The Mountains united against prejudice last week during the annual International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) celebrations.
The rainbow flag was raised for the third year in a row outside Blue Mountains City Council (BMCC) on Thursday, May 17, but celebrations extended further afield with the first official event staged in Springwood’s town square.
A joint project between Blue Mountains TAFE and Springwood Neighbourhood Centre, the inaugural IDAHO day in Springwood saw more than 150 people drop by to share support, stories, delicious cakes and a barbecue from 11am to 1pm.
The Springwood event was a project of Community Services Certificate Four TAFE students Belinda Tangye, Lisa Gilderdale and Ashleigh Ang, who managed to organise the day on a budget of exactly nothing.
But with donated sausages, resources, cakes and the kindness of Rotaract volunteers, the event proved highly successful.
“We’re holding the event for the first time in Springwood this year but we’re hoping each year from now on the community services students will carry it on,” Lisa said.
“We feel very special to be holding it, everyone pitched in together and did bits and pieces.”
IDAHO is celebrated annually in more than 60 countries around the world on May 17, which marks the day World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from the list of mental disorders.
Liz Murphy from Springwood Neighbourhood Centre said it was good to see the event celebrated in the Lower Mountains community.
“It’s been a great initiative by the TAFE students and we have been happy to work in partnership with TAFE,” she said.
“We hope IDAHO day in Springwood will be an annual event.”