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Sussex marks International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia

The University is marking International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) on Wednesday 17 May.

17 May commemorates the day in 1990 the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from its list of mental diseases.

We asked some people at Sussex what the day means to them:

Dr. Cassandra Churchwell, Technical Services Manager (MPS)

“IDAHOBIT is important to me personally because I identify as a trans woman. While I have not experienced any overt negative behaviour here at the University, I have experienced some less pleasant situations in town. Anything which helps to raise the profile in a positive way of these marginalized groups and to help educate the public about what being trans means is important and greatly appreciated.” 

Daniel Vince-Archer, BMEC Information Coordinator and co-chair of the Sussex LGBT+ staff network

 “As a gay man living in Brighton and working at Sussex, it would be easy for me to be complacent about attitudes towards sexuality. IDAHOBIT is an opportunity to raise awareness of the challenges that LGBT+ individuals and communities are faced with here and elsewhere – and a reminder of the importance of defending hard-won freedoms and taking nothing for granted.”

Chris Lewis, LGBT+ Students Officer at the Students’ Union

“This seems like a great idea, an opportunity to highlight the fact that people are still subject to Homopobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. I'm really optimistic that this day can raise awareness.

“This particular day needs to be publicised a great deal more. As of yet, I haven't met anyone who knew it was actually a thing - both inside and outside the LGBTQ+ community. So I'm very glad and proud of the Union and University for making an effort on this.”

Henry Tee, Incoming Trans & Non-Binary Students Officer at the Students’ Union

“The international day against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia is an example of how far we have come with educating and making these issues visible to everyone. But it also shows how far we have yet to go, giving us courage to carry on with our campaigns for LGBTQ+ rights.”

In Brighton

The day is being marked in Brighton with an ‘alfresco evening of LGBT excellence’ at The Sanctuary in Dorset Gardens Methodist Church (BN2 1RL) from 6.00 pm - 7.00 pm. More information.

The event, hosted by volunteers of the Brighton & Hove LGBT Community Safety Forum, will include:

  • live performances from The Rainbow Chorus & AJ Paterson
  • poetry from Alice Denny
  • a minute's 'noise' to remember the international victims of homo, bi and transphobic violence; (so bring a whistle, horn, bell, tambourine, trombone etc. to make some noise)
  • refreshments provided by Lunch Positive
  • guest Speakers include; Rev Michael Hydes, Sgt Peter Allan, Peter Kyle MP, Cllr Phelim McCafferty, Cllr Warren Morgan and the Mayor of Brighton & Hove, Cllr Pete West


IDAHOBIT is being marked in the Indian state of Manipur by the All Manipur Nupi Manbi Association (AMaNA) - a non-profit organisation dedicated to fighting for the rights of the state’s LGBT community. AMaNA is supported by the Sussex Social Science Impact Fund, which is exploring LGBT wellbeing issues and employment rights in Manipur. Read details of the event.

To mark IDAHOBIT, the UN Human Rights Office in New York has launched a new UN Free & Equal mini-campaign that explores the role that culture and tradition play in the lives of lesbian, gay, bi, trans and intersex people around the world. The #CultureOfLove campaign features three short videos that show what it looks like when culture and tradition are opened to LGBTI people.

Join the Sussex LGBT+ staff network

The University's LGBT+ staff network seeks to increase awareness and understanding of LGBT issues.
You can find out more on Twitter and Facebook, or by emailing lgbt-staff@sussex.ac.uk.

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Posted on behalf of: University of Sussex
Last updated: Wednesday, 17 May 2017