Deakin University students marked International Day Against Homophobia Biphobia and Transphobia with a minute of making noise.
Deakin University Student Association queer officer Tam Hovenga said the Warrnambool campus held celebrations on Thursday, the day after the official worldwide event on May 17 which commemorates the day in 1990 when the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from the list of mental illnesses.
“It is both a celebration of queer identities and remembrance for people who are affected by homophobia, bi-phobia or transphobia, particularly in a bunch of countries where it’s illegal to be homosexual,” Ms Hovenga said. “There are 10 countries still in the world that have the death penalty for being homosexual.
“There’s a whole bunch of countries where changing your gender is both really hard legally but also involves fairly invasive psychiatric treatments and some of them actually involve sterilisation for those who don’t feel like the gender they were assigned at birth aligns with who they are.”
At the Warrnambool campus, there was free food on offer and a speaker from Brophy and Yumcha. “We’re also doing a minute’s noise which is a bit like a minute’s silence in that it’s a mark of respect but there’s been a whole bunch of silence in the queer community and the straight community about the queer community,” Ms Hovenga said.
“We’re aiming to really make some noise, shed some light on some of the stuff that’s going on and get everyone active and involved.”