International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia & Transphobia (IDAHOBIT)

Celebrating LGBTQIA+ people

International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia & Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) celebrates LGBTQIA+ people globally, and raises awareness for the work still needed to combat discrimination.



IDAHOBIT is a time to celebrate the resilience of LGBTQIA+ communities, to reach out and check in with the LGBTQIA+ people in your life, while recognising as Allies that we must play an important and active part in the fight against discrimination.

What does IDAHOBIT mean to you?

Tierney Marey

IDAHOBIT for me is a day of visibility and advocacy. It provides an opportunity to showcase the resilience of the LGBTQIA+ community but also to acknowledge the ongoing, systemic, and pervasive discrimination faced by members of our community and advocate for meaningful change.  

I acknowledge this day both publicly and privately, I typically publicly will highlight the importance of the day and encourage colleagues and friends to show their support in the way that feels most impactful to them. Privately, I usually check in on those in my network, take the opportunity to refresh my knowledge or broaden my understanding of a particular challenge, and offer support to LGBTQIA+ organisations.  

How do you think we can all be better Allies?

I think ongoing education is key to meaningful change. I would encourage those in the UNSW community to seek out new knowledge, or refresh existing knowledge, through the various trainings and resources available to them both internally and externally.  

I'd also suggest practicing, and building capacity, to have difficult conversations, so you feel confident and well equipped to take your allyship into real world contexts. This may mean effectively correcting someone who is using another person's pronouns incorrectly, developing your own 'phrase bank' to challenge discriminatory behaviour in the workplace and putting it to use, or addressing a gap in inclusion that you've noticed but never raised. This kind of allyship can feel harder than public displays of support, and is often invisible, but when appropriately informed and thoughtfully considered can have incredible results.  

Tierney Marey (She/Her) 
Manager - Student Experience, UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture

Ally@UNSW copy over the UNSW rainbow
Professor Timothy O'Leary

It is crucial to continue to hold events such as IDAHOBIT because deeply ingrained prejudice against LGBTQIA+ people still exists and continues to negatively affect people’s lives. To fight that prejudice it is really important that Allies publicly show support for LGBTQIA+ colleagues, students, friends and family. 

What works?

Displaying the UNSW rainbow flag in your office or on your desk & using the Ally@UNSW digital signature on your emails. 

For example, a person at UNSW came to me to ask how ‘gay friendly’ is a city I used to live in. I was very happy to give them advice on this, especially because I don’t believe they would have been comfortable asking the question if they hadn’t seen the Ally@UNSW signature in my emails. 

Professor Timothy O’Leary (he/him),  
Head of the School of Humanities & Languages, Gender Champion 

Rebecca has brown hair and is wearing a checked blazer

I try to understand the lived experience of trans and gender diverse colleagues a bit more by seeking out their stories. I have just finished All About Yves by Yves Rees and it raised many things I had never thought about as a cis person. 

Rebecca Martin (she/her) 
Governance Officer, Division of EDI 

I think we need to be more out, we need to speak out. I’ve started to share with my supervisors in our weekly meetings things like my participation ally@UNSW workshop and becoming a member of the committee, as well as the award Fruits From Brazil got in Mardi Gras this year. As an Engineering PhD student, this may seem absolutely unrelated to the research at first glance, but their positive interactions regarding the presentation of these facts has made me feel so much more welcome. I think that we need to be making this part of our lives alive, because it is about occupying our own spaces in the way that we truly are, and we need to be acknowledged in this way. 

Ina Oestroem (she/they)  
Scientia PhD Researcher, School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering (SPREE), Faculty of Engineering  

More information

Since 2008, UNSW has built a network of students and staff who pledge to take a proactive stance against discrimination based on diverse genders, sexes and sexualities.