Today, 17th May, is International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia: the three types of hatred and prejudice posed towards members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

Homophobia is the hatred towards lesbians and gays; biphobia, towards people who are bisexual (people who are emotionally, physically or sexually attracted towards men and women), and transphobia, towards anyone who is part of the trans community.

International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, which began as a yearly occurrence in 2004, aims to raise awareness of LGBT rights and violations. The rights of the LGBT community are the same as anyone else’s: we are all human; therefore, we all deserve to be treated the same as anyone else.

People can pose dislike and hatred for a number of reasons, including upbringing, religious beliefs, culture, or not understanding the community. Homophobia, biphobia and transphobia can be portrayed physically and verbally, causing a person emotional distress. People who are homophobic, biphobic or transphobic might also be unaware that their behaviour is wrong. Most people who showcase such behaviour will understand an explanation why, however, some people will become defensive over it.

People who have been affected by homo/bi/transphobia may decide to disassociate themselves with those who have showcased such hatred towards them. For the LGBT community as a whole, your sense of self-preservation could come at the expense of your family (either part of your family or everyone). While it will hurt to begin with, it’s better for your mental health in the long term.

The charity, Stonewall, holds a course in tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying and language for secondary schools and colleges to enable them to become more inclusive. Details of the course can be found here: https://www.stonewall.org.uk/tackling-homophobic-biphobic-and-transphobic-bullying-and-language-secondary

By making more people aware of what the LGBT community endure on a daily basis, hopefully, the future will be more accepting and it won’t matter whether you’re part of the LGBT community or not.