Rainbows and colour covered Charles Sturt University in Port Macquarie on May 17 as students and community members gathered recognising the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).
Celebrated around the world the day is about championing inclusion and giving a very visual sign of support towards the LGBTIQ+ community.
On May 17, 1990, the World Health Assembly of the World Health Organization approved the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems no longer list homosexuality as a diagnosis.
Richard Sheargold is president of the newly created Pride in Port group which is becoming an advocacy body for the "rainbow community" as Richard calls it.
"For me saying the individual letters of LBGTIQ+ is still isolating so I like to say rainbow community as a way of bringing us together," Richard said.
"Part of the objectives of our new group is to celebrate diversity and individuality and promote safe spaces in the community.
"The other role of the group is around education and showing that it is okay to be different and celebrating diversity is what makes a great community flourish."
He said everyone in the rainbow community has stories of discrimination and that is why days like this are important.
"When I was younger I didn't really get involved with days like this but 10 years ago I was bashed because of who I am and spent three months in hospital recovering so days like this are so vital now," he said.
"Unless we stand together to overcome bigotry we stand alone and that is when we are all vulnerable. The biggest killer for our community isn't the attack itself, it is the feeling of being hopeless when we are just trying to live our lives.
"Everyone has the right to think and feel anyway they want, but when people in our community get assaulted for walking down the street that is when we need to stand together. Opinions are opinions and should not be used as weapons."
Lauren Darcy, president of the student representative council at CSU Port Macquarie said the day was a visual reminder that CSU was a safe space for people identifying as LGBTIQ+.
"CSU preaches that they are an inclusive university and so this day is really about saying to people in the community that you are free to do what you choose and who you love," Lauren said.
"Today we have a rainbow staircase thanks to graphic design students and a rainbow mural along with a morning tea to stand together with the LGBTIQ+ community and say no to violence."
What else is making news?
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox from the Port Macquarie News. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, SIGN UP HERE.