Saturday, May 18, 2013

May 17th was International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia

By Sabrina Samone, TMP

I have to wonder did anyone outside of the LGBTQI and our allies even notice today was IDAHOBIT.  Driving around, flipping through sirus xm radio, no one was talking about it. Flipping the remote, I never heard it mentioned. Did the world stop anywhere and decided to be kind to the LGBT community?  How many in the community even knew it was such a day, our day of respite from hate.

This day of I.D.A.H. & Transphobia is held every year as a rallying event offering an opportunity for people to get together and reach out to one another, many LGBT organizations have been highlighting this day, as a coming together event. We should also start within the community by acknowledging it’s actually IDAHOBIT day, the b for biphobia.  The fact Biphobia was ignored on facebook post, news articles and blogs, only reminds us that even we, the LGBT community have a way to go with phobias. Totally ignoring a group is a form of exclusion.

The main purpose of IDAHOBIT, is to raise awareness, which in turn provides an opportunity to take action in dialogue with the media. Oh the media, those supposedly college educated, unbiased, free speech journalist like those at the Cleveland Plain, whose coverage of the brutal murder of someone’s child, friend, sister, Cemia Acoff began with their title “oddly dressed body found in Olmsted Township pond identified” and continued on a number of occasions to refer to a trans-female as he and him.  Even after outpours from the Trans community, an apology or any corrective language is still being ignored.

Even today on IDAHOBIT day, the global facebook page for the event experienced a vicious attack on their website causing the page to be temporarily inaccessible.  We face this way too often, and I’d like to say what’s good for the goose is good for the gandor and serve it back at them, but fighting ignorance with ignorance only gives birth to morons. Most LGBTI people have to deal with homophobic or transphobic harassment, verbal abuse and many have been physically attacked just for being who they are.  As a result of homophobia and discrimination, LGBT young people are more likely to start using drugs, self harm or attempt suicide.

There is always hope, last year, very few countries have passed legislation on the federal level that would include fully fledged legal recognition of LGBT couples in marriage, adoption, inheritance, workplace protection and insurance rights.  So far this year, several state have joined the ranks of those offering marriage equality, to date the total is 12.  Many states, and proudly my own here in S.C. are working on laws to protect LGBT people from discrimination in the workplace and in housing.

Yet while we hold our hands out for equality and for an end to homophobia, transphobia and biphobia, there are great divides still within the LGBT communities. Transgender people of color not feeling included in the great gender awakening. There are heterosexual Trans people feeling pushed aside by the gay and lesbian transgender community who view any celebration of Trans-female or Trans-male beauty as overtly sexual and therefore a negative. Also Trans-men who feel separated by gender from Trans-women and vice versa.  Sadly there are still Gay and Lesbians in power who view Transgender as a choice, all while screaming they were born this way and I will add sad when the phobia is reversed and those within the Trans community not being open to LG people and cross dressers and all of us seem to have ignored the B and I and Q today. Don’t you think they view that as a form of phobia?

To me, asking for the world to cease Homophobia and Transphobia just seems to be a very steep hill to climb when we’re not totally being honest and inclusive to all within our community.  Obviously it is a great cause and should be supported, but maybe one of the easiest ways to acknowledge the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), is when you head out this weekend to the clubs, bars or any social events with large gatherings of LGBTQIA friends and give a hug, pat on the back or acknowledgement of your support to someone in the community…that is not like you.

Beautiful Videos supporting an end to discrimination, the second being from the Anti-Defamation League and is powerful and moving to imagine, great peace makers of our time still with us.

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