Brighton IDAHOBIT

IDAHO - International Day Against Homophobia - exists to provoke action to end Homophobia. This is an inclusive campaign for individuals, campaigners, voluntary organisations, special interest groups, employers, businesses, politicians and public service providers to get involved and make a difference.

On Tuesday, the 17th of May 2011, as in previous years, we supported others from our community and beyond by marking the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia on the steps of the Unitarian Church in New Road, central Brighton (near the Theatre Royal) which this year takes the theme of same sex couples. There were speeches from our own Phelim Mac Cafferty, (now a Brighton & Hove Green Party councillor as well as a fine bass!), the police and other local LGBT groups. The date, May the 17th, commemorates the day in 1990 on which the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from its list of mental diseases.

IDAHOBIT - "Speaking About Silence"

IDAHO - International Day Against Homophobia - exists to provoke action to end Homophobia. This is an inclusive campaign for individuals, campaigners, voluntary organisations, special interest groups, employers, busiensses, politicians and public service providers to get involved and make a difference.

On Monday, the 17th of May 2010, we supported others from our community and beyond by marking the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia in Jubilee Square (Jubilee Street, Brighton, BN1 1GE) outside the central Brighton library which this year was titled “Speaking About Silence”. We performed a little after 7pm. The date, May 17th, commemorates the day in 1990 on which the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from its list of mental diseases.




Rainbow Chorus at IDAHOBIT

On Sunday, the 17th of May 2009, Brighton marked International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia with a seaside event which took place at the ‘Kiss Wall’ on Brighton seafront. This date, May 17th, commemorates the day in 1990 the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from its list of mental diseases.

In 86 countries globally, homosexual acts are illegal while in 7 of those countries lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and those who identify as trans are often murdered simply for their sexuality or gender identity.


In 2009 the theme of IDAHOBIT is End Transphobia: Respect Gender Identity

Every day people who identify themselves as trans face violence, abuse, rape, torture and hate crimes. And in the first few months of 2009 alone trans women have been murdered in Honduras, Serbia and the USA, this despite most cases of violence not being documented. Trans men also face discrimination and prejudice despite their frequent social and cultural invisibility.

Fitting moments of this year’s event included:

  • The compere for the evening - Michelle Bridgman of the Gender Trust.
  • Trans activists, Denise Anderson of Spectrum London, and Joanna Rowland-Stuart, National Trans Officer for PCS Proud
  • Performances from Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus and the Rainbow Chorus;
  • A minute’s ‘noise’ in partnership with the B&H LGBT Workers’ Forum to remember the international victims of homo, bi and transphobic violence;
  • Speeches from Anthony Hook, Liberal Democrat candidate for European elections; Caroline Lucas MEP, Green Party; Cllr Gill Mitchell, Leader of the Labour Group, Brighton and Hove City Council; Cllr Dee Simson, Conservative Cabinet member, Brighton and Hove City Council;
  • A ‘blossoming of kisses’ to remember victims of violence and inspire confidence in a hopeful future, by making the Kiss Wall sculpture blossom- attendees are encouraged to bring a flower;
  • The release of visually stunning sky lanterns to represent the 86 countries which criminalise homosexuality.

The City Council officially recognised International Day Against Homophobia by flying the rainbow flag from both Brighton and Hove town halls.


Phelim Mac Cafferty of Brighton IDAHOBIT (and Rainbow Chorus!) stated:
“40 years after the Stonewall riots, trans people still face a mountain of prejudice and hatred. On the 17th May this year, join with us as we say ‘no’ to homophobia, biphobia and transphobia! But IDAHOBIT is about a lot more: it’s also about publicly reaffirming our right to live without fear and hatred, which too often still plague the lesbians, gay, bisexual and trans communities…”

You can see photos of us performing joinly with the Brighton Gay Men's Chorus here.

IDAHOBIT in Brighton

Rainbow Chorus was honoured to be invited to perform again at this year's commemoration of the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia event in Brighton, after appearing at the inaugural Brighton day back in 2006.

The event, intended to celebrate human rights and to draw attention to those countries still persecuting gay people with punishment or execution took place
near the Volks Electric Railway Station as it did last year. Here we are just before the start on a rainy May evening ...

Us getting ready at IDAHOBIT

Michelle Bridgeman introduced the event after which we performed Chumbawumba's "Homophobia" - a song we've performed several times but it could not be more appropriate than at this event!
Us performing


Caroline Lucas, Green MEP for SE England gave a passionate and loud (the loudspeaker was just behind us in a waterproof bin liner!) speech against all kinds of sexual discrimination. Ms Bridgeman then spoke again on 'Trans Inclusion' (help available from the
Gender Trust) and then we were on again for "Simple Gifts" followed by "Go down, Moses". It was quite hard to perform well in the drizzle and cold but we did our best.

Next was a speech by Derek Lennard the IDAHO National Coordinator who gave an introduction to a minute's noise as a protest to those unable to speak our against their discrimination.

Then we were joined by the City of Brighton Gay Men's Chorus (not forgetting the dog!) in a joint version of "Somewhere" during which the sky lanterns were set off.

We were able to stay long enough to listen to Melvin Hartley, Chief Executive of Broken Rainbow talk about the problems of same-sex domestic violence where he gave us some though provoking statistics.
However, as we had to get to the Udderbelly for the sound checks, warm-ups and such like with Tina C. we unfortunately had to make an exit when we would have liked to have remained to sing "You'll Never Walk Alone" with the CBGMC and everyone else. Apologies to all ...
An important event and well attended considering the weather and we'd like to thank the organisers for inviting us again to this special event in Brighton's calendar.

Brighton IDAHO

Rainbow Chorus was again invited to perform at this year's commemoration of the International Day Against Homophobia event in Brighton, after appearing at the inaugural Brighton day in 2006.

The event, intended to celebrate human rights and to draw attention to those countries still persecuting gay people with punishment or execution took place
near the Volks Electric Railway Station. There was a sky candle release, speeches by Dr Desmond Turner MP, Caroline Lucas MEP, Nigel Tart from NUT LGBT wing and Jeff Grift from the Public and Civil Service Union LGBT wing and of course, us!

From the original press release:

The Brighton gay community is drawing attention to the victims of international homophobia with a seafront event. The International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) is held every year on 17th May to commemorate the day in 1990 that homosexuality was removed from the World Health Organisation's list of mental illnesses. IDAHO is now marked internationally as a celebration of the human rights of lesbian, gay and bisexual people throughout the world, and to draw attention to the 77 countries that still punish gay people with imprisonment or execution. IDAHO will be 3 years old in 2007, and the British gay community is planning several events to mark the day across the country. Brighton & Hove Council have voted to officially recognise IDAHO and will be flying the rainbow flag from the Town Hall. The event will include a performance by the Rainbow Chorus choir, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, a minute's 'noise' in partnership with the Public and Commercial Services Union to remember the international victims of homophobic violence, a speech by local MP Dr Desmond Turner, and the release of 77 visually stunning sky lanterns to represent the 77 countries that still persecute gay people with imprisonment and execution. Sky lanterns or "Khoom Fay" have been used in Thailand for hundreds of years where they are believed to convey wishes to heaven. Nick Antjoule of IDAHOBIT says: "Hatred and intolerance towards people of different sexual orientations, gender identities or race is an issue for our whole community. Only by challenging it at work, in schools, in the street and overseas will we overcome it. I hope this event will lead to greater international cooperation and sharing of the expertise we have built up in Brighton." Cliff James of Brighton IDAHOBIT says: "Every single person has an inalienable human right to their own sexuality, whether gay, straight or bisexual. But we are living in a world where men and women are still abused, imprisoned or killed by state agents because they happen to be gay. "IDAHO is a celebration of a person's right to love and be loved by who they choose. It's an opportunity to turn a spotlight on those who persecute others because of their sexuality. There is a war of ideas going on right now between those who believe in love and tolerance, and those who believe in hatred and prejudice. "IDAHO is a chance for all of us, whatever our sexuality, to declare which side we are on. Simply by coming to the IDAHO event on Brighton seafront on May 17th, people can make a declaration in defence of tolerance."

There were some impassioned speeches and the lantern lighting was lovely, being blessed as we were by the first warm and clear day in weeks. There are some photographs on our Gallery page .