Jayden Brown
Jayden Brown Letea Cavander

Why International Day Against Homophobia is so important


It's something every same-sex attracted person has experienced at some point in their lives.

A snigger in the playground, a look of disgust at two men or two women showing affection, a drop of the F-word - we've all felt the effects of homophobia in our lives.

Today is International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, a day to highlight and take a stand against homophobia in our society.

Some may claim this is merely further pushing the "rainbow agenda".

However, I believe it's important to highlight the progress we've made and the long road to progress that still needs to be taken.

So is it really that bad in Australia?

Yes, we can live our lives without fear of arrest or as in many countries around the world, execution.

But, everyday there is some form of homophobia - some level of exclusion from the "norms" of society, some rights not granted to those of us who for some biological reason beyond our control have an attraction to the same sex.

I will never be able to donate blood, I will never be able to marry and the concept of having children presents a whole heap of legal challenges and loopholes.

Is this fair? Is this equality?

Some will say yes.

Some will argue that society is not homophobic.

But while we continue to have same-sex attracted people treated in a different way in the laws of the land, we will continue to send the message that homophobia and intolerance are acceptable.

We've come a long way from the days when same-sex attraction was treated as a mental illness and people were locked away in psychiatric facilities.

But we've got a long way to go.

Did you know that under Queensland law, I could be murdered tomorrow and the person responsible could have their punishment lowered under an archaic law known as the Gay Panic Defence?

It's sad that in today's society these little hurdles still stand in the path to a true sense of equality and acceptance.

I have friends who decades on still carry a criminal record for homosexual "offences" in Queensland.

One in particular recounted to me how it makes him feel unclean, how it affects his everyday life.

These are the conversations we should be having today.

This is why we have IDAHOT.

As long as we have people hiding who they are out of fear, we will have IDAHOT.

As long as we have young men still called the F-word on the streets, we will have IDAHOT.

Until there is equality in the eyes of the law, in the eyes, hearts and minds of society, we will have IDAHOT.

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