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International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia 

On May 17, the University of Toronto community recognizes the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOTB). Proposed in 2004 and launched the following year, the date of 17 May was specifically chosen by the grassroots May17.org committee to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder. The day is a global celebration of sexual and gender diversities. IDAHOTB has gathered momentum and support worldwide with the day being recognized in over 130 countries, more than a quarter of which still criminalize same-sex acts.

The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia is a day to celebrate sexual and gender diversity and to condemn the discrimination, violence, and stigma that members of 2SLGBTQ+ communities continue to experience in Canada and globally. Every year, there is a theme determined for IDAHOTB by the May17.org team. The theme for 2024 is No one left behind: equality, freedom and justice for all". Decided during extensive consultations with LGBTIQ organizations from across the world, the theme will allow for advocacy and celebrations in many forms – be it from human rights defenders, LGBTIQ civil society groups, millions of people in our communities, and our allies.

About IDAHOTB 2024

Theme: "No one left behind: equality, freedom and justice for all"

In the last few years, transgender people around the world have been subject to dehumanizing, demonizing, and damaging rhetoric. This rhetoric is accompanied by record-breaking numbers of anti-trans laws being passed to limit trans people’s access to healthcare, educational supports, washroom spaces, and other facets of public life.

At U of T, we continue to affirm that our campuses are places for 2SLGBTQ+ students, staff, faculty, and librarians. Our diverse 2SLGBTQ+ communities are an integral part of our campus life. We have employee resource groups, student clubs, as well as programs and events run by the SGDO, student life and engagement, residences, and college/faculty student groups. Learn more about campus groups serving 2SLGBTQ+ folks.

Resources combatting transphobia

A spotlight on: Trans people in sport

Sports have been one site of tension and “debate” over trans people’s inclusion. Myths and disinformation about trans people – and trans girls and women in particular – have been spread to justify the rollback in the rights and access of trans people to participate in public life. Further, trans exclusion efforts in sport often rely on sexist and misogynistic stereotypes.

  • The Re-Creation Collective has put together a resource titled “Trans Inclusion in Sport: Countering Misinformation with Research.” This project compiles research-based evidence to combat misinformation and myths. U of T’s Dr. Janelle Joseph and Dr. Tricia McGuire-Adams are leaders on the project, working to operationalize equity, intersectionality, and inclusion in sport.
  • The Re-Creation Collective has also compiled this great list of Resources for Trans-Affirming Sport, including videos and podcasts, inclusive sports organizations, and examples of sports organizations and policies that are trans-inclusive and trans-affirming.
  • The Canadian Non-Binary Youth in Sport Report explores the needs and experiences of non-binary youth in sport, including non-binary youth participation in and avoidance of sports, as well as discrimination and harassment. This report was developed as a part of Martha Gumprich’s MSc thesis, in partnership with TransConnect, a health and community program serving gender-diverse and 2Spirit people in BC.

Previous Years

Theme: "Together always: united in diversity"

The SGDO co-presented the Angela Hildyard Leadership Symposium for senior University of Toronto leaders focused on 2SLGBTQ+ inclusion within post-secondary settings. The event featured a keynote address by Dr. Lee Airton, followed by a panel featuring Fae Johnstone, Dr. Lance McCready and Seán Kinsella moderated by Dr. Tara Goldstein. Learn more about the event.

Theme: "Our Bodies. Our Lives. Our Rights."

The SGDO, in collaboration with the Indigenous Centre at UTM, UTSC Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Office, and the UTM Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Office, hosted an event titled "Our Bodies. Our Lives. Our Rights. A Conversation Featuring Keith McCrady and Monica Forrester" to mark the day. Keith McCrady, Executive Director of 2-Spirited People of the 1st Nations organization, and Monica Forrester, founder of Trans Pride Toronto, are powerful advocates and educators within and outside of 2SLGBTQ+ communities.

We have made available a recording of the conversation between Keith and Monica who shared their knowledge, wisdom, and experiences about the issues that continue for the 2SLGBTQ+ communities that they serve and the ongoing work that is needed to promote self-determination, equity, and well-being.