Just a handful of the many reasons Pride still matters
Pride is still hugely important for an abundance of reasons, many of which are obvious and probably experienced by many folk reading this at a regular enough frequency for it to go without saying.
Setting aside the rapidly increasing legislative attacks on LGBTQ+ rights in both the US and UK; in several parts of the world, being openly LGBTQ+ is still against the law. In others, punishable by death.
International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) is observed annually on May 17, just before many parts of the world mark Pride Month, in June.
The day had been originally known as International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO), but biphobia, intersex discrimination and transphobia were later added to form the more inclusive ‘IDAHOBIT’.
In 1990, on May 17, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder, so on that date annually we commemorate IDAHOBIT, with an aim to highlight the violence, discrimination and repression experienced by LGBTQ+ people all over the world.
First established in 2004, by 2016 the commemorations were being marked by more than 130 countries, including 37 where same-sex acts are still illegal.
Where in the world?
As of 2022, according to the Human Dignity Trust, 71 nations still criminalise private, consensual, same-sex sexual activity. The majority of these jurisdictions explicitly criminalise sex between men via ‘sodomy’, ‘buggery’ and ‘unnatural offences’ laws.
43 criminalise private, consensual sexual activity between women using laws against ‘lesbianism’, ‘sexual relations with a person of the same sex’ and ‘gross indecency’.
11 countries – Afghanistan, Brunei, Darussalam, Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen – retain the death penalty for LGBTQ+ people, according to ILGA Asia. Eight of those countries are in Asia.
At least 6 of these implement the death penalty – Iran, Northern Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen – and the death penalty is a legal possibility in Afghanistan, Brunei, Mauritania, Pakistan, Qatar and UAE.
15 jurisdictions criminalise the gender identity and/or expression of transgender people, according to the Human Dignity Trust. They do so using so-called ‘cross-dressing’, ‘impersonation’ and ‘disguise’ laws. In many more countries transgender people are targeted by a range of laws that criminalise same-sex activity and vagrancy, hooliganism and public order offences.
Ajita Banerjie, Research Officer at ILGA Asia, said in a 2022 statement, “The reports of human rights violations against the LGBTIQ community from war-torn areas and countries with authoritarian regimes are extremely troubling, especially given that actual data on these inhumane incidents of violence and torture may never be known.”
“The clampdown on human rights reporting and activism under these regimes makes it nearly impossible to understand the gravity and extent of these violations.”
In the US.
Alongside the slew of anti-LGBTQ+ laws passing through state legislature, such as Florida’s so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law and similar interpretations in other states, 45% of LGBTQ youth in the US seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, a 2022 study by The Trevor Project found. It’s the third consecutive year that rates of suicidal ideation have increased among LGBTQ youth, according to findings.
In 2021, the Human Rights Campaign tracked a record number of violent fatal incidents against transgender and gender non-conforming people — with 50 fatalities tracked.
Sadly, 2022 has already seen at least 14 transgender people fatally shot or killed by other violent means. We say “at least” because too often these stories go unreported — or misreported. In previous years, the majority of these people were Black and Latinx transgender women.
For more information, visit Human Rights Campaign.
In the UK.
Alongside Government failure to deliver a trans-inclusive ban on conversion therapy for all LGBTQ+ people, plus the already under-moderated arena of social media becoming increasingly volatile for queer, particularly trans and gender-nonconforming folk….
In 2021, police recorded 14,670 homophobic hate crimes between January and August- around 3,000 more than the same period in 2020.
The same year, data obtained by Vice shows that homophobic hate crime reports in the UK has tripled and the number of transphobic hate crime reports has quadrupled over the last six years.
The plethora of continued risks faced by so many in society in 2022 is why it’s as important as ever that, where safe and possible to do so, we all show our Pride this Summer.
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#IDAHOBIT is a time to reflect on the long way we have to go until the rights of all #LGBT people are protected and defended. Did you know 71 jurisdictions still criminalise private, consensual, same-sex sexual activity? For more info. visit our map: https://t.co/W8vifRqm89
— Human Dignity Trust (@HumanDignityT) May 17, 2022