Sunday 17 May is International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT). CFA celebrates and supports all its LGBTIQ members and members in the wider community.
IDAHOBIT marks 30 years on Sunday since the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from the Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problem. However the satistics, below, show there's still work to be done.
- 75 per cent of LGBTIQ youth in Australia experience some form of discrimination.
- 61 per cent of LGBTIQ youth experience verbal abuse.
- 19 per cent of LGBTIQ youth experience physical bullying.
- 24.4 per cent of lesbian, gay and bisexual people experience depression.
- 36.2 per cent of trans Australians experience depression.
For comparison, 6.8 per cent of the general population experiences depression.
CFA CEO and Chief Officer Steve Warrington said it’s important to recognise discrimination and speak out.
“IDAHOBIT is a great opportunity to raise awareness of the LGBTIQ community and the steps that still need to be taken to eliminate discrimination," Steve said.
“CFA continues to take important steps to reflect the broader community which we serve.
“We are fully committed to supporting all our people and to create a safe, respectful and welcoming environment.
“Be proud to show Victorian communities that they are welcome to join us, and let’s keep working towards an inclusive, diverse, safe and supportive CFA.”
Malmsbury Fire Brigade Captain Tony Stephens said for Malmsbury Brigade IDAHOBIT day is important as it shows our members, our community and wider society that we support them and that we stand up against discrimination.
“It is a chance to celebrate the diversity of each and every member, and that we value what every individual brings to the brigade to help keep their community safe.
“The strength and future viability of CFA and Brigades lies in our diversity and being inclusive.
“By having strong, diverse, welcoming Brigades, we can continue serving our community, now and in the future.” Tony added. “On May 17 we will fly the rainbow flag in support.”
Leigh Dwyer is Firefighter at Toolong Brigade and also Pride Ambassador.
“IDAHOBIT is an important day to celebrate as it makes people aware that there are many LGBTIQ members within CFA.
“People are starting to understand the LGBTQI community more and are taking the right steps to eliminate discrimination and hate.” Leigh added. “I want everyone to feel included within society.
“This year celebrating will be slightly different due to coronavirus restrictions. I’ll be celebrating online via community events and I encourage others to do so too.
“Fire doesn’t discriminate so neither should we.”
CFA’s Inclusion and Fairness team encourages members to get involved with Everbrite’s learning opportunity event on May 15.
To find out more about the online zoom event head to Everbrite’s website.
There is lots of ways to celebrate this year, find out more on the IDAHOBIT website.