May 17, 2023
May 17th marks a special day in the LGBTQIA+ community, as it's the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia. This day was chosen to commemorate the day in 1990 when the World Health Organization declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder.
This day is vital as it raises awareness about the barriers that the gay, transgender, and bisexual community face such as housing, healthcare, and work-related phobias. Let's analyze the various challenges that the community is addressing and understand how crucial it is for us to work together to put an end to these persistent problems.
The LGBTQIA+ community faces rampant discrimination in the housing sector, with studies showing that nearly 50% of respondents had experienced discrimination when attempting to rent or purchase a home. In many cases, this discrimination is based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or religious affiliation. This can translate to higher rental prices for LGBTQIA+ individuals or refusals to rent or sell properties. Many real estate agents openly admit to practicing housing discrimination based on sexual orientation, which only adds to their difficulties of finding a safe and conducive living environment.
Healthcare has been a crucial and pressing issue faced by the LGBTQIA+ community. After years of neglect by the healthcare system, many LGBTQIA+ individuals suffer from the lack of proper and well-rounded medical care. This community faces several barriers, including finding accepting counselors, reliable, and trained physicians. Transgender individuals suffer even more woes as they require unique medical care, including hormone therapy and surgical procedures that are usually not covered by insurance providers.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI) individuals are at higher risk for a number of health issues than the general population. LGBTQI individuals may face discrimination, harassment, or violence that can lead to physical and mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse.
Workplace discrimination against the LGBTQIA+ community is a common issue. Many employers refuse to hire people belonging to this community because of their sexual orientation, and if they do hire them, they often pay them low wages. The workplace is often a hostile environment for many individuals who belong to this community. Studies show that only 22% of respondents felt safe enough to come out at work, while 38% reported that they had faced workplace discrimination due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. They face bullying, harassment, and are often denied basic opportunities for advancement. The constant stress and abuse forced upon them can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems.
It's crucial to understand that we can't end LGBTQIA+ discrimination without working together. Members of the community and allies must take an active role in promoting justice. Everyone needs to use their collective power to end discrimination and fight for a brighter future for all. We must speak up and raise awareness about the ways the LGBTQIA+ community suffers from subjugation. Many individuals within this community are at a higher risk of being assaulted, raped, and murdered because of their sexual orientation, which only adds to the importance of us standing together.
We must understand that the issues involving homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia involves everyone, whether you belong to the LGBTQIA+ community or not. These communities are just like any other members of our society and have the right to live freely without fear of harassment or prejudice. As we continue to celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, it's essential to recognize, acknowledge and comprehend the struggles that this community faces daily, by taking the initiative and fighting for equality. No one deserves to live in an unsafe and hostile environment, and only through education and working together can we end this issue.