On May 17, 1990, the World Health Organization (WHO) removed homosexuality from the list of mental illnesses, ending more than a century of discrimination within medicine. Although that decision only depathologized sexual orientation while it maintained for many more years the pathologization of transvestite and trans people – consigning their identities as a “gender dysphoria” – it was a very important historical event in the struggle for rights’ recognition and the creation of public policies for the LGBTIQ + population.

Proposed in 2004, the date was consolidated a year later as the day of visibility, promotion and demand for the protection and full enjoyment of the human rights of this population at the international level. The idea, promoted by a committee called IDAHO (for the initials of International Day Against Homophobia), is today managed collectively and in collaboration between regional and thematic networks that work to promote the rights of people with sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions. and non-hegemonic sexual characteristics and dissent. It is currently celebrated in more than 130 countries, including 37 where same-sex acts are illegal.

Although the date is known worldwide as the International Day against Homophobia, Lesbophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, it is increasingly common to refer to it as the International Day to Combat Discrimination based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, as do, for example, laws of different jurisdictions in Argentina. The Argentine Ministry of Justice and Human Rights explains: “This change in the name responds to the fact that, although ´homophobia´, ´transphobia´, ´lesbophobia´ and ´biphobia´ are terms that are commonly used to speak of hatred or rejection of LGBTIQ + people, they are not correct since it is not a phobia, that is, a psychological health disorder, but discriminatory acts learned socially, which carry a legal sanction”. In any case, beyond the evident advances at the global level, human rights organizations around the world maintain the fight for the total depathologization of transvestite and trans identities, and continue to demand their complete withdrawal from the International Classification of Diseases, at the same time that the most absolute freedom of expression of sexual orientation and gender identity is respected and guaranteed.