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International Day Against Homophobia - May 17

​​​On May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) will be recognized by over 130 countries around the world.

The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia has been celebrated every year on May 17 since 2004. May 17 was specifically chosen to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder. This day draws the attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, social movements, the public and the media to the violence and discrimination experienced by 2SLGBTQ+ people internationally. At the International Conference on LGBT Community Human Rights in 2006, the Declaration of Montreal included a recommendation to host an International Day Against Homophobia on May 17 of each year. Most United Nations agencies also mark the day with specific events.

On April 6, 2020, Egale Canada released its National Survey Results: The Impact of COVID-19 on the LGBTQI2S Community. This report, which was created through an in-kind partnership with INNOVATIVE Research Group, is extremely relevant and timely as it highlights the specific impact that the COVID-19 crisis has on Canada’s LGBTQI2S community. is a website that has a variety of resources and posters from around the world which may also be relevant for members. This site also includes ideas for action under lockdown. 

ETFO continues to advocate for a just society and provide resources, materials, professional development and education that promotes safe spaces and creates awareness. To that end, we have led a concerted lobbying effort of the provincial government to recognize June as LGBTQ Awareness month. Our focus on learning and educating to change attitudes and behaviour about homophobia, transphobia and biphobia has been achieved in numerous ways. Please see our LGBTQ Programs and Initiatives document, which lists all of ETFO’s professional learning opportunities. ETFO also provides materials, resources and curriculum materials to our members.

Other resources that may be of use:

The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA​) is an organization that advocates for LGBTI people’s rights on a global level. Below are the links to recent maps that have been produced about sexual orientation laws around the world:

  • Sexual Orientation Laws in the World - Overview (2019)
  • Sexual Orientation Laws in the World - Recognition (2017)
  • Sexual Orientation Laws in the World - Protection (2017)
  • Sexual Orientation Laws in the World - Criminalisation (2017)

For information on sexual orientation laws around the world, visit the following page on the ILGA website.

Use ETFO’s social media twitter channel @ETFOpink to share International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia messages and events.