International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, or IDAHOT for short, takes place on 17 May every year. It was first founded in 2004 to draw people’s attention the discrimination faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people around the world.
Why do we need IDAHOT?
Although the situation for LGBT people in the UK is better than it’s ever been, discrimination still exists. According to Stonewall, Britain’s leading LGBT advocacy group, one in five LGB people have experienced verbal bullying in the workplace and over half of LGB young people are bullied at school because of their sexuality.
We asked some members of Respect, the Co-op’s LGBT colleague network, why IDAHOT was important to them and here are some of the responses we got:
“Knowing that I’m able to be myself at work makes me better at my job, but I know that being out is not always that easy for everyone. Days like IDAHOT are important as they help to raise awareness of the difficulties LGBT people still face, both in the UK and abroad.” – Simon Hunter, Supply Chain
“I think that sometimes people are complacent about how far we’ve come; homophobia, both intentional and unintentional, is still a very real issue. There’s still a long way to go until everyone is treated equally so it’s important that we still talk about it.” – Kirsty Branch, Property team
What is the Co-op doing today?
The Co-op is proud to be the number one retailer in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index, a yearly benchmark that evaluates over 400 private and public sector organisations on how they’re doing in terms of LGBT equality. We were the only organisation to support equal marriage in the Houses of Parliament and have an active LGBT network that supports colleagues.
We’ve will be marking IDAHOT by lighting our support centre, 1 Angel Square, up in rainbow lights. The Respect team will also be tweeting from @CooprespectLGBT using #IDAHOT