International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia

Today, May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. This day aims to coordinate international events that raise awareness of LGBT rights violations and stimulate interest in LGBT rights work worldwide. By 2016 the commemorations had taken place in over 130 countries. The equestrian sports world is one of the few where gender takes no part in deciding the level of the athlete, prize money, or talent. In fact, in 2012 the journal Sociology published an article about an investigation that equestrian sport is shown to offer an unusually tolerant environment.

There are not many sports where men, women, or non-binary people can compete in the same classes, at the same level, with equal prize money, etc. But the equestrian sport requires no gender or specifications to compete and above all just enjoy the sport. In addition, the equestrian sport has women in high-profile positions and in receipt of significant awards.

It has been noted by Dashper, 2012 in the journal Sociology that equestrian sport is ‘shown to offer an unusually tolerant environment for gay men in which heterosexual men of all ages demonstrate low levels of homophobia. There are also some high-profile equestrians who are openly gay, including Sir Lee Pearson, and both Carl Hester and Spencer Wilton, who competed in the dressage team at Rio 2016 are openly gay. Also Cathrine Dufour is openly gay and married to her wife Rasmine Laudrup Dufour. In 2019, 14% of the team that supports the World Class athletes identified as LGBT+.

Short history 

The founders of the International Day Against Homophobia, as it was originally known, established the IDAHO Committee to coordinate grass-roots actions in different countries, to promote the day, and lobby for official recognition on May 17. That date was chosen to commemorate the decision to remove homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1990.



Source: British Equestrian/ Golden Ocala/ Research Gate