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The Governor of Victoria tonight hosted an historic reception at Government House for International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) in a mark of respect and support for the LGBTI community.

The Hon Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria, said the IDAHOBIT reception was an historic first for Government House.

However the Governor said the occasion ought not be remarkable.

“I am sure like all of you, we look forward to a day when an occasion like this will be rather commonplace – or better still, unnecessary,” the Governor told guests at the reception.

Hundreds of members of Victoria’s LGBTI community, and their supporters, attended the reception at Government House for IDAHOBIT, which marks the date on 17 May, 1990, when the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders.

“Gathered together this evening is a diverse and proud community – one which has carried the torch of courage, often at great cost, to combat homophobia, biphobia and transphobia, to speak up for the transgendered and for those who identify as intersex,” the Governor said.

“This week you and I and Victorians of goodwill the length and breadth of this great State will join with people around the globe to acknowledge and denounce the discrimination and violence that the LGBTI community continues to experience, at home and abroad, and I wish you a strong voice in doing so.

“Never doubt the importance of the work that you do to build understanding, pride, networks and, critically, to improve services and support for the differing experiences, identities and needs across our society.”

The Governor said IDAHOBIT was not just a protest, but also a day to celebrate survival, visibility, solidarity and achievement.