International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia (IDAHOT)
Commemoration, Update and Call to Action: May 17, 2014
On May 17, 1990, the World Health Assembly of the World Health Organization approved the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD 10), which no longer listed homosexuality as a diagnosis. Launched in 2004, the International Day Against Homophobia commemorating that day has become a global occasion to educate about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, and to advocate for sensible public policies regarding LGBT people.
Now called the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), it has caught on widely as an international opportunity for individuals, groups and organizations anywhere to do anything they wish to mark the day. The IDAHOT website features numerous action ideas and reports detailing the wide range of activities from years past.
Each year has a different theme around which new resources and ideas for actions are developed. The theme for 2014 is Freedom of Expression. The aim is to deliver the message that the right to freedom of expression of members of sexual and gender minorities should be universally respected as part of the most fundamental human rights, as is enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And, importantly for LGBT people, the freedom and safety to share their identities leads to better health for them and for society.
How has APA Been Making Every Day an IDAHOT Day?
The APA's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns Office serves as the secretariat for the International Psychology Network for LGBTI Issues, which has made some significant accomplishments including the following:
- A new Strategic Plan, with a mission, vision and four primary goals.
- Letter from national and international psychological organizations urged the president of Uganda not to sign the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
- APA letter to the World Health Organization (PDF, 52KB) with recommendations regarding gender incongruence and sexual orientation for the International Classification of Diseases-11.
- Answers to Your Questions for a Better Understanding of Sexual Orientation & Homosexuality or versión en español. Now in Russian. (PDF, 205KB) (Watch for Arabic and Chinese versions currently in development.)
- Answers to Your Questions About Transgender People, Gender Identity and Gender Expression or versión en español. Now in Russian. (PDF, 140KB) (Watch for Arabic and Chinese versions currently in development.)
What Can Psychologists Do?
IDAHOT creates a valuable opportunity for psychologists to engage in public education activities. The APA's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns Office (LGBTCO) offers a range of resources from informational brochures to APA policy statements to comprehensive reports that can be used to support your efforts. These resources can be used not only on May 17, but year-round. Please let the LGBTCO know of activities you decide to undertake and contact the office if you have questions or need technical assistance. APA resources include the following:
- When LGBT People Face Forced Migration or Torture, What is the Role of Psychology?
- Teach the IDAHO Lesson, which educates students about how homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools creates unsafe environments that lead to negative learning outcomes for all students.
- Read the APA booklet, Just the Facts About Sexual Orientation and Youth: A Primer for Principals, Educators, and School Personnel or en español, which is a featured resource in the IDAHO Lesson.
- APA members may download The Psychology of Sexual Orientation (PDF, 212KB): A Modular Lesson Plan/Teaching Resource for High School Psychology Teachers.
- Visit the IDAHO Facebook pages to read postings, add your own and "like" and "share" the page: International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia — the Global page.
Related APA Resources
- Public Interest Directorate blog posts:
- Resources for legislative advocacy and working with the media.
- LGBT Concerns and International Psychology.
- International Psychology Network for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Issues.
- Guidelines for Psychological Practice with LGB Clients.
- Answers to Your Questions About Individuals with Intersex Conditions.
- Report of the APA Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation.
- Report of the APA Task Force on Gender Identity and Gender Variance.
- Lesbian and Gay Parenting.
- APA Policy Statements on LGBT Concerns.