Sunderland is once again supporting the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) by raising the Rainbow flag at the city's Civic Centre.
IDAHOT Day is an annual event to show solidarity for sexual and gender diversity, and the flag was raised today by the new Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Lynda Scanlan, in one of her first official duties after being sworn in by full Council this Wednesday evening.
Members of Sunderland LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender) Equality Forum, the city council’s Supporting Equality Network and the local LGBT community were joined by supporters and representatives including Gentoo, Northumbria Police and Stonewall to see the Rainbow flag being raised.
The range of people and organisations attending the event support the IDAHOT 2018 theme of 'Alliances for Solidarity', which has been chosen in recognition of the importance of strengthening alliances in order to create change.
Councillor Scanlan said: "It’s fantastic that so many people are attending to see the Rainbow flag being raised.
"It is a clear indication of the support for International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
"It shows we are already working in a way that supports the 'Alliances for Solidarity' theme of the day.
"We all carry out important work as individuals and as separate organisations. However, when we come together we can make a real difference in our city.
"The day is an opportunity for us all to reinforce our partnerships and to reach out to others to raise awareness of the work we do to promote equality of opportunity.
"We can also use this occasion to celebrate our commonalities and to show we can all be allies to others with a range of different backgrounds, identities and circumstances.
"In this way we can all support people in Sunderland to fulfil their potential and be the best they can be.“
IDAHO (International Day against Homophobia) was launched in 2004 and has since become internationally recognised.
In 2009 it became IDAHOT when transgender was added to recognise the different issues between sexual orientation and gender expression.
In 2015, biphobia was also added to the title, to acknowledge the specific issues faced by bisexual people.
People or people who know someone who has suffered violence or hostility because of their sexual orientation, gender identity (including Trans), race, disability, age, race or faith can call: 0191 520 5550.
Calls are confidential.
They can also be reported to police on the non-emergency 101 line or if someone is in immediate danger call 999.
If you or someone else is in immediate danger call 999
For more information on the international campaign go to http://dayagainsthomophobia.org/.