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Did You Miss International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia? Here’s How To Keep The Allyship Year-Long

Did You Miss International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia? Here’s How To Keep The Allyship Year-Long

It’s not a one-day thing

 

 

The International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia—otherwise called IDAHOBIT—has come on gone, but the messaging holds true year-round. Celebrated every May 17, IDAHOBIT aims to shed light on ad raise awareness of LGBTQIA+ rights violations, particularly (but not exclusively) in the work place. 

 

Why May 17?

May 17 marks IDAHOBIT because it was on this day in 1990 when the World Health Organization (WHO) removed homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems at the 43rd World Health Assembly. TL;DR, May 17, 1990 is when it was “official” that being queer was no longer considered a “medical condition.” Seems ridiculous that it happened only 34 years ago—but with discrimination and ignorance still rampant, you understand why there’s a need for IDAHOBIT. 

 

What’s happening in the Philippines?

While the Philippines has a way to go in terms of legal measures for LGBTQIA+ rights, there are major players in the country that have put their foot down. 

 

TELUS International Philippines (TIP), a leading customer experience and business process solutions provider, is one of these players. This month, they launched Mothers Are Mothering, a discussion on the power of allyship, support and inclusion. Hosted by Baus Rufo, guest speakers included M1ss Jade So, her biological mother, Margie Alino, and her drag daughter, R0cky Star. TELUS International Global Vice President of Brand, Culture and Facilities, Warren Tait, and Bogs Orial, Executive Assistant to TELUS International's Global Vice President for Facilities, Brand and Culture, and APAC CFO, were also on stage.

 

Did You Miss International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia? Here's How To Keep The Allyship Year-Long
Left to right: Baus Rufo, Bogs Orial, R0cky Star, M1ss Jade So, Margie Alino and Warren Tait

 

It’s an ongoing, two-way process

“Cultivating allies can be beyond our friends and family. The key ingredient I’ve learned and experienced at TELUS International Philippines is the openness of the LGBTQIA+ team members to inform everyone,” says Warren. “Through sustained and open collaboration and communication with our LGBTQIA+ community, led by our resource group Spectrum Philippines, we've been able to develop empathy, understanding and allyship in the organization, which goes beyond IDAHOBIT and Pride Month. It's an ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion that we are deeply invested in.”

 

But while it’s important for the LGBTQIA+ community to be part of the educational process, Bogs chimes in to drive importance on the support of allies. After all, it is only when members of the community feel safe, seen and heard, that they are able to be vocal and take on active roles. 

 

The importance of support

M1ss Jade So echoes the sentiment, giving her mom praise. She says: “My mother is the real queen here! She has been my ride-or-die since day one. And I thank my lucky stars for her because she loves me unconditionally and encourages me to be my true self, whether that’s fighting for me to go to prom in a gown or helping me prepare my stunning drag looks.”

 

Did You Miss International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia? Here's How To Keep The Allyship Year-Long

 

And while it’s important to hold talks like Mothers Are Mothering in order to have a stage discussion on the importance of allyship and the strides that have been made, it’s more important to understand that small actions make the biggest difference when they are done every day of the year. For allies, it could be a matter of listening to someone from the community and being respectful. For the LGBTQIA+, who continue to fight the good fight, it’s about being unapologetically yourself.

 

 

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