Students Staff

15 May 2014

Rainbow flag flying at University of Essex

For the first time in the University of Essex’s history, the Rainbow flag is being flown from 15-19 May to mark International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) which is being celebrated on Saturday 17 May.

IDAHOT Day is a worldwide celebration of sexual and gender diversities and the University decided to fly the Rainbow flag at our Colchester Campus as it is a Stonewall Diversity Champion. The University is also a founder of the of the Essex LGBT Alliance.

The Rainbow flag, sometimes called 'the freedom flag', is the global symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride and diversity which has been used since the 1970s. The colours reflect the diversity of the LGBT community.

The Day was created in 2004 to draw the attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, social movements, the public and the media to the violence and discrimination experienced by LGBT people internationally.

The date of May 17 was specifically chosen to commemorate the World Health Organisation’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder.

May 17 is now celebrated in more than 120 countries, with millions of people uniting to challenge prejudice and discrimination. While we have secured legal equality in Britain, it is important to remember that in 78 countries it is still illegal to be gay. IDAHOT Day is about coming together to show our support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people facing abuse and persecution in Britain and around the world.

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