Mayor, Councillor Mark Greenhill, said: “This is no hollow gesture. Flying this flag means the Blue Mountains will not stand for discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or violence against any member of our community. Hate is despicable, illegal, and is not welcome here.”

A vibrant collection of community groups, students, Councillors and Council staff were Welcomed to Country by Dahrug Elder, Uncle Colin Locke.

Following the Mayor’s opening address and flag raising, the crowd listened to speeches, songs, panel discussions and interviews.

Performances by EViE – Ending Violence improving Equality and both Katoomba and Winmalee High School students delighted the crowd. Kindlehill School and Blaxland High School students were also in attendance.

All event proceedings were steered deftly by spectacular Drag King and emcee, Elle Virus.

The IDAHOBIT event was organised by Council, community members, and the following community organisations:

  • Mountains Youth Service Team (MYST)
  • Belong Blue Mountains
  • Springwood Neighbourhood Centre
  • ACON
  • Blue Mountains Women’s Health and Resource Centre
  • Noff Street University
  • Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District
  • Mountains Outreach Community Service
  • Platform Youth Services
  • Katoomba High School
  • Headspace
  • DV West

Generous donations of food and beverages were also received from businesses including:

  • Todarello’s Katoomba
  • Hominy Bakery, Katoomba
  • Mountain High Pies, Wentworth Falls
  • Bakers Delight, Katoomba
  • Woolworths, Katoomba
  • Coles, Katoomba
  • Piccacino Mobile Café.

Mayor, Councillor Mark Greenhill, said: “IDAHOBIT is an opportunity to educate the wider community on why we need to fight prejudice against the LGBTQIA+ community. To anyone who thinks the work is done, I want to remind you that because of discrimination and stigma, 78.4% of LGBTQIA+ people have considered suicide at some point in their life. This awful statistic demonstrates the LGBTQIA+ community are not as safe, or supported, as they have the right to be.”

IDAHOBIT is celebrated on 17 May, as the anniversary of the World Health Organisation removing homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases in 1990.

Photos: Event emcee Elle Virus and Mayor Mark Greenhill stand shoulder-to-shoulder at the Blue Mountains IDAHOBIT event at Civic Place, Katoomba, Wednesday 17 May 2023.