In Northampton, the 30th anniversary of IDAHOBIT is heading online

Northampton residents are invited to take part a virtual celebration of the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) on Sunday,17 May aiming to raise awareness of the work still needed to end discrimination towards  lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersectional and questioning (LGBTQ) people.

The celebrations will be streamed throughout the day and can be viewed on Northampton Borough Council’s Facebook page.

The celebration will start with a speech from Deputy Mayor Councillor Brian Sargeant at 12pm followed by speeches from Councillor Anna King and Matthew Toresen- community co-chair of LGBTQ forum, concluding with a virtual minute of noise at 1pm.

Councillor Anna King, Cabinet member for community engagement and safety, said: “ Whilst public gatherings are no longer possible, and we are all discovering a new normal – we are delighted to put together a small scale digital celebration of IDAHOBIT for audiences to enjoy and experience in the safety and comfort of their own homes.

“This year’s IDAHOBIT marks the 30th anniversary of the World Health Organisation removing homosexuality from the Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems.

“This important anniversary reminds us how far we’ve come but can also inspire us to continue progressing towards a community where residents feel safe, included and accepted reminding us of the importance of tolerance and respect.”

Matthew Toresen, community co-chair of Northampton Borough Council’s LGBTQ and allies forum, said: “IDAHOBIT is a chance to remember and commemorate all the LGBTQ people around the world whose voices are silenced by oppression.

“As someone who has fought for equality in this country I’m keenly aware that there are millions of people worldwide still living in fear, often for their own lives, and it is our duty to support their journeys to a safer life.

“The COVID-19 lockdown has also created new issues with many LGBTQ people in this country trapped in hostile households and IDAHOBIT should also remember them.”

The Lowdown charity offers remote support to anyone struggling including counselling, wellbeing and emotional support, sexual health and contraception. Find out more http://thelowdown.info/