Together against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia

17 May 1990 marked a historic turning point when the World Health Organisation (WHO) removed homosexuality from the list of mental illnesses. Since then, this date has become emblematic of the fight against homophobia, transphobia and biphobia. These are not only social justice issues, but also feminist issues.

Although the term ‘phobia’ comes from the vocabulary of psychology and refers to an irrational fear, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia are not about fear but about rejection, even hatred, of LGBTIQ+ people. This umbrella term covers a variety of sexual orientations, sexual characteristics and gender identities (see LGBTIQ+ Glossary).

These forms of discrimination are rooted in the ‘transgression’ of gender norms, representations and roles [1]. Our societies are organised around a binary ‘gender system’ that assumes two sexes (male and female), two gender identities (male and female) and attraction to the opposite sex (heterosexuality). This worldview is a source of inequality: what is traditionally associated with femininity is less socially valued than what is associated with masculinity.

Women and all people who do not fit into this binary are particularly affected by gender inequality, discrimination and violence. Doubly (or even triply!) marginalised, lesbian, bisexual and/or transgender women live at the intersection of homophobia, transphobia and sexism. In Switzerland, more than a third of lesbian and bisexual women have been victims of obscene comments and gestures, and almost 27% have experienced sexual harassment at work [2]. Trans people also face high levels of discrimination, with almost a third excluded from the labour market because of their gender identity [3]. Trans women are particularly vulnerable, accounting for 96% of all transphobic murders worldwide [4].

The fight against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia is an essential feminist issue because this discrimination is rooted in a gender system that oppresses both women and gender minorities. It is also linked to the fundamental demands of feminism: the right to control one’s own body, the right to live free from sexual violence and the quest for a more just, inclusive and non-discriminatory world.

So, on 17 May 2024, let’s come together to fight homophobia, biphobia and transphobia! Numerous activities will be organised by Geneva’s various LGBTIQ+ associations, particularly as part of the City of Geneva’s “Genève, ville durable pour touxtes !” campaign.

LGBTIQ+ associations in Geneva


[1] Lorena Parini et Anouk Lloren, « Les discriminations envers les homosexuel-le-s dans le monde du travail : Résultats d’une enquête en Suisse », Travail, genre et sociétés, 2017, vol. 2, n°38, p. 151-169.

[2] Lorena Parini, « Être LGBT au travail » : Résultats d’une recherche en Suisse, Université de Genève & Fédération genevoise des associations LGBT, 2016.

[3] Transgender Network Switzerland, Trans-fair, 2017.

[4] Trans Murder Monitoring 2023 Global Update :