School of Global Studies


International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

Global Studies marks International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) with a year-long programme of events to critically examine the prevalence and effects of bigotry and prejudice on queer lives.

The theme for this year's IDAHOT, a campaign that has been running internationally for many years, is ‘Families’ – focusing on love, connection, fissure and rupture in the context of queer and other non-heteronormative experiences of kinship. 

Such issues are ever more salient in global context. The advance of conservative voices concerning family and rights in intentional policy contexts presents significant challenges to the recognition of diverse forms of gender and sexual relatedness. Family, in such terms, performs as a boundary – a limit to inclusivity. Conversely, in other international contexts queer familial forms present new opportunities for recognition and rights on grounds of sexual and gender diversity.

This may not be news to many people of bisexual, queer and transgender experience, for whom family might always already be especially characterized by complex belongings and exclusions. The notion of family anyway implies circumscription; there are those within and those without – whether the boundaries of any given familial form are marked by blood or choice. 

For a School of Global Studies, thinking about family is an intrinsic challenge. How do we inscribe family within global scales of analysis? How do we pay attention to the fractal, or queer, nature of familial experience in our teaching and research, beyond holistic models of kinship? And how might we meet the promulgation of normative familial forms in contemporary international policy, politics and geographies, especially where the inclusion or expurgation of queer subjects might perform as a marker for progressive and violent mandates – by states and other agents?

Such issues present conceptual and practical challenges for a school with a global outlook. Seeking to integrate such concerns into our research and pedagogy opens wider questions about the normative nature of curricula, institutional equality and diversity, and student experience.

With these concerns in mind The School of Global Studies is taking this year’s International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia to launch a new initiative. Our aim is to open new spaces – within the school and beyond - through which to explore the potentialities for diverse understandings of gender and sexuality. We aim to extend the themes and focus of IDAHOT beyond one day of remembrance alone - seeking to engender ongoing critical reflections and engagements into our work and the broader social world of the academy. As such our initiative will involve dialogues between students, faculty, non-academic staff and visiting speakers. 

During the 2017-18 academic year we will host a number of symposia and workshops, each designed to initiate conversation from the viewpoint of non-cis gendered, non-heteronormative experience, at global scales and within our daily practices. This initiative will be led by Paul Boyce ( 

 Events will be announced at the beginning of the next academic year, and we invite you to join us.