Sunderland is once again supporting International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOTB) by raising the rainbow flag at the civic centre.
The Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor David Snowdon raised the rainbow flag at Sunderland Civic Centre to show solidarity for sexual and gender diversity, ahead of the day itself on Monday 17 May. The Rainbow Flag will remain flying over the civic centre until Tuesday.
Landmarks across the city including National Trust-owned Penshaw Monument, Northern Spire bridge, Hylton Castle, Fulwell Mill and Keel Square and the white lighthouse at Seaburn are also being lit up in rainbow colours this Sunday 16 May in support of the day.
The Mayor, Cllr David Snowdon, said: “Raising the Rainbow Flag in recognition of The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia has become a regular fixture in Sunderland’s calendar. It is wonderful to witness the Rainbow Flag flying prominently across the city and I feel that this year’s theme ‘Together, resisting, supporting, healing’ has particular resonance given the struggles that we have all faced over the last 18 months.
“Many of us have suffered from loneliness and isolation over the last year but it must be even more difficult if you are from the LGBT community in an unsupportive family environment from which you can’t escape. Sadly, intolerance does exist, and we must work together to ensure that everyone in our city feels and is safe. Nobody should have to put up with discrimination and intolerance.
“LGBT young people, in particular, are at high risk of intolerant attitudes and hostility, and in recent years, online bullying and hate speech has added to their plight. We must collectively address these attitudes where they come to the fore and encourage anyone subject to hate speech to report it. It is only by understanding the scale of the problem that we can begin to work with our partners to tackle the issues and to make sure that the city is a safe environment for everyone.”
IDAHO (International Day against Homophobia) was launched in 2004 and has since become internationally recognised. In 2009 it became IDAHOT when transgender was added to recognise the different issues between sexual orientation and gender expression. In 2015, biphobia was also added to the title, to acknowledge the specific issues faced by bisexual people.
If you or someone you know has suffered violence or hostility because of your sexual orientation, gender identity (including Trans), race, disability, age, race or faith call: 0191 520 5550, calls are confidential
You can also report to the Police: In a non-emergency call 101
If you or someone else is in immediate danger call 999
For more information on the international campaign http://dayagainsthomophobia.org/