In recognition of our college’s celebration of IDAHOBIT, the Trinity College GSA consisting of Jasper Garner, Gabby Tabain, Rose Jowett-Smith, Loe Le, Rhys Campbell, Shehelah Dassenaike, Charley Woodcock and Lucia Ferris share some fabulous insights into this day, and what it means to them and our broader community.
What is IDAHOBIT?
IDAHOBIT (International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism, and Transphobia) is a day that simultaneously serves as a time to celebrate Pride and queer identity, as well as reflect upon the persecution and discrimination faced by queer people in Australian and international settings. IDAHOBIT signifies the need for reflection on historical mistreatment experienced by LGBTQIA+ people. The date alone carries great significance. It was on 17 May 1990 that homosexuality was removed from the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems by the World Health Organisation. To be gay was no longer considered a health issue but it remains a human rights issue.
Some reflections on IDAHOBIT from our GSA
‘I think, for me, IDAHOBIT has been very specifically a day about identifying what, and who, makes being queer difficult in everyday life. It’s a day to celebrate personal identity, sure, but for me it's been a really important day to acknowledge that prejudices of and discrimination toward queer people is still a very prevalent and daily issue.’ (Loe Le)
‘IDAHOBIT is a really special day for me as a queer person, but it goes deeper than that. Discrimination is something that pretty much any LGBTQI+ person faces at some point, whether it be explicit, internalised, systematic, in the media, or in the law. IDAHOBIT is a day where we can acknowledge the adversity we face as a community, but also celebrate our strength and bravery to collectively live our truth.’ (Rhys Campbell)
Some reflections on allyship and advocacy from our GSA
Allyship can be shown in so many ways. Instagram just added a new feature where you can add your pronouns to your bio (go to ‘edit my profile’). Even if you identify as straight or the gender you were assigned with at birth, chucking your pronouns up or mentioning them when you feel comfortable is a great way to signal, ‘Hey, I acknowledge you and this is an inclusive space.’ Calling things out and making it known that you are open and compassionate to people of identities, genders, and expressions is essential. Often times, you need to be outspoken about your inclusivity so that it does not go unnoticed, and you stand out to people that may need some sanctuary – written by Charley Woodcock.
Adding onto Charley’s wonderful insights, another way you can be a wonderful advocate is through things like buying from brands that actively support LGBTQIA+ individuals (think Lush, Bonds, GC2B, etc), donating regularly to organisations that uplift and empower queer individuals (especially queer BIPOC), ensuring my political engagement reflects my values, signing petitions and showing up to marches, ensuring my queer friends have access to queer spaces, creating safe and open spaces wherever I go, learning about queer issues in local, national and global contexts and investing in queer arts and culture (Midsumma and MQFF are two great ways to do that) – written by Shehelah Dassenaike.
There is unbridled joy in our GSA meetings and a rich sense of community that we’re attempting to open up to the rest of the Trinity community. We would love you all to join us for our upcoming events, initiatives and opportunities for reflection. One of the reflections we’ve come across recently is the notion that being queer isn’t hard – it’s joyful, beautiful, nuanced, diverse, rich with history and struggle, it’s something we take pride in. It’s other people that make being queer hard.
Click here to learn more about IDAHOBIT.