We’re stepping up the fight against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia

Union Matters, Equalities

Today, the world unites in solidarity, for tolerance and against prejudice, as we mark the 15th International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia and step up the fight for equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people – as well as those questioning their gender or sexuality.

The first International Day Against Homophobia was back in 2005, with the 17th May date having become an unofficial day for gay rights protests – particularly in Germany, where laws appertaining to homosexuality were listed under ‘Paragraph 175’ of that country’s penal law.

Since 2005, the additions of biphobia and transphobia to the title of the event have included more groups – and more initials – and the official acronym for the day is now IDAHOBIT.

CWU head of Equality, Learning & Development Trish Lavelle says: “This is a very important date in the equality year and the CWU is proud to demonstrate solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.”

“As a trade union, we are developing much stronger workplace and grassroots engagement around LGBTQ+ issues; the solidarity messages from our youth members are a positive example of this.

“The CWU has submitted a motion to the TUC LGBT Conference highlighting the fact that more must be done to protect LGBTQ+ people by the international community and that we cannot stand silent when our LGBT comrades face the threat of harassment, imprisonment or even death for who they are and who they love.

The CWU has one of the few IDAHOBIT memorials in the UK, which is built in the memorial gardens in Alvescot and the course there this week will be paying its respects with a minutes silence today at the IDAHOBIT memorial.”

Globally there are still major issues in terms of LGBT rights with some countries banning Pride celebrations, or even worse criminalising this community to the point that same-sex relationships are punishable by death, detention or torture.

And there has been shocking recent news in Chechnya, where concentration camps hold gay men and these are all examples which underline the importance of IDAHOBIT Day.

  • LGBTQ+ phobia is also a huge problem in the workplace, and a recent report produced by the TUC has some stark findings. A copy of this report can be found here. We would recommend you read this report and share within your workplace.
  • For any enquiries on this please contact Fevzi Hussein in the Equality, Learning & Development Department