Reflecting on how IDAHOBIT came to be

In the UK, where I am working at the moment with some of Symmetra’s global clients, a remarkable event has occurred which seems destined to create a seismic shift in the way society here views and relates to members of the LGBTQ+ community.

A young, seventeen-year-old professional footballer, Jake Daniels has come out as gay. Showing outstanding maturity, courage, and dignity he explained in a TV interview, why after agonising for many months, he could no longer pretend to be what he is not. The last footballer to do this in the UK did so 30 years ago.

His action has won plaudits from the media, from teammates, members of other sporting disciplines, social commentators, and politicians of all stripes.

This is a poignant and stunning pointer to the fact that the trajectory of public discourse and attitudes in relation to groups which bear the brunt of unjustified discrimination can be changed by the fortitude of individuals.

By way of astonishing coincidence on the same day thirty-two years ago on 17 May 1990, the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from the compendium which classified it in the category of “Diseases and Related Health Problems”. Thereafter, 17 May has become the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersex phobia, and Transphobia—IDAHOBIT.

All in all, the 17th of May marks a day for all in the LGBTQ+ community, and those who stand with them, to celebrate and to resolve to build further on the advances that have been made.