17 May 2023, 9:57
Victorian Legislative Council, Melbourne

Rachel PAYNE (South-Eastern Metropolitan):

Today I also rise to celebrate IDAHOBIT.

This date commemorates the day that the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its classification of diseases back in 1990. While we have much to celebrate in terms of our achievements, the rise of hate speech and attacks on our LGBTIQA+ community, some of which have taken place on the very steps of this Parliament, remind us that we have a long way to go. But let us celebrate some good news today: every Victorian council and the Victorian Parliament hoisted the rainbow flag today. This makes Victoria the first jurisdiction in the world with all local governments flying the rainbow flag on IDAHOBIT – something to be really proud of, Victoria.

I also want to talk about a community initiative that is taking positive action in response to the current climate of hate directed towards the LGBTIQA+ community.

The Rainbow Community Angels train and support LGBTIQA+ people and their allies to take part in peaceful actions to support community safety at events. The organisers include experienced LGBTIQA+ advocates, drag queens, trans and gender-diverse people and rainbow families.

Angels wear magnificent wings to shield people from seeing any hostile protesters who are present. Other acts include marshalling; assisting with communication and safety; and liaising with media, event organisers and others.

The angels are making a real difference not just for young and marginalised people finding their way but for everyone to feel safe and respected.


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