Here in the centre of the rainbow region, Shearwater recognises and celebrates IDAHOBIT (International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia) on 17 May. It is a day for showing support for all people to live safely without fear of abuse or violence based on their sex, sexuality or gender expression. IDAHOBIT celebrates LGBTIQIA+ people globally and raises awareness for the work still needed to combat discrimination.
Despite the progress that has been made in the LGBTQIA+ movement, stigma and discrimination are unfortunately still prevalent. This is also true in Australia, where two in three LGBTQIA+ youth experience abuse due to their identity and 35 per cent of LGBTQIA+ Australians have experienced verbal abuse in the past 12 months.
At Shearwater, we will be celebrating the diversity of our community across all areas of our School, through age-appropriate activities, and seeking to raise awareness around how to be better allies.
In Kindergarten, we will be celebrating the rainbow in acknowledgment of all the many different people who live in our wonderful world. The children will be asked to dress in rainbow colours and will do a rainbow craft activity, as well as joining in with the Primary School to watch the Class 6 play. The play explores inclusion and diversity through a story set in our native bush where birds of all colours belong, until King Kookaburra creates an exclusive club for brown, white and black birds, forcing Rosella, King Parrot and Lorikeet to hide their colours in order to join their friends.
Meanwhile, in the High School, there will be face painting and music at lunch time. Students will be encouraged to dress in their rainbow colours.
A show of support from allies is so important for our LGBTQIA+ community – calling out inappropriate comments or ‘jokes’, understanding that not everyone will be included by binary forms, and encouraging a range of different perspectives during discussions. Small gestures like this can have a huge impact and we want to model for our students how they can stand proudly as allies. If you feel that you would like to contribute in some way to this day, please call the Office – we would welcome your contributions.