International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia celebrated at ANU

1 June 2015

People from across campus have celebrated International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia to raise awareness about discrimination and show support for same-sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse students, teachers and families.

The ANU Queer* Department hosted the event in Union Court which brought together halls, colleges and other organisations on campus and the AIDS Action Council to raise awareness that this type of discrimination exists today.

Students' Association Queer* Officer Kat Reed wants homophobia and transphobia to be a thing of the past.

"Everyone has the right to define their own sexuality and should be supported in decisions they make about their own sexuality," she said.

"However, many young people still experience homophobia and transphobia, which have significant impacts on their health and wellbeing."

She said homophobia was the fear, hatred, disgust, and discrimination against those who identify as other than heterosexual, while transphobia was the fear, hatred, disgust and discrimination of or against sex and gender diverse people.

Kat said as queer officer she has had people come to her and say they need a place to stay because they have been kicked out of their home for being queer.

"This year our focus was on raising the awareness of transphobia. It is something that people are less informed about and can often do unknowingly," she said.

Kat encouraged everyone to get involved in future events the Queer Department holds.

"I would really encourage everyone to get involved with these kind of events and find out there are services available."

For more information go to the ANU Queer Department website or email sa.queer@anu.edu.au.