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West Northants to stand in solidarity with LGBTQ community for IDAHOBIT

30 April 2024

Rainbow flag and UK flag flown outside the Guildhall

West Northamptonshire residents are invited to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) to raise awareness of the work still needed to end discrimination towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) people. 

An event will take place at midday on Friday, 17 May, in the Guildhall Courtyard, Northampton, and will include speeches from the outgoing Chairman of West Northamptonshire Council (WNC), Cllr John Shephard and the Co-Chair of West Northants LGBTQ+ and Allies Forum, Matthew Toresen MBE.

The theme for the 2024 edition of IDAHOBIT is “No one left behind: equality, freedom and justice for all". The event will conclude with a ‘Minute of Noise’ to commemorate all those who have suffered LGBTQ hate and discrimination and for all those who cannot have their voices heard. The LGBTQ+ flag will also be raised at WNC’s office buildings in Daventry, Towcester and Northampton from 8am to 8pm.

Q Space and The Lowdown charity will also be present to provide information and advice about the local LGBTQ+ services and support services they offer, and refreshments will be served in the Great Hall following the event.

“Our LGBTQ+ residents are an important part of our West Northants communities and have a right to live happily and free from discrimination.

“This important day reminds us that we must continue progressing towards a society where all residents feel safe, included and accepted, regardless of gender, sexual orientation or race, and reminds us of the importance of tolerance and respect.

“Together, we can break down stigmas and create a safe and respectful community. I invite all residents to join us to make some noise as we stand in solidarity with our LGBTQ+ friends.”
Cllr David Smith, West Northamptonshire Council's Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement

The date of May 17 was specifically chosen for IDAHOBIT to commemorate the World Health Organisation’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder. 

“IDAHOBIT reminds us that equality isn't a given, and needs to be fought for and supported. We gather on this day to show LGBTQ+ and ally communities around the world that we know there is still much work to do.”
Matthew Toresen MBE, Co-Chair of West Northants LGBTQ+ and Allies Forum

People can help spread awareness about IDAHOBIT by sharing the social media hashtags #IDAHOBIT #IDAHOBIT24 #diversityandinclusion.

The Lowdown charity offers support to anyone struggling including counselling, wellbeing and emotional support, sexual health and contraception. Find out more on the Lowdown website.


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