WIMMERA schools, businesses and people joined the LGBTQI community to celebrate International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia today.
International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia (IDAHoBIT) marked the day when homosexuality was no longer recognised as a mental illness.
Wimmera Pride Project co-founder Maddi Ostapiw said IDAHoBIT was about uniting the LGBTQI community and their friends to celebrate a monumental day.
“Not long ago it was criminalised and homosexuality was classed as a mental illness and the day this changed needs to be marked,” she said.
The Wimmera Pride Project celebrated the day with a free community dinner and film screening of Call Me By Your Name tonight.
Uniting Wimmera project manager Scott Robinson organised a ‘rainbow runway realness’ fashion parade inspired by RuPaul’s Drag Race for staff members to enjoy.
Mr Robinson said the money raised was donated to IDAHoBIT and Minus18.
Horsham College and Murtoa College students also marked the day.
Horsham College principal Rob Pyers said students raised a rainbow flag at the front of the school.
“We have a variety of students from diverse backgrounds and we think its important to acknowledge and ensure that all members of our community feel safe, secure and be comfortable at school,” he said.
Murtoa College Wellbeing coordinator Jan Dunlop said the school organised a casual clothes day tomorrow. She said the funds raised from a gold coin donation will be donated to the Wimmera Pride Project.
Mrs Dunlop said the college was integrating an accepting, encouraging and non-discriminatory culture in the classrooms.
“The students I am concerned about are the ones that are struggling with their identity – a lot of mental health issues can develop from the struggle of finding out who they are,” she said.
“By acknowledging this day, I want our LGBTQI students to know that if they are struggling with their identity then we are here for them and we accept them.”