Blue Mountains News

Rainbow flag fills Cultural Centre forecourt for IDAHOBIT

By Blue Mountains City Council
Posted: 21 May 2024
IDAHOBIT Progress Pride flag display on the Cultural Centre forecourt. Photo by Liam Foster.
Celebrations for the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) took place on the forecourt at the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre in Katoomba on Friday.

A rainbow-clad gathering of community groups, local police, students, Councillors and Council staff were Welcomed to Country by Dharug Elder, Uncle Lex Dadd before Cr Mark Greenhill, Mayor of the City of the Blue Mountains, opened the event.

The theme for IDAHOBIT 2024 was ‘No one left behind: Equality, Freedom and Justice for All’.

The Mayor spoke of the bravery of the community’s past activism and applauded the ongoing work of the community and its allies.

"As recently as 1997, being gay was still a crime in parts of Australia. Many of us remember the fear and oppression people were forced to live with. And we remember the courage of those who demanded their right to live honestly and equally without fear or prejudice. We owe those people our respect and our gratitude because they changed the world,” Cr Greenhill said.

“Today’s LGBTQIA+ community are still fighting for their equality, freedom, and justice. I want to recognise the work of the community and their allies that has seen conversion therapy outlawed in NSW and acknowledge the ongoing work the LGBTQIA+ community has done regarding theSpecial Commission of Inquiry into Historic LGBTIQ Hate Crimes.

“It’s never easy to revisit painful experiences but through their courage and honesty, they brought the truth into the light.”

Speaking of the recent banning (and then rescinding of the ban) of same sex parenting books from a Sydney council’s library, the mayor pledged to the LGBTQIA+ community: “Blue Mountains City Council will never ban your books, your stories, your community, or your families. Never.”

The IDAHOBIT event was organised by Council, community members, and the following community organisations:

  • Mountains Youth Service Team (MYST)
  • Belong Blue Mountains Pick and Mix
  • Springwood Neighbourhood Centre
  • ACON
  • Blue Mountains Women’s Health and Resource Centre
  • Mountains Outreach Community Service (MOCS)
  • Headspace
  • Dementia Care

Students from Korowal, Kindle Hill, Springwood, Katoomba, Winmalee, Blaxland and Lithgow High Schools attended.

Council raised the Progress Pride flag at Civic Park, Katoomba where it flew for the duration of IDAHOBIT. There were also stalls, a morning tea and film reel. The event concluded with a drone photoshoot of attendees holding a giant Progress Pride flag on the Cultural Centre’s forecourt.

The International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) is celebrated annually on 17 May as the anniversary of the World Health Organisation removing homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases in 1990.

 
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