Happy National Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia! (Someone really should come up with a catchier name).
May 17th was chosen to celebrate gender and sexual diversity after the WHO declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder on 17 May 1990. While acceptance of human diversity has made slow progress over the years and 43 countries now recognise homophobic crimes as hate crimes, 70 countries worldwide still criminalise consensual sexual acts between same sex couples held in private, 9 of which execute those they find to have had same sex activity, including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen. Life for many people who do not fit the arbitrary mould of what is considered acceptable in these places is made very difficult in order to flatter the prejudices of those who fear even slight differences between people. Violence against trans people alone claims hundreds of lives every year.
This prejudice and persecution is well known to all those who are racially, religiously, cognitively or sexually different from the majority of those around them. Many people are a victim of their own fears and believe the rest of the world is at fault for not conforming to their narrow view of what is ‘normal’. Sadly, this seems all to be part of what it is to be human.
You can find out more and follow current concerns and trends on the May17.org website.