International Day Against Homophobia
The International Day Against Homophobia is an annual thematic event occurring every May 17. This is a unifying moment during which a great number of activities are taking place. It also represents an opportunity to organize educational and awareness activities. Citizens from all walks of life are invited to reflect on homophobia and its devastating effects.
Homophobia is an insidious process that channels its effects through subtle, even disguised, ways. No one is safe from hostile manifestations of homosexuality. Like other forms of discrimination and intolerance such as racism, sexism or anti-Semitism, homophobia has important, sometimes devastating, repercussions for its victims.
May 17th is symbolic due to its significance in improving the status of gays and lesbians. In removing homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses on a May 17, the World Health Organization (WHO) put an end to over a century of homophobia in the medical field. IDAHO organization proposed this date for annually holding a day set aside to fight homophobia. The Declaration of Montréal (July 29, 2006), borne out of the International Conference on LGBT Rights that preceded the first World Out Games, recommended the worldwide recognition of an International Day Against Homophobia on May 17 of each year.