Young people from Dubbo will have an opportunity to come together for a "crafternoon" to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) on Wednesday, May 17.
(min cost $8)
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Taylor Ryan, Community Engagement Officer at Headspace Dubbo, said celebrating IDAHOBIT locally is important as LGBTQIA+ young people in regional communities often face more barriers to acceptance than their metropolitan counterparts.
"The day is important for us to acknowledge the fact that we are out here and we do exist in this rural community," he said.
"And just because we are so far away from the city doesn't mean we can't celebrate these things that people celebrate everywhere else."
IDAHOBIT is recognised around the world on May 17, the day that the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from the Classification of Diseases.
The day - first marked in 2005 - is both a celebration of advancements in LGBTQIA+ equality and to raise awareness about the work that still needs to be done.
In Australia, two in three LGBTQIA+ youth report experiencing abuse due to their identity and 35 percent of all LGBTQIA+ Australians say they have experienced verbal abuse in the past 12 months.
"[IDAHOBIT] brings to light the violence and discrimination that happens all over the world and say we're not happy with that and want to make things a lot better," explained Mr Ryan.
To celebrate IDAHOBIT this year, from 4:30pm to 5:30pm on Wednesday, Headspace Dubbo will be hosting a free "crafternoon" for local LGBTQIA+ young people and their allies to come together for an afternoon of creative activities.
Attendees will be able to share stories, meet other LGBTQIA+ young people and make pronoun badges and rainbow tie dye socks which they can wear with pride.
"We try and get involved as much as we can, just because there isn't a lot of that support around in Dubbo, or rurally in general, so we want to create a space for young people who really need it out here," said My Ryan.
"We'll be doing a tie dye workshop, some pronoun badge making and a few other little art activities. There'll also be snacks and games.
"It'll be a great opportunity for young people to come and have a chat and meet other people who are in a similar place or similar frame of mind and help them break down a bit of that stigma around being queer in a rural community."
Mr Ryan said space is limited so those interested in coming along for the event should register online via Headspace Dubbo's Facebook page or call Headspace Dubbo on 02 5852 1900.
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