Standing Up Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia

May 16, 2024

May 17 marks the 20th International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia. It began in 2004 when Louis-Georges Tin, a French academic and activist, launched the first International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) to commemorate the World Health Organization's decision to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder.

Over time, the observance evolved to include biphobia and transphobia, recognizing the interconnectedness of discrimination against all non-heteronormative identities. In 2009, the name was expanded to IDAHOBIT to explicitly include bisexuality and transgender identities.

This day serves as a global platform to raise awareness of the discrimination, violence, and marginalization experienced by 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals worldwide. It highlights the need for greater legal protection, social acceptance, and support for queer and trans communities. Defending the rights of queer and trans people is crucial for fostering a more inclusive and equitable society where everyone can live authentically without fear of discrimination or violence.

Nova Scotia has a higher proportion of transgender and non-binary people than any other province or territory in the country.

According to Statistics Canada, one in every 200 people in Nova Scotia identifies as trans or non-binary.

That number increases to one in every 100 for people aged 15 to 34 in Nova Scotia.

Halifax is the second-most gender-diverse city in the country with about 4,800 people identifying as transgender or non-binary. 

These statistics gathered through our most recent National Census signal an increasing comfort of individuals to make their gender identity known in a way that may not have previously been safe for them.

This sense of safety should be an expected norm for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, but we know that we can’t take our safety for granted.

There are many ways you can act and raise awareness on IDAHOBIT and beyond.

Education and Awareness

Organize workshops, seminars, and panel discussions to educate others about 2SLGBTQIA+ issues, history, and rights.


Lobby governments and institutions for policies that protect 2SLGBTQIA+ rights, such as anti-discrimination laws, hate crime legislation, and gender-affirming healthcare access.


Participate in pride events, marches, and rallies to show solidarity and support with 2SLGBTQIA+ communities.


Stand up against homophobic, biphobic and transphobic remarks or behaviors, and amplify the voices of queer and trans individuals.


Donate to 2SLGBTQIA+ organizations, volunteer at community centers, and provide support to friends, family members, and colleagues.


Recognize and address the intersecting forms of discrimination faced by 2SLGBTQIA+ people who are also marginalized due to race, ethnicity, disability, or socioeconomic status.

By actively challenging homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia, individuals can contribute to creating a more inclusive and accepting world for 2SLGBTQIA+ people to thrive.

The preceding is a statement from Joseph Fraser, Director & CEO of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission