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"Outing the Outdated"

International Day celebrates gender and sexual diversity

May 17 is the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, with this year marking 21 years since the event was first celebrated in Montreal.

The theme for this year is 'Outing the Outdated', noting that a rollback of Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, Queer/Questioning, Intersex and Asexual (2SLGBTQIA+) rights is a setback for all society. Organizers want people the world over to take the opportunity to raise awareness among the general public about the issues faced by 2SLGBTQIA+ people and to take action to make the world more inclusive of sexual and gender diversity.

The date is a reminder that back on May 17 1990, the World Health Organization (WHO) removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses. Though there has been widespread progress in the acceptance of 2SLGBTQIA+ recognition and rights, many people belonging to these communities in Canada and around the world continue to face fear, misunderstanding, hatred, violence and oppression.

This year, the May 17 event will be celebrated in more than 37 countries around the world. Kelli Paddon, BC's Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity said, “We recognize this day because homophobia, transphobia and biphobia have no place in our province and our society. And still, people in our province continue to face inequality and discrimination because of their sexuality or gender. We all must continue to call out this discrimination when we see it and support our 2SLGBTQIA+ neighbours, friends and family members."

Mayor Linda Buchanan proclaimed the day officially in the City of North Vancouver, and Premier David Eby also threw his support behind the day.

In a statement, Eby said "hate and discrimination have no place in British Columbia. Our diversity strengthens us, and our province is made better when everyone is welcome and valued."

Organizers offer dozens of ideas on their site for raising awareness, from encouraging schools to participate by inviting in guest speakers, holding rainbow and trans flag raisings and setting up fundraisers for local schools to celebrate the day.

Online, they invite people to sign petitions in support of members in the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities, or to donate to organizations that fight homophobia and transphobia.

Have thoughts to share about this International Day? Leave your comment below, or send us an email at 

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2 Kommentare

Bravo Karen! Thank you!

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Norm B
Norm B
17. Mai

Thanks for sharing KC! It takes courage to stand up like that 💕

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