The diversity and strength of rainbow families are at the heart of a wide range of community celebrations marking the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) and International Family Equality Day (IFED) across NSW during May.
IDAHOT takes place every year on May 17, the day in 1990 that homosexuality was removed from the World Health Organisation’s International Classification of Diseases. The day aims to raise awareness of LGBTI rights, and the violence and discrimination that many LGBTI people throughout the world continue to experience. Established in 2012, IFED is held annually in early May to promote pride and equality for all families worldwide.
Given the proximity of dates and shared values, IDAHOT and IFED have joined forces this year to come up with the theme Love Makes A Family, with events being held between IFED on May 7 to IDAHOT on May 17.
Recognising the significance of days like IDAHOT and IFED, NSW’s leading LGBTI health organisation ACON has provided a series of small grants to community groups and organisations to help them undertake activities that focuses attention on the impact LGBTI discrimination and prejudice has on rainbow families.
Due to a large number of strong applications, ACON awarded 13 grants instead of the usual 10. There is a strong regional presence in 2017 with 10 grants awarded to events outside of Sydney. This year also marks the first time that IDAHOT events in Albury, Deniliquin and the Blue Mountains have been funded. Among the events and activities being held from all around NSW include family BBQs, rainbow rope-weaving workshops, bingo, art exhibitions, camping and storytelling nights.
ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill says IDAHOT and IFED events are vital in ensuring visibility for LGBTI communities in both metro and regional areas.
“We were excited to see a diverse range of applications for IDAHOT and IFED events this year,” Mr Parkhill says. “The grants committee was pleased to see a variety of events for LGBTI people with a number of activities for rainbow families.”
Mr Parkhill says commemorating IDAHOT is a great way for the community to promote social inclusion and unity and, with the involvement of IFED this year, provides a timely opportunity to celebrate the strength and diversity of rainbow families.
“Over the past few decades there has been an increase in the number of LGBTI people having children and forming strong and loving family units. Sometimes these families experience challenges when interacting with mainstream systems and, for example, can experience discrimination in the provision of day care and health services,” Mr Parkhill says.
“Recognising and legitimising family structures that don’t necessarily fit into a heteronormative framework, including chosen and rainbow families, is imperative in ensuring equality of access to services and benefits afforded to all Australian families.”
Rainbow Families received a grant to hold a community fete in St Peters in Sydney’s inner west. Rainbow Families co-chair Ashley Scott said their grant will help raise the visibility and importance of same-sex families.
“The message of IFED and IDAHOT has never been more important – all families have value,” Mr Scott says. “Our event will showcase the vibrancy of our community and just how committed we are to fighting for equality and acceptance. ACON has always been at the forefront of the fight for equality in our community and we are proud to partner with them to celebrate our families.”
For more on IDAHOT, visit: dayagainsthomophobia.org
For more on IFED, visit: internationalfamilyequalityday.org
For more information please contact:
David Alexander, ACON Media and Communications Officer
E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: +61 (02) 9206 2044 M: +61 (0)428 477 042