City of Ballarat celebrates IDAHOBIT 2023

City of Ballarat Councillors, Cr Daniel Moloney, Mayor Cr Des Hudson, Cr Belinda Coates, Cr Amy Johnson with guest speaker Katherine Cape.

The City of Ballarat has stood together with the LGBTIQA+ community by raising the Rainbow Flag in a special ceremony on Wednesday.

International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) is observed on May 17 across the globe and about 70 people from all walks of life attended the flag-raising in Sturt Street.

Originally established to commemorate the decision in 1990 to remove homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organisation, the day now exists to raise awareness of violence, discrimination, and repression of LGBTIQA+ communities worldwide, which in turn provides an opportunity to take action and engage in dialogue with the media, policymakers, public opinion, and wider civil society.

The celebration forms part of the City of Ballarat’s LGBTIQA+ Community Inclusion Plan 2022-2026, which strives to ensure all LGBTIQA+ people are visible, represented and able to safely participate in community life as they choose.

This year, the event commemorated and celebrated the older members of Ballarat’s LGBTIQA+ community and the challenges they face, while acknowledging how far we’ve come as society, as well as accepting that there is still work to be done to achieve equality.

City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Des Hudson said it was crucial that Council continued to commemorate days like IDAHOBIT for the betterment of the entire community.

The event follows on from the Trans Day of Visibility in March, in what was Ballarat’s best-attended flag-raising event.

“The City of Ballarat stands behind and extends its unwavering support to all members of the LGBTIQA+ community, including our trans and gender diverse people,” Cr Hudson said.

“We know we have an incredible LGBTIQA+ community in Ballarat who do a mountain work to improve the lives of trans and gender diverse people.

“As part of a recent survey we heard that 75% of LGBTIQA+ respondents have experienced discrimination in Ballarat, so there is still a lot of work ahead of us.

“The diversity of our community makes it a better, more interesting and equitable place to live.”

Hosted by the City of Ballarat, these events are endorsed by the City of Ballarat’s LGBTIQA+ Advisory Committee.