By Thomas Hogan, Early Careers Digital Advisor at Clyde & Co
There are many reasons for people to celebrate the progress that has been made for LGBTQ+ individuals. However, IDAHOBIT serves as a reminder that homophobia, biphobia, interphobia and transphobia are still very real problems for many people. Living in a country where homosexuality is no longer considered an illness or a crime is extremely freeing for many people, but people continue to be discriminated against as a result of their sexuality or gender identity. Even in 2021, the challenges that many of our trans peers go through to seek the necessary support proves difficult. These challenges based on a lack of change from a legislative stand-point, constant attacks on social media and a struggle for those to find role models within their daily lives can be hard. IDAHOBIT serves as a day for people to move forward and ensure a safer path through education and action. Showing solidarity and support for your peers is one way you can do so, including as an ally or as an employer.
For me, taking part shows unity to LGBTQ+ people around the world that our community stands together as one, and although the path to equality is a difficult one with many obstacles, we are not alone on this journey and support is always there.
Here are my top tips to an organization wanting to celebrate IDAHOBIT:
Provide a safe space: People may have experienced discrimination in their personal lives, or in the workplace as a result of their sexuality or their gender identity either directly or indirectly. IDAHOBIT is a chance for them to share their stories and educate their colleagues and peers about the challenges that they face.
Be open and listen: The difficulties that LGBTQ+ people face can be very personal, and people will approach them in very different ways. If someone is sharing their own personal experience, not everyone needs to relate personally or even have a say in the matter, but they need to be willing to listen. Sometimes being able to talk about their experiences unchallenged is all that is needed. Some people may be more willing to discuss their personal experiences of homophobia, biphobia, interphobia or transphobia, whereas others may prefer not to share them. Some individuals may not be prepared to discuss their experiences, and that is okay! By allowing others to share their stories, this helps to foster an inclusive culture and help lead the way for change.
Educate yourself: Knowing more about LGBTQ+ issues is one of the first steps of knowing how to support your workforce. Not everyone belongs to all parts of a community, and everyone is constantly learning. Education is one of the first steps of fostering a positive culture.