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International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia

Two spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning, asexual, intersex, and non-binary youth are overrepresented in the homeless community. We strongly believe all youth deserve unconditional love and absolute respect and 2SLGBTQAI+ youth are no exception. 

  • 25%–40% of homeless youth are 2SLGBTQAI+ 
  • Family rejection is the most common cause of 2SLGBTQAI+ youth homelessness 
  • 2SLGBTQAI+ youth are much more likely to struggle with mental health concerns, including suicide 

On May 17, 1990, the World Health Organization declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder. 

The International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia was established in 2004. It is a day dedicated to raising awareness about the violence and discrimination experienced by two spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual communities, and anyone with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, or gender expression. 

Why Is This Important? 

According to the United Nations’ Global Campaign Against Homophobia and Transphobia, “More than a third of the world’s countries criminalize consensual, loving same-sex relationships, entrenching prejudice and putting millions of people at risk of blackmail, arrest and imprisonment. Many countries force transgender people to undergo medical treatment, sterilization or meet other onerous preconditions before they can obtain legal recognition of their gender identity. Intersex children are often subjected to unnecessary surgery, causing physical and psychological pain and suffering. In many cases, a lack of adequate legal protections combined with hostile public attitudes leads to widespread discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people —including workers being fired from jobs, students bullied and expelled from schools, and patients denied essential healthcare.” 

Covenant House Vancouver strives to be a safe and inclusive space for all youth. By acknowledging and supporting this day, we contribute to creating a safer, more respectful environment where everyone can live authentically and without fear of judgment or persecution. Let us stand together in solidarity, championing love, diversity, and equality for all.