Advocacy Week LGBTIQ Activists Available for Media Interviews

Advocacy Week LGBTIQ Activists Available for Media Interviews

The following is a working list of international LGBTIQ activists who will be in New York City the week of December 2nd to the 10th for our Advocacy Week at the United Nations. During the week activists will visit missions, attend workshops, and then network with local LGBTIQ activists at OutSummit on Saturday.

Wednesday, December 7th, we are holding a media breakfast for journalists interested in interviewing the activists included in the list below. If you’d like to schedule one-on-one meetings or attend the breakfast, please contact: Rashima Kwatra, rkwatra@outrightinternational.org, +1 (917) 859-7555 for more details.

Rikki Nathanson is the Founder and Director of Trans Research, Education, Advocacy, & Training (TREAT), an organization that seeks to address the human rights violations faced by the trans* diverse population of Zimbabwe. As a seasoned transgender activist  from the Southern African region, she has been arrested, has challenged Zimbabwe government policies in the constitutional court, and has advocated for a trans inclusive legal policy framework across Southern Africa as a member of the Southern Africa Trans Forum (SATF) Steering Committee.

Sheriff Mothopeng is a Regional Advocacy Coordinator at Gender Dynamix, an organization in South Africa dedicated to advancing trans, GNC, and intersex rights. An archaeologist by profession, they are also working towards trans representation and visibility in film and have produced two documentaries. Sheriff advocates for policy and legal reform at the regional and international level. They seek to build a trans movement in the Southern African region that focuses on trans issues independently without them being subsumed into other identities.

Emirhan Deniz Celebi is the Secretary-General of SPoD (Social Policies, Gender Identity, and Sexual Orientation Studies Association), a NGO in Turkey that advocates for full equality for LGBTI individuals in Turkey with a special emphasis on social and economic rights. SpoD works for the development of rights-based social policy and provides legal support for LGBT individuals facing discrimination on the basis of SOGIE.

Amir Ashour is the Founder and Executive Director of IraQueer, Iraq’s only LGBT+ human rights organization. Through IraQueer, Amir aims to increase the visibility and awareness of the LGBT+ community in Iraq by sharing information, news, and personal stories in Arabic, Kurdish, and English, in addition to providing trainings and workshops.  As Amir become more involved in women’s rights activism and LGBT rights activism, he faced multiple threats from authorities, militias, and people from within his social circle, and was imprisoned twice. He eventually moved to Sweden when staying in Iraq was no longer an option. One day Amir hopes to return to Iraq and become its first gay prime minister.

Darryl Williams is the Executive Director of United and Strong Inc, a human rights NGO dedicated to providing an enabling environment for the advancement of human rights for the LGBTI community in St. Lucia. United and Strong is a member organization of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Partnership.

Kendra Frith is the Executive Director of The Colour Pink Foundation, formerly Colour Pink Group, the foremost organization in Jamaica advocating for the rights of homeless and sofa surfing LGBT and gay men, men who have sex with men (MSM), and transgender persons by providing education, life skills, and connections with healthcare providers.

Rosanna Flamer-Caldera is the Executive Director of Equal Ground, a non-profit organization seeking human and political rights for the LGBTIQ community of Sri Lanka. She has organized several lesbian and bisexual women’s conferences in Sri Lanka for the South Asian region and spearheaded the first research effort on homophobia violence and hate crimes against lesbian and bisexual women in the rural areas of Sri Lanka.

Georges Azzi is a sexual rights and HIV/AIDS activist. He is a co-founder of HELEM, the first LGBT organization in the MENA region; board member and founder of MARSA, a comprehensive sexual health clinic in Beirut, Lebanon; founder and currently executive director of the Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality (AFE), based in Lebanon. AFE’s mission is to encourage and support activists working for sexual rights and gender equality in the MENA region. The organization works closely with activists across the MENA region.

Paisarn Likhitpreechakul is the co-founder of Foundation for SOGI Rights and Justice of Thailand (FOR-SOGIE). He started the first gay column in a mainstream Thai newspaper in 2002. After the 2009 Changmai Gay Pride Parade was shut down by a mob, Paisarn co-founded FOR-SOGI to advance and advocate for the equal rights of all sexual minorities. Early this year, he organized a vigil in front of the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok honoring those killed and wounded in the Orlando, Florida nightclub shooting.

Jean Chong is the Founder of Sayoni, a community of queer women in Singapore that works to empower queer women towards greater involvement and presence in the community by providing resources and communication channels that would contribute to self-confidence, participation, and a voice. Jean has experience giving talks to UN Women Asia Pacific on policy changes to address inclusion of LBT into the feminist framework. As a member of the ASEAN SOGIE Caucus Steering Committee, she has worked with the Chinese Lala Alliance to bring together LBT activists from East Asia and South East Asia to build a south-south CEDAW and CRC hub.

Westmin James is a Litigation Specialist and Faculty of Law at the University of the West Indies Rights Advocacy Project (U-Rap). Westmin was one of the lawyers who represented Caleb Orozco in the Belize Supreme Court case which declared the country’s anti-sodomy law as unconstitutional earlier this year.

Derricia Castillo-Salazar is the President and Co-founder of Our Circle, a community-led initiative committed to awareness and empowerment of the LGBT community in Belize. To initiate affirmative change, Our Circle fosters active outreach and participation.