UFCW Canada commemorates International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexphobia & Transphobia – May 17

International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexphobia & Transphobia – May 17May 17 marks the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexphobia & Transphobia (IDAHOBIT). Created in 2004, IDAHOBIT seeks to raise awareness of the discrimination and violence that is experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, and two-spirit (LGBTQI2S) persons around the world. The commemorative date of May 17 also coincides with the 1990 World Health Organization (WHO) decision to declassify homosexuality as a mental illness. 

From a global perspective, Canada is a leader in supporting IDAHOBIT. In fact, IDAHOBIT originated with Fondation Èmergence in Quebec and received unanimous support at the 2006 Declaration of Montreal on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Human Rights. Internationally, IDAHOBIT is observed in over 130 countries and is commemorated by United Nations agencies and a multitude of organizations worldwide.

Each year on this date, UFCW Canada affirms our commitment to LGBTQI2S rights for all workers and their communities. Our union believes that LGBTQI2S rights are human rights, and that defending the rights of all workers means ensuring the workplace is free from violence, harassment, and any actions that undermine the rights of LGBTQI2S workers.

Close to half of all LGBTQI2S people remain closeted in Canadian workplaces. In recognizing and calling out comments or actions that are homophobic, transphobic, or heterosexist in nature, we can do our part to protect LGBTQI2S persons in the workplace. And in situating our struggles within international activism, we can strengthen our collective voices in taking a stand against LGBTQI2S violence. We must also uphold the resilience of LGBTQI2S activists who continue to defend these rights in more than 72 countries where same-sex relations and gender expression remain criminalized by law.

IDAHOBIT presents an opportunity to support the work of LGBTQI2S organizations working to advance equality in Canada and around the world, including UFCW Canada’s national partner, the Egale Canada Human Rights Trust,and our international partner, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association (ILGA)

For more information on our union’s efforts to advance LGBTQI2S rights, visit UFCW Canada’s “Supporting LGBTQI2S Rights” webpage, and be sure to check out our work with UFCW’s constituency group for LGBTQ12S issues and advocacy, UFCW OUTreach.