May 16, 2022

IDAHOBIT Day: Wear a rainbow tomorrow

Tomorrow is IDAHOBIT Day. IDAHOBIT stands for International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia.

The day is celebrated across Australia, where we get to take a stand against discrimination and support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer and asexual (LGBTIQA+) people.

IDAHOBIT Day acknowledges 17 May 1990, when the World Health Organization (WHO) removed homosexuality as a mental disorder in the International Classification of Disease (ICD).

Christine Nicolaidis, Chair of the Rainbow Working Group Committee states, “Although we have come a long way since then, people who form part of the LGBTIQA+ community still experience discrimination. Research indicates 75 per cent of LGBTQIA+ youth have experienced some form of discrimination, and 77 per cent of trans and gender diverse people report being discriminated against in the past 12 months.”

“This discrimination leads to poorer health outcomes, including mental health. In fact, 39 per cent of LGBTQIA+ people have experienced depression in the past 12 months, compared to 6.2 per cent of the general population.”

“Sexuality and gender identity aren’t always visible, so creating a culture where everyone feels safe is important. We want to create a space where staff, consumers and families at Northern Health are respected and celebrated for who they are.”

Dr Paul Howat, Divisional Director, Women’s and Children’s Services says, “For me, IDAHOBIT is a day of celebration. When I was 18 and a first year medical student, being gay was punishable by a jail term in Victoria. Now we can get married, and we no longer have to hide our personal lives.”

“I’ve always felt welcomed at Northern right from day one, and proud to bring my full self to work and be accepted. However, there is still a long way to go, and our trans brothers and sisters are under threat and at high risk of self-harm. Let’s be a kind community and care for each other.”

Christine says, “It is important for us to continue to work towards building an inclusive and safe space so our staff, patients and community know that Northern Health is a place where you will be treated equitably and fairly, and be celebrated for who you are.”

If you would like to join the working group, please reach out to Christine on or 8405 8084.

To show their support for IDAHOBIT Day, staff are encouraged to wear a rainbow ribbon, pin or piece of clothing tomorrow.

Featured image shows Northern Health staff marching at the Pride March in 2021.