• Kristin Perissinotto

IDAHOBIT is political

Today is the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia, or IDAHOBIT. You would think, theoretically, that our society is getting more accepting of social progression as the years and decades go on. But that's not the case. Whether or not the everyday Australian is getting more open minded is almost irrelevant at this point in time, as our political leaders appear to be moving further to the right, further towards bigotry, and widening the gap between now and a fair and equitable society.

Transgender people have been made a target at this election. For no other reason than one severely transphobic and openly bigoted Liberal candidate put up by the political party that governs our nation. She has been backed and defended by our Prime Minister, a man who has shown us that he can't empathise with, let alone represent, anyone who doesn't look and sound just like him. Recent legislation that puts LGTBQIA+ children at risk was passed through the lower house by BOTH major parties in recent months.

In election time, every demographic group is campaign fodder. Diverse groups have been targetted, as candidates wrestle over what Scott Morrison calls the 'quiet Australians,' the undecided voters, a group who must be the most bigoted among us, if election ads and campaign speeches are anything to go by. Whenever a day like IDAHOBIT rolls around, we hear the inevitable retorts from the most openly and unashamedly bigoted among us, "when's the day for straight/cis people?" You'll get a fucking day when your identity is commented on, discriminated against, and villainised on the public stage.

Every 'day' or calendar event like IDAHOBIT, Pride, Trans Visibility Day, and like NAIDOC, International Women's Day, or International Day of Persons with Disabilities is inherently political. Because if you aren't a part of society's most privileged, your rights are political. IDAHOBIT is a day to reflect on the rights won by people before us and the fights we will have into the future. Because as much as people like our Prime Minister and Sky News commentators want to suggest that the very existence of people who don't look like them are overtaking the world, we still need to hold tight to every right we've won, and fight hard for what we don't yet have.

Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia are still alive and well in Australia. IDAHOBIT remains a day we desperately need, particularly at a time our nation's leaders are at worst, demonising groups based on their identities, and at best, throwing marginalised people under the bus for political gain. When our country's leaders cannot even attempt to empathise with people in the LGTBQIA+ community, we must get political. For our own rights, for our community, and for future generations.