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International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia: how it originated and why was chosen 17 of

It was in May 1990 that the WHO removed homosexuality from the list of mental illnesses (Photo: Reuters)
It was in May 1990 that the WHO removed homosexuality from the list of mental illnesses (Photo: Reuters)

Every may 17th the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, to make visible the inequality, violence and discrimination of said sector of the population.

The celebration of the day began in 2005, with activities in different nations, which are coordinated by the IDAHO Committee, a French non-governmental organization. For this year the motto was chosen: “Breaking the silence”.

It should be noted that many people still demand the equalization of their rights and freedoms, with the adoption of comprehensive measures that achieve awareness and visibility of the sexual diversity on the whole.

The date was selected because it was a May 17, 1990 that homosexuality was removed from the list of mental illnesses by the General Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO).

A third of the member countries of the United Nations have very restrictive legislation against homosexuals (Photo: Reuters / Goran Tomasevic)
A third of the member countries of the United Nations have very restrictive legislation against homosexuals (Photo: Reuters / Goran Tomasevic)

And in 2015, he added the term biphobia, which refers to the rejection or fear of bisexual people.

In a third of UN member nations criminalize homosexuality

Although three decades have passed since the WHO stopped considering homosexuality as a mental illness, in a third of the member countries of the United Nations (UN) apply very restrictive legislation against this sector and in some cases it is punishable by the death penalty.

The above means that in 70 of the 193 UN member states apply restrictions or coercive measures against homosexuality, and in some cases the death penalty is applied, as is the case of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan, Yemen and in some regions of Nigeria and Somalia, according to data from the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA).

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In Afghanistan, Brunei, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Mauritania and Pakistan, which are UN member states, have a repressive legislation, which may even include the death penalty, although there is no record from ILGA.

Hate crimes based on sexual orientation continue in Mexico (Photo: FERNANDO CARRANZA GARCIA / CUARTOSCURO.COM)
Hate crimes based on sexual orientation continue in Mexico (Photo: FERNANDO CARRANZA GARCIA / CUARTOSCURO.COM)

On the other hand, 123 states are part of the UN where homosexuality is considered legal and in the middle there is specific legislation that protects your rights, be it in the fight against homophobia, the adoption of socio-parental measures on marriage or the adoption of children.

Increase in murders

The first year of the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador It was the most violent year for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans community (LGBT), with at least 117 murders (2019), reported the organization Letter S. The above means an increase in 27% compared to 2018.

"In the vast majority of cases, the sexual orientation and gender identity of the victim had something to do, that is, the motive of the perpetrators or the murderers was the different sexual identity and gender identity, ”said Alejandro Brito, director of the organization Letra S, for the EFE news agency.

Meanwhile, from 2015 to 2019, at least 441 LGBT people were victims of homicide.

"They are trying to live their life in the most open and normal way possible and This can awaken in certain sectors with very marked machismo, or fundamentalist sectors, or refusal to express publicly sexual and gender diversity, "said Brito.

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