No one left behind: equality, freedom and justice for all” is this year’s theme as we commemorate International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).  

The day commemorates the decision made on the 17th of May 1990 by the World Health Organisation towards the declassification of homosexuality as a mental disorder, thus removing it from the Classification of Diseases. As we reflect on the strides that the LGBTQI+ community has had in fighting against homophobia, biphobia, interphobia and transphobia, Iranti is concerned about the regressive narrative that has been pushed by political leaders, government institutions and conservative religious groups that continue to attack and spread misinformation about the LGBTQI+ community.  

This year’s theme is particularly poignant as we witness a concerning trend: 

  • Regressive Narrative: Despite strides made by the LGBTQI+ community, there are political leaders, government institutions, and conservative religious groups who continue to spread misinformation and attack the community. 
  • Pathologisation: The world continues to scrutinize and question the bodies of transgender and intersex persons in South Africa, Africa and in the world.  

This is especially concerning in light of the upcoming elections: 

  • Global Elections: With over 100 elections happening worldwide in 2024, many LGBTQI+ individuals, particularly those in Africa, face increased fear due to the spread of hate speech during campaigns. The elections have seen language that pathologizes transgender and intersex people. 

South Africa in Focus: 

  • Election Concerns: South Africa’s upcoming elections (May 29th, 2024) have seen prominent leaders undermining LGBTQI+ rights and constitutional protections. 
  • Positive Developments: Historically, Iranti has called for more inclusive policies and laws that should address issues of violence against transgender and intersex people. On this day, there is cause for celebration. The recent assent of the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill offers much-needed protection for the LGBTQI+ community. 

IDAHOBIT 2024 is a call to action for everyone: 

  • Allies: We urge allies, including religious institutions, political leaders, and governments, to actively fight against attacks on the LGBTQI+ community and uphold their rights. 
  • LGBTQI+ Community: We encourage members of the community to exercise their right to vote and choose leaders who acknowledge and respect their existence. 

Let’s work together to ensure a future where no one in the LGBTQI+ community is left behind. 

For enquiries, please contact: 

Ntuthuzo Ndzomo 

Advocacy Officer