May 17: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia (IDAHOT)

  • May 17, 2021

"Together: Resisting, Supporting, Healing!”

May 17 has been dedicated to the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, marking the day in 1990 when the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders. This year's international theme is 'Together: Resisting, Supporting, Healing!'.

Rainbow index

Since 2009, ILGA-Europe, the European umbrella organisation of LGBT organisations, has annually published the Rainbow Europe Index. In this index, all European countries are ranked on the basis of the extent to which they take LGBTQI rights into account in their legal and policy-making. 

In this year's Rainbow Europe Index, just as in 2018, 2019 and 2020,  Belgium (and hence Flanders) ranks second. Only Malta scores better. 

Transgender and Intersex Rights

Flanders is also one of the leading regions regarding transgender and intersex rights. Efforts are mainly aimed at sharing information and increasing public awareness. For instance, a central information website (www.transgenderzorg.be) has been launched for caretakers who come into contact with transgender people in a professional context.

Together with the Netherlands, Flanders has also led the Intersex Knowledge and Attitudes Survey, gathering data on public attitudes towards and awareness about intersex people in Flanders and the Netherlands. The questionnaire used in this study will be shared with other countries to collect similar data.

Horizontal Integration an Equal Opportunities Policy Plan 2020-24

The Government of Flanders also supports the LGBTQI community on a broader level in their fight against inequality in different parts of society. These actions are embedded in Flanders’ Horizontal Integration an Equal Opportunities Policy Plan 2020-24.

Therefore, on May 17, the Government of Flanders will fly the rainbow flag at all local administrative offices and at several Diplomatic Representations of Flanders abroad.