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CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Nearly 30 years after homosexuality was removed as a medical disorder, the LGBTQ continues to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT.)
It was on May 17, 1990, that the World Health Organization (WHO)made that decision and since 2004, the International Day Against Homophobia has been recognized.
Calgary’s Pam Rocker is a speaker and advocate for LGBTQ rights in the city and is excited to once again commemorate this day.
Unfortunately, she says the issue of homophobia is still rampant, especially in other parts of the world.
“Right now, for example, 72 countries still criminalize homosexuality in some way. Only 62 countries have any sort of anti-discrimination protection for LGBTQ people.”
Although progress has been made through the years in combating homophobia, Rocker says she’s worried that it’s still going on.
She especially references the MLA’s recently elected to the Alberta legislature in April who appeared to make homophobic remarks.
“It’s really devastating to see that that’s something that we still think is ok, it’s still something that is just allowed to happen and maybe we think it’s unfortunate in some ways but we’ve allowed that to happen and in many ways put our youth at risk.”
Despite the lingering challenges, Rocker says there are still some positive strides in the fight against homophobia and it’s up to the community at large to turn the page.
“When people tell you who they are, believe them. Celebrate all different kinds of families. Take it upon yourself to examine the beliefs that you have and what you’ve been told. We’re not issues we’re human beings.”