Nine prominent Brisbane landmarks will be emblazoned in rainbow lights to commemorate this year’s International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) on May 17.
The day is recognised internationally to raise awareness of discrimination and prejudice experienced by queer people and events are held to spread messages of acceptance and inclusion.
May 17 is the date on which the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases in 1990.
In Brisbane, rainbow flags will fly from Brisbane City Hall as well as the state headquarters of Queensland Police Service, Queensland Ambulance Service and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.
In the evening, the Queensland Performing Arts Centre and the Brisbane Powerhouse will be lit up in rainbow lights for the first time.
The Brisbane Powerhouse is holding a free special event that evening featuring guest speakers and a memorial ceremony as the venue begins their annual queer arts festival MELT.
Around Brisbane, Queensland Parliament House, Brisbane City Hall, the Treasury casino, the Story Bridge, Victoria Bridge and Kurilpa Bridge will also be lit up in rainbow lights to mark IDAHOT.
Brisbane LGBTIQ Action Group (BLAG) will host a rainbow lights walking tour through Brisbane that evening, leaving King George Square outside City Hall at 5.15pm sharp.
Walkers will catch the 6.02pm bus from Brisbane City Hall to travel to the Brisbane Powerhouse IDAHOT event. For more details, visit the Facebook page.
“There are many countries, including parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia, where homosexual acts are illegal. In these countries a conviction leads to up to life imprisonment, and in some countries even the death penalty,” BLAG convenor Phil Browne said.
“Though homosexual acts are now legal in Australia, prejudice and discrimination still exists, resulting in a range of worse health and social outcomes for LGBTI people including alarming rates of mental health conditions and suicide rates.
“IDAHOT is a day to break down divisions and remember those who have died as a result of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia, either by their own hand, or by the actions of others.
“Together, lets make the world a better place.”
At least five regional Queensland Councils have also previously flown rainbow flags to commemorate IDAHOT – Ipswich City, Somerset, Townsville City, Noosa and Scenic Rim Regional Council.
(Bridge photo by Tony Robertson)