IDAHOBIT 2023 – Together Always, United in Diversity
The International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) is a day to raise awareness of the violations of human rights and to advocate for equitable, sustainable and inclusive policy-making and change. It is a day to inspire people to take action to support peoples’ rights to live safely and free from the threat of abuse, discrimination and/or violence as a result of their sexual orientation, gender expression or sex.
At a time when the rights of LGBTQIA+ people across the world are increasingly under threat, solidarity and community have never been more important, needed or necessary. This year’s #IDAHOBIT theme – “Together Always: United in Diversity” – speaks directly to the power of allyship.
Allyship refers to the actions, behaviours and practices that people can take to support, amplify and advocate with others who don’t belong to the same social identity groups as themselves. Allyship is not a single action, but rather an ongoing one, especially important since it is an open showing of support and advocacy for equal treatment, even when it feels challenging or uncomfortable to do so. Allies are powerful and important in the fight for equality and equitable access, uniquely poised as persons in a position to use their voices to create a safer and more welcoming environment for everyone.
Half of a decade has passed since the landmark “Jones v T&T” case, which saw the High Court of our nation upholding a challenge to Sections 13 and 16 of the Sexual Offences Act which criminalise homosexual activity, deeming the laws as unconstitutional. This ruling remains historic as it signals that the legal sanctions on same-sex intimacy infringe on human rights. Though the judgement was deemed in contravention of the Constitution, there is still work to be done. Though LGBTQIA+ representation is increasing and many more individuals are feeling safer to be more seen and visible, LGBTQIA+ individuals still face barriers daily. Challenges continue to present themselves amidst our continued collective fight for equality and non-discrimination. Despite this, we continue to live our lives authentically and openly, showing that our community is stronger when we stand together.
We remain laser-focused on our push for inclusivity, diversity and open dialogue to the lived queer experience, committed to pushing for meaningful change to protect and enhance the well-being of LGBTQIA+ people of Trinidad and Tobago. We have shown and will continue to show that LGBTQIA+ people hold valuable space and deserve to stand in that space without fear of violence and discrimination. We call on our allies and our advocates to look beyond the definition of the term “allyship” and move into action and advocate with and for others.
When we unite, in all our beautiful diversity, we can really bring about change.