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International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia

Saturday May 17th marks the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) with the aim to raise awareness of hate crime against lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGB&T) people and to encourage reporting of hate crime.

IDAHOBIT was created in 2004 to draw the attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, social movements, the public and the media to the violence and discrimination experienced by LGBTI people internationally.

Since then the Day has grown in both scope and depth. In 2013, actions around the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia took place in almost 120 countries. In the United Kingdom alone in 2013, almost 200 events took place around the Day, whilst in Brazil just under 120 events were registered one month before May 17.

In short, in under a decade, the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia has established itself the single most important date for LGBTI communities to mobilise on a worldwide scale.

The International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia is not one centralised campaign; rather it is amoment that everyone can take advantage of to take action.

The date of May 17th was specifically chosen to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder.

The International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia has received official recognition from several States and such international institutions as the European Parliament, and by countless local authorities. Most United Nations agencies also mark the Day with specific events.

One of the activities planned for the day is being managed by ‘The Pansy Project’, set up by artist and guerilla gardener Paul Harfleet, shops are encouraged to plant a single pansy where hate crimes have taken place as an act of peaceful protest and remembrance. Lush Cosmetics Ltd is presenting a day of guerilla gardening and freedom of expression at their Bristol store along with other branches in Brighton and London.

More can be found out about The Pansy Project on their website

Also in the city on Saturday 17th, Bristol Youth Links, the LGBT youth wing for Bristol City Council has organised a number of activities at The Station, opposite the Bridewell Police Station in Bristol city centre, between 12.15pm and 3.15pm including performances by Sing Out Bristol, the south west’s award-winning LGBT community choir, as well as a number of speakers, including Daryn Carter who is the organiser of this year’s Bristol Pride. Daryn will be talking about the arrangements for Pride week in July. Avon & Somerset Police’s LGBT Liaison team will also be supporting the event.

Sgt Helen Riddell who is one of Avon and Somerset Police’s LGBT Liaison officers said: “We are looking forward to supporting other LGBT groups in Bristol as we mark this important global day.

“As well as the activities at The Station, people will be able to take advantage of the sunny weather predicted this weekend, as there will also be a flashmob event outside the cosmetics shop Lush in Broadmead at 11.30am on Saturday. They are asking for people to wear something purple, which is the theme colour for IDAHOT, to show their support.

Also in Bristol, The Cooperative, Stoke Lane, Westbury-On-Trym are supporting Bristol Pride and marking IDAHOT day with 2 fundraising events. On Friday 16th, The Coop and Venue 35 are putting on a special fundraising quiz at Venue 35, Stoke Lane, BS9 3RW from 7pm. £2 entry per person, up to a maximum of 5 people per team rounds include General Knowledge,Sports, TV & Film, Music Round & Many more….

On IDAHOT day itself The Cooperative in Stoke Lane & Stoke Lane Local Businesses are raising awareness of IDAHOT DAY and funds for Bristol Pride instore from 10am – 1pm with Face Painting, Raffle, BBQ, Cake Sale, Book Sale & Goodie Bags

Meanwhile further afield, The Lesbian & Gay Foundation based in Manchester has got together with the Village Bakers for ‘Bake The Rainbow, Share The Rainbow’ ,  and here are the Village Bakers demonstrating how to make Chocolate Brownies