Health organisation ACON has provided a range of grants to support community events and initiatives across NSW to mark IDAHOBIT, the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism, and Transphobia.
IDAHOBIT is held every year on 17 May to mark the day in 1990 that homosexuality was removed from the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases.
The day aims to raise awareness of the ongoing fight for equality and the discrimination that many LGBTIQA+ people throughout the world continue to experience.
The global theme in 2022 is ‘Our Bodies, Our Lives, Our Rights’, drawing attention to the many challenges still facing LGBTIQA+ communities around the world.
In acknowledging the significance of IDAHOBIT, ACON has provided support to local community initiatives through a small grants scheme.
Seventeen grants of up to $1,000 each were given to community groups and organisations throughout the state, with 14 going towards events in regional NSW and three in Greater Western Sydney.
Among the activities are picnics, Indigenous events, themed panel discussions, film festivals, religious celebrations, and fashion shows celebrating LGBTIQA+ diversity.
The grant recipients range from Tropical Fruits in Lismore in the state’s north to Rainbow on the Plains in regional Hay and many places in between.
ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill said that IDAHOBIT events provide a means to foster community connection in both metropolitan and regional areas.
“With recent studies we’ve conducted along with our work in Greater Western Sydney and throughout regional NSW, we know that there are still high levels of racism, discrimination, violence, and harassment directed towards our communities,” said Parkhill.
“In response, ACON is proud to work with local communities to increase the visibility of [LGBTIQA+] people and bring attention to these important issues via our grants program.
“As always, the grants committee was pleased to see applications from a variety of emerging and existing [LGBTIQA+] community groups outside of metro Sydney, as well as established service providers who are all focused on engaging local communities and fostering community leadership and action.
“ACON is proud to work with our partners in celebrating the rich diversity of our vibrant communities in NSW.
“As we mark and celebrate [IDAHOBIT], we are given a chance to reflect on the importance of speaking up for equality and inclusion, giving our communities a voice, and creating safe spaces where diversity can be embraced and celebrated.”