Actions for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia 2014 took place across the country in more than ten towns and cities. Local authorities and community allies flew the rainbow flag up and down the country, roundtable discussion events were held, as well as film screenings, barbecues, art projects, installations and exhibitions, theatre performances and many more kinds of events. Just some of them are captured in this country report for IDAHOT 2014 in Australia.
World Love for IDAHOT 2014!
Participants of the group IDAHOT Sydney and Pride in Colours organised a major participatory art project & exhibition called out for contributions from people worldwide. Commemorating Freedom of Expression, the ‘World Love’ project invited people to send in the word for love in their own language, to form a short 3-minute video, shared online for the IDAHOT 2014.
The project was created to bring hope and create awareness that all LOVE is equal and beautiful. For more info you can contact Nick Baldas, creator of the project, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The finished video is now available to watch here:
The Freedom Stories
A powerful new series of short films called The Freedom Stories was also launched in the week of IDAHOT 2014. Produced by ReachOut.com and LGBTI community health project ACON, the short films highlight the experiences of LGBTQI youth and aim to inspire and give hope.
Comedian Rhys Nicholson, who appears in one of the films, said “I remember being very disappointed to discover that after coming out, nothing really changed in my life. This thing that I had agonised and stressed over for so long was suddenly just a mundane fact. So this is a video about that… with swearing and innuendo. Everyone likes swearing and innuendo right?”
You can watch the films here:
To learn more about the project, visit ACON’s website.
The Darebin Intercultural Centre hosted the event ‘Sexuality, Culture and Identity: exploring the connections’, on May 15, 2014. The event featured a screening of the short animation film In My Shoes, produced by the Centre for Multicultural Youth. Guest speaker Alyena Mohummadally also started a conversation around sexual and gender diversity in various communities. See the website for more details.
In Melbourne, communities came together for the IDAHOBIT 2014, in the form of a fundraiser event on May 16, in support of the (Re)framing Gender project. This initiative was created in March 2014 by YGLAM Queer Youth Theatre, with support from Ygender, to support young gender diverse and trans* communities, in and around the Darebin area, in meeting and discussing issues around gender diversity.
The event featured live music, poetry, puppetry, visual art, zine and art stalls and free food. Bitch Please, Trans Woman Distro and Possum Parcel had stalls, and featured performers included:
– YGLAM queer youth theatre group
– Tonié Field, ARIA-winning classical guitarist
– Geryon, lo-fi dream-pop and intricate loops
– Nicolette Forte, roots singer
– Fury, poet
– Ashley Ihasz (Crumbles), singer/songwriter
– Mick Roe, performer/writer
– Coral Ceto, aquatica/folk duo
– Sally Goldner, spoken word and stand-up comedian
The event took place at Northcote Town Hall, and the facebook event is here.
Hobson’s Bay City Council hosted a Premiere of the film
WESTANDPROUD as well as a flag raising ceremony, in commemoration of the IDAHOBIT 2014. The event was held at the Sun Theatre in the district of Yarraville, in the Melbourne area, on Monday May 19th.
Mayor Cr Sandra Wilson and keynote speaker and author Daniel Witthaus officially opened the event at 7.15pm.
The WESTANDPROUD project documents the lived-experiences of gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, intersex and queer (GLBTIQ) individuals living in Melbourne’s Western Region and aims to expand understandings of local history, by incorporating the voices of GLBTIQ people, who have often been excluded from traditional narratives.
The lives and stories of eight individuals are documented through a series of short films by film maker Caitlin Byran, writer and producer of independent short film ‘The Outside Light’ which was selected to screen at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival and the St Kilda Film Festival 2013, as well as a number of international film festivals.
In the morning of May 19, there will also be a IDAHOBIT flag raising ceremony where everyone can attend. This event began in 2004 and marks the IDAHOBIT as the international day for taking action for a prejudice-free world regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.
Communities also came together for a flag raising ceremony, speeches and morning tea on Monday May 19th, at the Civic Parade, in the Altona district.
The organisers said that “Supporting and acknowledging IDAHOBIT is one step forward in strengthening human rights for everyone regardless of their sexual orientation, sex or gender identity. It symbolises our support for and commitment to reducing the barriers faced by GLBTIQ people in our communities.”
For more details see this page or the Hobsons Bay City Council website.
In Shepparton, a two-day celebration of IDAHOT 2014 took place, Friday May 16 – Saturday May 17.
The event featured: FREE BBQ 12 noon – 2pm each day; Live local performing artists; Art/Craft activities; Rainbow umbrellas & merchandise for sale; Community mosaicing project; Leave your messages of love & support on our pink make-shift wall; Flag-raising ceremony.
Daniel Witthaus from the National Institute for Challenging Homophobia Education (NICHE) also launched the ‘oi!’ to challenge rural homophobia campaign. The ‘oi!’ campaign aims to give people in rural communities simple strategies to challenge everyday homophobia and to start everyday conversations about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people.
‘We can challenge rural homophobia one ‘oi!’ at a time,’ say the creators of the project, which is organised by the Diversity Project Greater Shepparton and supported by various organisations & businesses, including UnitingCare Cutting Edge, Greater Shepparton City Council, headspace, The Bridge Youth Services, Word and Mouth, Berry Street, Goulburn Valley Pride, Mooroopna Cares, No Bullying, and more.
Wyndham City has proudly supported the Day over the past several years by raising the Rainbow flag and inviting the whole community to take a stand against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.
The event was held on Friday May 16, 2014, at the Wyndham City Civic Centre, and launched
two exciting projects: Safe Schools Coalition Victoria (SSCV) launched the new SSCV project ‘Gender is not Uniform’ campaign, and Transgender Victoria and YGender also launched a trans and gender diverse youth project called ‘What makes an Ally?’.
For more details see the Wyndham City website.
In Bunbury, the True Colours peer support group launched a the project ‘Pledge for a Safe Community’. As a part of the IDAHOT 2014 commemorations, young people from the True Colours peer support group in Bunbury asked local government, civil society organisations and the wider community to sign a pledge of support against homophobia and transphobia. By signing a pledge of support, agencies and individuals commit to be actively involved in promoting a safer and more inclusive community for people experiencing diversity in sexuality and/or gender.
You can find out more about the Pledge on the South West Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia page.
The focus was on ‘Fair Go Sport’ in Ballarat, as Zaque and Ballarat Basketball teams worked together, with local LGBTI communities, to celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia 2014. Both the RUSH and MINER players wore rainbow coloured socks during their home game on May 17th to raise awareness. There were also guest speakers at the game, and announcements made throughout the evening, as well as stalls with rainbow pins, stickers and umbrellas to buy. The event took place at MINERDOME Sports Club, Wendouree, Ballarat, Victoria, on May 17, 2014.