As your Director for LGBTQ2+(Pride) members on the PSAC Atlantic Council, I will soon be joining many PSAC members within the Atlantic Provinces and across Canada, and people around the world in recognizing the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. I would like to invite you to join me on this day in celebrating our diversity and bringing attention to the fact that LGBTQ2+ rights are human rights.
The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia is recognized every year on May 17 with events taking place both nationally and internationally. This important date is used to promote human rights for the LGBTQ2+ community and is an opportunity to lobby officials to take action.
The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia finds its history in Germany where May 17 was unofficially dubbed “Gay Day,” also written as 17.5, alluding to the penal code 175 which criminalized homosexuality. Homosexuals were even called “one hundred seventy-fivers.”
May 17 was reclaimed in 2004 and named the International Day Against Homophobia. It became a day to advocate for just public policy for LGBTQ2+ people.
There are over 120 + countries that celebrate May 17 and draw attention to the violence and discrimination that LGBTQ2+ people everywhere face. The atrocities that are still happening around the world against the LGBTQ2+ community are horrific. In some countries members of LGBTQ2+ communities are prosecuted, thrown in jail and even killed because of their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. In the US, the present administration is making life worse for the LGBTQ2+ community and some of those ramifications are being felt here in Canada. I feel with strength in numbers we can keep our community safe.
PSAC Atlantic Director for LGBTQ2+ members