours ticked off while learning about LGBTIQA+ inclusion from the best in the game.

Check out YEP’s IDAHOBIT webinar here, or Minus18’s How To Support LGBTIQA+ People At Work webinar here. If you’re a teacher or a school worker, get your school onboard and check out Minus18’s Inclusive Classrooms webinar here.

It’s also never too late to do a virtual office whip-round and embody the spirit of Breaking The Silence by donating to an organisation that supports extra-marginalised LGBTIQA+ people like Black Rainbow, Intersex Human Rights, Rainbow To Refuge, or mental health hotline Switchboard.