Friday 17 May is International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) and the British Embassy Tokyo is flying the rainbow flag in a show of support and to mark the day in Japan. Inspired by other “world-theme days”, IDAHO originated in Canada but is now celebrated widely in other countries around the world. It is a day to be celebrated by all types of organisations—including employers, private businesses, and governments—which support equality for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) community.
IDAHO is also an opportunity to expose and discourage the various forms of discrimination against the LGBT community, including the increasing threat of cyber bullying and harassment. According to a US study, twice as many LGBT students report being victimised by cyber-bullying compared with their heterosexual peers, and one-third of youngsters bullied online experience symptoms of depression.
The United Kingdom government is a proactive supporter of equal rights for LGBT individuals and the British Embassy Tokyo is keen to play its part, with the Ambassador and Embassy staff also recently showing their support at Tokyo Rainbow Pride 2013.
British Ambassador speaks at Tokyo Rainbow Pride 2013