Why do we have Pink Shirt and IDAHOBIT Day?.

By Bronwyn Larkins, Te Pou Whirinaki | National Women’s Officer

In 1990, the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from the Classification of Diseases and urged all nations to end discrimination against LGBTIQA+ individuals. This move was in line with Universal Declaration of Human Rights that says “All humans are born free and equal in dignity and rights”.

Before this milestone, many countries worldwide had criminalised homosexuality primarily targeting men.

Unions and LGBT communities had found common ground as being people oppressed and hunted by police. The commonality that unions and the queer community have found can be shown in the movie “Pride”. It reminds us that we have allies in places and spaces we may not have considered before. It is also a reminder of the power of workers and communities to create lasting change when you unite for a common cause.

Different protests across the world raised consciousness for gays and lesbians to overturn brutal criminalisation of homosexuality, and safeguard people to be able to work regardless of sexual preference.

Trans and gender diverse people have always existed in history.

Sadly, even as the world has evolved, and gays and lesbians for the most part have received acceptance, trans and gender diverse communities are still being attacked for existing. We continue to fight for equality and dignity on 17 May!

Pink Shirt Day was started in 2007 after a boy was bullied for wearing a pink polo shirt. In protest two students distributed 50 pink shirts for the students to wear to counter the bullying. New Zealand was the second country to hold Pink Shirt Day.

TEU will be turning pink from 13 May to 17 May and celebrating IDAHOBIT Day on the 17th. Contact your local branch and organiser for events.