The annual competition of papers on the fight against LGBTphobia and promotion of LGBT rights is underway for the sixth year in a row. The competition is held as part of marking IDAHO Day- International Day for fighting LGBTphobia – that is celebrated worldwide, as well as in Israel, on May 17.
The purpose of the competition is to encourage the study of LGBTphobia, its impact on society and ways of dealing with it. More often than not, the papers are written about a personal journey dealing with gender identity or sexual orientation of the author or someone close to him, and the author himself shows a personal struggle against LGBTphobia, outspoken or dormant.
The community organizations that support the competition this year are: Hoshen, IDAHO, The Aguda, Israel’s Aids Task Force – B.L.H. Do’eget, Ma’avarim, Gay Fathers, Tehila, Havruta, Proud Student Fraternity and IGY – Gay Youth Organization. The organizations believe that cooperation in the field of academic research and issues related to gender identity and sexual orientation may contribute to discussion by the general public as well, thereby helping to eradicate violence and discrimination against the LGBT population in Israel.
Contrary to popular belief that the state of the LGBT community in Israel is good, studies and submissions to the competition over the years reveal that this relative prosperity is limited to certain groups of the population, mostly Jews, native-born and secular, while LGBT people belong to many other groups and sectors suffer distress. As in every year, the participating papers will be published on the IDAHO website after the end of the judging process, to make the knowledge acquired and accumulated accessible to the general public.
This year’s competition is dedicated to victims of hate and violence against the background of LGBTphobia.
Throughout the past year we have unfortunately witnessed many physical manifistations of LGBTphobia, culminating in the terrible murder of Shira Banki at the gay pride parade in Jerusalem and the wounding of six more victims by a stabbing attack driven by abysmal hatred of the gay community. In recent months, three members of the transgender community took their own lives – Victoria, May and Barak Z”L, and that too was led by hatred of the other, originating, inter alia, in the prevailing ignorance among the general public.
As in every year, the competition will take place on two tracks – a thesis as part of graduate studies, and papers done while studying for a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Works must be submitted by February 1, 2016; winners will be announced by May 1st, 2016. Prizes and certificates will be awarded to the winners in the various categories as part of a special seminar to be held by IDAHO – 05/17/2016, during which the winning works will be announced.