Skip to content

Experts available: IDAHOBIT

A rainbow flag and other flags wave on flagpoles framed by trees against a clear sky.
The International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) is observed on May 17.

The International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) is Friday, May 17 2024. University of Southern Queensland academics are available for expert comment on the following IDAHOBIT-related topics.

Read the room: Why queer texts are essential to the learning curriculum

Books depicting LGBTQIA+ characters or storylines have sparked significant controversy in recent years, particularly in the United States, where 'book bans' are becoming more commonplace. Closer to home, Cumberland City Council in New South Wales is the latest to draw headlines on this topic. But the research makes it clear that educational settings offering LGBTQIA+ representations in texts develop safer, more inclusive spaces for LGBTQIA+ families, and happier, healthier young people.

  • Curriculum and Pedagogy expert Dr Alison Bedford can speak about her research investigating how early childhood educators select texts to foster an inclusive learning environment for all children and their families. Dr Bedford can also speak about the importance of ensuring children can see themselves in the stories they read. Media contact: Sophie Volker 0431 579 370

Improving outcomes for LGBTQIA+ students

According to a recent Health Promotion Journal of Australia article led by Associate Professor Annette Bromdal, 80 per cent of gender- and sexuality-diverse participants in regional Queensland experienced depression, while 41 per cent of participants experienced self-harm or suicide ideation. Trans, non-binary, pansexual and bisexual participants experienced highest levels of depression, while trans people experienced highest prevalence of self-harm or suicide ideation. So how can schools provide the holistic support our young people so clearly need?

  • Education expert Associate Professor Annette Bromdal can speak about these statistics and how to create structural and systemic change by enhancing the training, capacity, and capability of caring professionals and practitioners such as teachers, guidance officers, social workers, and psychologists working in schools to support prevention and tailored treatment, including tackling implicit bias. Media contact: Sophie Volker 0431 579 370

Holding space and giving hope

IDAHOBIT is an opportunity for all people to hold space for, and stand up with, the LGBTQIA+ community. So how can allies hold that space for the rainbow community, and why is it so important?

  • Psychology Professor Amy Mullens (Clinical and Health Psychologist) says we need to urgently increase not only acceptance, but also affirmation, towards LGBTQIA+ community members to help overcome stigma, discrimination, and implicit bias from broader society and to combat internalised homophobia. Professor Mullens was also co-author on this recent Health Promotion Journal of Australia article looking at the mental health of gender- and sexuality-diverse people in regional Australia. Media contact: Sophie Volker 0431 549 370

Improving intersex people's health and wellbeing

People with innate variations in sex characteristics (IVSC) - sometimes referred to as intersex or differences of sex development - have health needs that must be addressed in a timely way across all life stages and in ways that respect their human rights, values and preferences. A multi-institutional research team, which includes researchers at the University of Southern Queensland, have teamed up to deliver a groundbreaking project to improve the health and wellbeing of people of all ages with IVSC and provide better support for them and their families.

  • Bonnie Hart, an intersex woman and one of the project's co-leads, has spent more than a decade advocating for legislative protections and improved access to affirmative, rights-based health and mental health services for people with IVSC. Media contact: Griffith Thomas 0467 242 435