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Sunday, May 19, 2019

IDAHOBIT 2019, with GMB North West & IRISH Region.

IDAHOBIT 2019, with GMB North West & IRISH Region.

May 17th every year is International Day Against Homophobia Biphobia and Transphobia.
For many years in Germany, May 17 had been unofficially given the labeled as a sort of "Gay Day." Written in the date format 17.5., it had a natural affinity with Paragraph 175 of the Penal Code, the rule dealing with homosexuality. 

The IDAHOBIT day, as a concept, was conceived in 2004. Frenchman Louis-Georges Tin was founder of the day, and acted as its Committee Chairperson until his resignation in September 2013. The date of May 17th was specifically chosen to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder.
The date exists as both a Worldwide celebration of sexual and gender diversities, and to draw the attention to the violence and discrimination experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexuals, transgender, intersex people and all other people with diverse sexual orientation, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics.

For 2019, JUST A BALL GAME? teamed up with trade union GMB as the North West and Irish region supported our event day at The Manchester College (TMC).

Equality, Inclusion and Diversity runs through the heartbeat of GMB trade union membership in workplaces and also within the movement itself. Recently the NW&I region has set up a self organised group (SOG) for members who identify as LGBT+ and also their allies, to drive forward this equality strand under their mission statement:

Through education we will raise awareness
Through campaigning we will challenge
Through tolerance we can be #StrongerTogether.

The group comes under the banner of GMB SHOUT! North West.

JUST A BALL GAME? and GMB NW&I partnered to spend the day at TMC Openshaw Campus where they delivered 2 presentations on LGBT+ inclusion and diversity, tutoring on how to effectively challenge homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying and abuse to over 40 students and tutors. There was also a basic introduction to the trade union work that is delivered locally for members, why young people are being encouraged to know their rights in the workplace, and how equality strands are supported. 

Alongside of this both organizations hosted a stall featuring JBG?’s ‘TIME FOR ACTION’ exhibition panels and resources were handed out to staff and young people in attendance. Pledges were signed and ‘selfie boards’ shared to support the college initiatives for the day.

GMB NW&I region Equality Officer Lisa Ryan had the following to share on behalf of the partnership work for IDAHOBIT 2019:

“Here at the GMB we believe that equality should be at the heart of everything we do so it is vitally important to use dates such as this (IDAHOBIT) to really push home the equality message.”

“It's great to work alongside a grassroots campaign like Just a Ball Game? who promote awareness against homophobia/biphobia/transphobia and call out hate and intolerance, not just one day a year but all year round.”

“Our Regional Equality Forum, and LGBT+ Shout! North West group are proud to support Just a Ball Game? and the sterling work they do.”

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