THE rainbow flag was flown at Mornington Peninsula Shire offices to celebrate International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), Monday 17 May.
The gesture was a show of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTIQA+) residents, community, friends, family and colleagues.
The mayor Despi O’Connor and Crs Sarah Race, Lisa Dixon, David Gill, Anthony Marsh, Kerri McCafferty and Paul Mercurio, as well as shire staff and members of the community, gathered in front of the Hastings office to mark the occasion and raise the flag together.
A shire statement said: “As an organisation, we are proud of our commitment to supporting our LGBTIQA+ community. In addition to marking IDAHOBIT day each year, we also have a longstanding partnership with Headspace in Frankston to deliver our Peninsula Pride programs. We’ve worked together to achieve a queer-straight alliance group in every state secondary school on the peninsula.”
The shire supports Rainbow Connections, a community group providing a safe space for transgender and gender-diverse children, plus their parents/ carers and siblings. It has partnered with training provider Polykala to “deliver Pride in the Workplace and build our capacity to support our workforce and our community”.
The shire’s aged and disability team has trained in working with LGBTIQA+ clients.
“Everyone deserves to feel safe where they live, work and play. Discrimination is not welcome at Mornington Peninsula Shire or in our community,” Cr O’Connor said.
“Sexuality and gender identity or intersex status aren’t always visible, so creating a culture where everyone feels safe and respected, even if there aren’t any visible LGBTIQA+ people, is very important.
“By celebrating IDAHOBIT and actively showing support for LGBTIQA+ people we are openly challenging discrimination and celebrating pride and diversity.”