imagesParties, awards nights and chalk rainbows are set to mark this year’s International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO).

In NSW, the Pride in Diversity awards luncheon at the Ivy Ballroom in Sydney’s CBD will recognise businesses working to make workplaces safer for LGBTI employees.

Outside Sydney, HIV/AIDS advocacy body ACON have provided small grants to community groups across the state to stage their own IDAHO events, including an IDAHO Fair on-campus at the University of Wollongong, rainbow chalking at a Newcastle youth centre and a flashmob at the Mullumbimby Farmers Market.

ACON are also promoting their ‘This Is Oz’ campaign, encouraging people to upload photos of themselves online featuring messages of support for LGBTI people and social inclusion.

In Victoria, Tertiary Recreation Entertainment Victoria are hosting the inaugural Intervarsity IDAHO Ball at Roxanne in Melbourne’s CBD, while Hobson’s Bay Council are staging a rainbow flag-raising ceremony outside the council offices.

Activists are also organising a flashmob near Flinders St Station, inspired by the 2010 ‘Die In’ protest in Amsterdam, where participants ‘dropped dead’ for several minutes to pay tribute to those who have died as a result of homophobia and transphobia. The stunt will be repeated by the Melbourne flashmob, who will also dress in bright clothing to reflect a ‘rainbow’ theme.

IDAHO, celebrated on March 17 every year, commemorates the day in 1990 when the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from its International Classification of Diseases.

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