IDAHOT: the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia was celebrated in Wollongong last week with a screening of the controversial documentary Gayby Baby at the Wollongong Art Gallery.

IDAHOT is designed to raise awareness of the discrimination that takes place towards members of the LGBT+ community. Greyce Dillion, a LGBT student at UOW, said the day is about bringing awareness to those who might not know a lot about the topic and is a way in which members of LGBT+ community can mark their progress.

“The first IDAHOT day was celebrated when Homosexuality was no longer classed as a disease. It marks a success for LGBT+ people,” Dillon said.

“IDAHOT is a great way to bring people together, not just within the LGBT+ community but everyone as a whole; knowing and being in contact with LGBT+ people can be first step to acceptance.”

Headspace Wollongong organised the screening of the documentary to celebrate the day and to show support for the LGBT+ community. Many people attended the event, and were enlightened by the film and inspired by the courageous stories from LGBT+ role models.

Bronwyn Lloyd, Justin Candelaria, Thee Withnall and Even Malthy at the Wollongong Art Gallery for the 'Gayby Baby' screening

Bronwyn Lloyd, Justin Candelaria, Thee Withnall and Even Malthy at the Wollongong Art Gallery for the ‘Gayby Baby’ screening

The night also had guest speakers, including two young members of the LGBT community, Max Rene and Amy Lee.

Headspace volunteer and event organiser Jade Williams said the night was organised in order to make the community aware that diverse families are normal and to recognise children of same sex families.

“I felt we were helping to eradicate the stereotypes such as “oh that kid is going to turn out gay because his/her parents are,” Williams said.

“I think most people are so fixated on gay marriage that the children are forgotten.

“Events like this should be run more often because it’s beneficial to educate people on the issue and not just wait for days like IDAHOT.”

The documentary follows the story of four children from same-sex families.

This screening follows the controversy that Gayby Baby provoked went in August of last year when NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli temporarily banned the film from being shown during school hours in all NSW public schools. Since then, the makers of the film have created a resource kit for schools in order to teach students about family diversity.