Every year, May 17 is globally perceived as an International Day Against
Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. The objective of this day is to
generate awareness of LGBTQ+ rights and to raise awareness of the violations
of these rights. The IDAHO committee was first established when it was
initially known as the International Day against Homophobia. The committee
was formed to organize forces of integral actions occurring in various
countries, to campaign for formal acknowledgement on 17 May, and to elevate
the day. This date was chosen to honour the decision taken place in 1990, to
eliminate homosexuality from World Health Organization’s (WHO)
International Classification of Diseases category. The day indicates a global
yearly milestone to highlight and grab the attention of political leaders, local
authorities, corporations, opinion leaders, decision makers, the media, the
public, and so on to the grim reality, and circumstances faced by individuals
belonging to diverse gender expressions or identities, sexual characteristics
and sexual orientations.
As a notion, the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and
Biphobia came into being in 2004. On May 17 2005, the first International Day
Against Homophobia was concluded after a year-long course of action. An
appeal was signed by 24,000 organizations, like the International Gay and
Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), the Coalition of African
Lesbians, the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA), and the
World Congress of LGBT Jews, and individuals to support the “IDAHO
measure”. This day also embraced the first ever LGBT events to transpire in
the nations of China, Congo, and Bulgaria, while exercises took place
throughout the day in various countries.
Transphobia was later added, in 2009 to the name of the movement, and that
year the day held activities revolving primarily on discrimination and
brutality against transgender individuals, aka issues of transphobia.
In 2009, in collaboration with LGBT associations, a new petition set in motion, which
was supported by 300 plus NGOs of 75 nations, which also included three
Nobel Prize Winners known as Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, Elfriede Jelinek, and
Luc Montagnier. May 17, 2009 also became the year where globally, France
became the first country to eradicate transgender issues from its list of mental
During 2009, Louis-Georges Tin, was the founder of the movement, who then
resigned in September 2013, after being superseded by global eminent
Venezuelan transgender and lesbian rights activist, a lawyer and law
professor – Tamara Adrián. She went on to become the first trans
representative in 2015 in Latin America. In June 2012, a hunger strike began
by Louis-Georges Tin and other two Committee members to persuade
Hollande – the French President to initiate a UN proposal to decriminalize
homosexuality. Since May 18 2013, same-sex marriage has been legitimatized
in France, a decision declared on May 17 2013.
The name of the movement gained the word Biphobia in 2015.
In 2019, Taiwan authorized same-sex marriage under the Enforcement Act of
Judicial Yuan Interpretation No. 748, and the law was passed on International
Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, and became effective
from May 24, 2019.
Movements that led to changes in laws for the LGTQ+ Community
1) Naz Foundation Govt. VS NCT of Delhi
Ardent to file a suit under Section 377 of IPC, Lucknow police in July 2001,
raided a garden, and confined a couple of men on the mere intuition of them
identifying themselves as homosexuals. Additionally, nine more men
associated with an NGO known as “Bharosa Trust” were also imprisoned by
the police. The NGO was attempting to raise awareness amongst society about
STDs and safe sexual practices. These people were denied bail, as they were
implicated of running a sex racket. They were only released after the lawful
aid organisation – The Lawyers Collective, approached the case and learnt that
the charges were in fact bogus. An NGO – Naz Foundation, after this incident,
alongside The Lawyers Collective filed an appeal in 2001 before the Delhi High
Court, challenging the established legitimacy of IPC’s Section 377.
After years of fight, the HC of Delhi, in the case of Naz Foundation Govt. VS
NCT of Delhi, ruled that Section 377 of the IPC, inflicted an immoderate
constraint over two adults, and their personal choice of participating in
consensual intercourse in private. It was also in direct violation of their basic
fundamental rights enclosed under the Articles 14, 15, 19, and 21 of the Indian
2) Suresh Kumar Koushal VS. Naz Foundation
Considering how India’s rich history is traditions, and virtues, religious
groups, and several individuals fervently declined the aim of decriminalizing
homosexuality. These particular people went on to further appeal before the
SC of India, to rethink about the lawfulness of Section 377
Unfortunately the SC reversed the judgement passed by the Delhi HC, and re-
crimalized homosexuality on December 11 2013. This judgment faced a global
wave of criticism for eradicating basic human rights of homosexuals. This also
went on to create a public discourse on the LGBT rights.
The transgender community in India aren’t respected or given enough dignity
to survive everyday life, pushing them towards prostitution or beggary. This
community is the most exposed to discrimination, making them easy targets
of violence, crimes, and STDs.
The SC within the case of National Legal Services Authority VS. Union of India,
had to settle on whether or not it was essential to perceive the transgender
and hijra community as a third sexual orientation on the basis of reservation,
public health, employment, education, and various other welfare plans.
For the first time in history, a new ray of hope shone over the transgender
community, as the SC in 2014 passed a judgement that they will be
acknowledged as the third gender. Transgender individuals are applicable to
change their gender without going under the knife. Additionally, several state
governments found ways for the transgender community to benefit by
creating policies of housing and well-being.
4) Decriminalising Homosexuality
The climax of the fight of more than two decades was indeed a triumph when
on September 06 2018, the Supreme Court of India passed the ruling of
decriminalising homosexuality and going against the the 200 year old British
law that was part of the Constitution. The SC partly scraped down the IPC’s
Section 377 Act, paving victory for the LGBTQIA+ community who over
several years and decades faced brutal violations, trauma, and discrimination.
This major change only led up to more social changes in the law for the
LGBTQIA+ community, as the community still lacked in obtaining or being
accessible to basic human rights.
5) Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill
The Parliament of India, on November 26 2019, passed the Transgender
Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill. The Bill was legislated with the goal to
ensure the rights of the Transgender community by barring descrimination
against them in the fields of healthcare, employment, education, and access to
government or private institutions.
The Bill further subjects them to dehumanization of their identity and body,
and makes them prone to institutional persecution, all shielded in the name of
Thus, a conclusion can be drawn from this, that the courts on one hand are
finding progressive ways to maintain, and accredit the rights of the LGBTQIA+
community, whilst the parliament on the other hand refuting the very same
rights. It is due time now, the government ought to recognize and map out
laws in regards to the landmark judgement, or else the LGBTQIA+ community
will continue to battle and face hindrance to have the similar basic rights as
those accessible to heterosexual individuals.