IDAHOBIT in Geelong and Surf Coast

Platform Arts's executive director Tennille Moisel with speaker's corner MC and partner Jo Bangles. (Ivan Kemp) 407076_05

By Jena Carr

The Geelong and Surf Coast community is celebrating the international day against LGBTQIA+ discrimination with a flag raising ceremony and speaker’s corner event.

IDAHOBIT, the international day against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia, will take place on May 17, marking the date in 1990 when homosexuality was removed from the World Health Organisation’s classification of diseases.

Platform Arts will hold a free speaker’s corner event for people to share stories about finding identity and community from 6pm to 8pm on 60 Little Malop Street.

Executive director Tennille Moisel said IDAHOBIT Day was a time to remember the challenges that the LGBTQIA+ community faced.

“As a lesbian, it’s not that long ago that…sexuality wasn’t considered something that could have multiple definitions or variations,” she said.

“(It’s important to) bring awareness to the fact that within our living memory, if you came out as homosexual, it was considered a mental illness and not part of your identity.

“We wanted to look at not just focusing on the negative side of homophobia, transphobia and biphobia, but also looking at the importance of community and bringing people together.”

Surf Coast Shire Council will also recognise the day by raising the rainbow flag from 10am at its Torquay office.

Mayor Pattison said the Surf Coast was a “wonderful place to live” where everyone should feel welcomed and respected.

“Raising the rainbow flag on IDAHOBIT Day is a way we can show our support and continue to be an ally to our LGBTQIA+ community,” she said.

“In 2023 council adopted our awareness raising events calendar to recognise and raise awareness on matters that are significant to our community.”