SOGI Campaigns is for activists defending Sexual and Gender Diversities
“SOGI” stands for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identities. This site is dedicated to all who want to make a change in the world towards more acceptance and equality for people who don’t fit the traditional patterns. These are of course Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender people, but also all who don’t fit into mainstream representations of what “makes” a man or a woman: Queers, Intersex people, people labelled by their own cultural codes: Indian “Hijras”, Thai “Katoeys”, etc.
Or just “straight” people who feel oppressed by rigid gender representations.
It is a collective work involving hundreds of activists worldwide.
It is currently managed by the team that also facilitates the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia
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Agim Margilaj - Kosovo
Since 2010, Agim has been publicly active in the LGBTI movement in Kosovo. As a Program Manager in the Center for Social Group Development he has been involved in drafting the anti-discrimination legislation, amendments to the Criminal Code and the National LGBTI Strategy. Agim is one of key organizers of three marches marking IDAHOT and the first Pride Parade in Pristina, the capital of Kosovo in 2017.
Moreover he was a Board Member of ERA – LGBTI Equal Rights Association for Western Balkans and Turkey (2015-2017). As a public figure in Kosovo, Agim regularly participates in events and activities aiming to contribute to bringing change in societal attitudes towards LGBTI and other marginalized communities, especially in media.
Angeline Jackson - Jamaica
Angeline Jackson is an LGBT human rights activist, HIV/AIDS educator, Executive Director of Quality of Citizenship Jamaica, and a life coach. In 2013, she co-founded Quality of Citizenship Jamaica, served as the associate director of Youth Guardian Services (YGS) from 2010 to 2015 and currently serves on the Global Advisory Board of Alturi. She also works with a growing faith-based group in Jamaica. Over the years Angeline has presented at various events and panels including the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force: Creating Change, Founders Metropolitan Community Church, and has been a repeat featured speaker at Human Rights First IDAHOT Events on Capitol Hill where she has shared the podium with the Honorable David Cicilline and the Honorable Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. She had received the 2014 Saint Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation Hero Award, the 2016 Troy Perry Medal of Pride, and the 2017 Florida Youth Pride Coalition 2017 Icon Award for her work on LGBT rights in Jamaica. In 2015 at the Town Hall for Youth in Kingston Jamaica, former President Barack Obama recognized Angeline as one of the island’s remarkable young leaders. Angeline is a returning Fellow of the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum.
Andrea Kämpf – Germany
Andrea Kämpf is a lawyer and Senior Policy Advisor at the German Institute for Human Rights, Germany’s National Human Rights Institution. She coordinates the Institute’s team working with German state development institutions on the implementation of a human rights-based approach. In her work, she focuses on accountability of state donors and the promotion of civil society, having recently finished a research project on how state donors should promote human rights defenders working on sexual orientation and gender identity. She also works as a consultant for both state and non-state organisations. Before joining the Institute, she spent several years working with EU-funded development projects and for the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe. She acts here in her private capacity.
Anthony Oluoch – Kenya
Anthony Oluoch is the Executive Director of Gay Kenya Trust, an organization that works towards equality and non-discrimination for all including gay and lesbian individuals in Kenya. As a lawyer, he has previously worked as the Legal and Human Rights Officer at the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya where he was instrumental in designing and initiating the implementation of what was then a strategy towards decriminalization of adult consensual same-sex conduct. He currently sits in the advisory panel of the Queen’s Young Leaders Award.
Xu Bin – China
Bin Xu is a dedicated LGBT rights activist in China.
In 2004 Bin Xu founded Common Language, a support and rights group for lesbians, bisexual women and transgender people in China. In 2008 Bin Xu con-founded Beijing LGBT Center, and served as its executive director from 2009-2010.
Bisi Alimi - UK /Nigeria
Bisi Alimi is the founder and the Executive Director of the Bisi Alimi Foundation, an organisation working to accelerate social acceptance of LGBT people in Nigeria.
Alimi has a BA in Theatre Arts (2004) from the University of Lagos Nigeria and MSc in Global Governance and Public Policy (2011) from Birkbeck College University of London.
Alimi is a multitalented storyteller, actor, activist and angelic troublemaker. He has over 15 years experience working on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Africa.
Before starting Bisi Alimi Foundation, he was a lecturer at the Humboldt University in Berlin teaching “Pre and Post Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Africa”.
In his spare time, he loves to read, watch television and cook. He lives in London with his husband.
Caleb Orozco - Belize
Caleb Orozco is an LGBT activist in Belize. He was the chief litigant in a case successfully challenging the anti-sodomy laws of Belize and the co-founder of the only LGBT advocacy group in the country.
Orozco became politically active when he was 31, after attending a workshop in Belize City for gay men and for people living with HIV.Orozco co-founded the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) in 2006, and later became the president.UNIBAM is the country’s only LGBT advocacy group and has been using the legal system to challenge the anti-sodomy laws in Belize.UNIBAM is run out of Orzoco’s home.
Carla Sutherland - South Africa
Carla is currently an independent consultant, a visiting scholar at CUNY Graduate Center, and a senior advisor at the Vaid Group. Prior to this she was Director of Programmes at the Other Foundation in South Africa. Previously, she was a visiting scholar at the Gender and Sexuality Law Center, at Columbia University; the Director of International Programs at the Arcus Foundation; and she led the Ford Foundation’s education and sexuality program in Eastern Africa where she fostered a partnership among global and regional funders to establish a new human rights fund focused on support for sexual minorities, that led to the establishment of The East Africa Sexual Health and Rights Initiative (UHAI).
Eliane Fersan - Lebanon
Eliane Fersan has over 15 years of experience in NGO development, network & strategy building, training, project & event management, communications, media relations. She held several executive positions with regional & international NGOs & corporations & the UN.
She lead the Youth & Culture Center of Zouk Mikaël (2009-2014), a Lebanese municipal institution that promotes human development. Fersan lectured at the American University of Science & Technology in Beirut & was the Program Manager of the Middle East Partnership Initiative at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut (2009-2014).
Knowledgeable in the fields of protocol & diplomacy, Fersan prepared advocacy campaigns for participatory democracy & developed agreements & bilateral relations between cities & drafted, overseen & executed Public Private Partnership agreements. Fersan founded & managed an alumni network. She participated in electoral transparency monitoring campaigns.
Active with numerous civil society organizations, Fersan is founder & President of Lebanon Development Union, co-founder of the Lebanese Volunteers Association (ALB) & a registered expert at the Partnership between the European Commission & the Council of Europe on youth.
Elie Ballan - Lebanon
Elie Ballan, holder of a license of Cinema Arts and with TV content and marketing producer background, has been an activist for LGBTQ rights for more than a decade. Joined M-Coalition in January 2016 as Executive Director, a full-time activist for the rights of LGBTQI and people living with HIV in North Africa and the Middle East. Elie Ballan is also the director of an HIV intervention project called Tayf in Beirut, dedicated to young MSM and HIV. Elie sits on the Steering Committee of the Global Forum of MSM and HIV, the MSMGF and on the MENA Community Advisory Board. Elie came out to his parents, family and friends at the age of 18 and spoke openly about his HIV status to all those who knew him in 2016. Elie wants to see a MENA region more tolerant for LGBT individuals and advancement for the eradication of HIV/AIDS, in other words he tries to make this world a better place for everyone, one step at a time.
Fabrice Houdard - United Nations
Ging Cristobal - Philippines
A lesbian feminist activist since 1997, Ging Cristobal has worked extensively for legal and social change in the Philippines. She was the Executive Director and one of the founders of the Lesbian Advocates Philippines (LeAP!) She was also one of the founders and active members of Task Force Pride, the local network engaged in organizing the annual LGBT Pride event in the Philippines, of the Asia Pacific Rainbow, a regional LGBT organization, and a former member and party list nominee of LADLAD, a national LGBT political organization for LGBT people in the Philippines.
Ging has been a technical advisor of UNDP Being’s Asia regional project LGBT in Asia, and is acting Chairperson of the Quezon City Pride Council, instrumental in having the anti-discrimination ordinance passed in Quezon City. Ging is one of the co-founder & member – ASEAN SOGIE Caucus, a coalition of LGBT groups in Southeast Asia advocating for the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGIE) in the ASEAN.
She joined OutRight Action International in 2008 as Project Coordinator for Asia and the Pacific.
Grainne Healy – Ireland
Dr Grainne Healy is Chairwoman of Marriage Equality and former Co Director of Yes Equality, the coalition that brought a landslide victory for the referendum on marriage equality in Ireland in 2015
Grainne is a long time feminist activist, former chairwoman of National Women’s Council of Ireland and Vice President of European Women’s Lobby. Co author of ‘Ireland Says Yes’ (Merrion Press, 2016) and Editor of ‘Crossing the Threshold – Story of Marriage Equality in Ireland’ (Merrion Press, June 2017). She is currently rolling out training for Council of Europe SOGI Unit on relationships recognition to member states of Council of Europe. A recipient of a Gay And Lesbian Award (GALA)for her lgbt activism in 2015, she was also awarded ‘Tatler woman of the Year’ 2015 and recently, Dublin City University awarded her an Almuni Special Achievement Award in 2017 for her work on LGBT rights and marriage equality in the Yes Equality campaign.
Helen Kennedy – Canada
Helen Kennedy, became Egale’s Executive Director in 2007. She is the first woman to hold the position. She joined the organization with 22 years of experience in politics both as an elected city councillor and a political staffer. Helen’s work includes the Climate Survey on Homophobia and Transphobia in Canadian Schools, the first national survey of its kind in Canada, and provides critical findings on bullying to schools, educators and governments. She has delivered training to Immigration Refugee Adjudicators and police services across Canada and at the invitation of the US Department of Defence, consulted with senior Pentagon officials in Washington on the US military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. She is Co-Secretary General of ILGA World, the International Gay, Lesbian, Trans and Intersex Association. Helen is also a member of the Ontario Premier’s Roundtable on Violence Against Women. This Roundtable advises the government on emerging issues of gendered violence.dered violence.
Joel Bedos – France
Prior to his engagement with the IDAHOT Committee, Joel has worked 15 years for various organisations working on international solidarity. His career took him from relief work, to development work focusing mainly on basic education, to advocacy and campaigning. He is a former Policy and Campaigns Director for Oxfam France and acted as Policy Advisor for Oxfam International. He has been the Director of the IDAHO Committee between 2008 and 2015
Juan Pigot – Suriname
As a local LGBT activist, Juan has been organising many events in Suriname, from Pride marches to IDAHOT events, film festivals, etc. His current main engagement is with PAREA, a network of LGBT professionals in the country. As such, he has been involved in international work on workplace equality.
Justin Francis Bionat - Phillipines
Justin Francis is a fellow of the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum of the Salzburg Global Seminar and a Member of Youth Voices Count – Asia, an organization that advocates Sexual and Reproductive Health in the Asia-Pacific Region for young Men Who Have Sex With Men (MSM), Transgender and LGBT Youth. At 21 years old, he has been a scholar and panelist in international conferences on LGBT Rights, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Gender Equality. He is the current chairperson of the Iloilo Pride Team, an organization based in Iloilo City. Philippines that organizes events across the region that focuses mainly on addressing the key issues of the LGBT community. He specializes in advocacy work for the community including HIV and AIDS, SOGIE Awareness and Capacity Building for LGBT groups and individuals. His interests include Health Policy, Anti-Discrimination Campaigns and Community Mobilization.
Kevin Truong - USA
Kevin Truong is a documentary photographer, filmmaker, and journalist. He first received recognition for his work with the Gay Men Project, a photo project in which he has documented the lives of gay and queer men across 37 countries. He also regularly contributes stories to NBC Out at NBC News, where he has covered a range of topics including the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, the LGBTQ movement in Vietnam, and the fight for marriage equality in Australia. His work has been recognized internationally, including by the Huffington Post, Complex: Art and Design, Fast Company, iD Magazine (Spain), Le Monde (France), and OGlobo (Brazil).
Kristi Pinderi – Albania
Kristi is a lead LGBT activist in Albania and brings extensively knowledge of the region to the advisory board, as well as creative campaigning skills..
Lana Gobec - Slovenia
Lana joined Legebitra in January 2015 and was actively involved in advocacy efforts surrounding adoption of Marriage Equality amendment in spring 2015 and later in the Marriage Equality referendum campaign in December 2015. Afterwards she was involved in broader advocacy project within which “Kaj pa ti opaziš?” (“What do you notice?”) campaign was created. Before joining Legebitra she interned for a European Parliament MP and was active in the liberal political youth section.
Linh NgoLePhuong- Viet nam
Mamikon Hovsepyan - Armenia
Mamikon is an LGBTQ activist and a Human Rights Defender living and working in Armenia. He started his activism in 2002. In 2007 Mamikon and three friends founded PINK Armenia, the leading LGBTQ organization in the country. Currently the Executive Director of PINK Armenia, Mamikon advocates for LGBTQ community empowerment, human rights protections at national and international levels.
Mamikon holds a degree in sociology, and a Masters Degree in Human Rights and Democratization. He specializes in health, human rights, and gender issues. In 2017 he received a Bob Hepple Equality Award for his work in advancing LGBT rights in Armenia. Mamikon is also a board member of such prominent organizations as Human Rights House Yerevan and GALAS based in Los Angeles, and has been working for 20 years for LGBTQ people in Armenia and Diaspora.
Maria Rachid - Argentina
Mariano Ruiz – Argentina
Mariano Ruiz has been in constant contact with activists from the region, advising, guiding, and supporting campaigns and projects for the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. In addition, Mariano had been working as a volunteer with the Argentinian Federation for Lesbian, Gays, Bisexuals and Transsexuals (FALGBT) since 2007. As from September 2016 he was named responsible for the International Affairs secretariat. Since may 2016 he is also the communications officer for the Latin America and Caribbean Trans Network (REDLACTRANS).
Marko Jurcic – Croatia
Marko has been involved in LGBTIQ movement in Western Balkan region since 2002, taking part in various queer and left-wing grass-roots organizations and networks, including Zagreb Pride, a Croatian queer-feminist and anti-fascist organization, where he held executive roles in advocacy and campaigning. In addition, he co-founded two large national activists’ coalitions pertaining to the most significant advocacy activities since the establishment of the Croatian LGBTIQ movement 25 ago: the advocacy campaign for same-sex partnership legislation (2014) and the referendum campaign for voting against constitutional amendment initiated by the Catholic Church and alter-right in Croatia (2013).
Maurice Tomlinson – Jamaica
Michael Barron - Ireland
He is the Founding Director of both BeLonG To, Ireland’s national LGBTI youth rights organisation, and EQUATE, a children’s rights organisation advocating for equality in education. He has worked with and on behalf young people nationally and internationally for twenty years.
During his time at BeLonG To he directed the development of a national network of LGBT supports and successfully advocated for significant policy and legislative change in the areas of children and young people, education, bullying, mental health, drug use and equality. His work has often focused on the intersections of identities, including strategies to support LGBTI refugees and migrants. He’s a seasoned public campaigner (on and off-line) and has directed campaigns on LGBTI awareness, anti-violence and freedom of religion and beliefs. Michael has written extensively on Equality and Human Rights and was awarded person of the year at the Gay and Lesbian Awards (GALA), the UCC LGBT Human Rights Award and the Irish USA Distinguished Leader Award (2015).
Monica Leonardo - Guatemala
Mónica Leonardo is a Guatemalan attorney who practices human rights law. Her professional, academic and voluntary services and activities focus on transgender rights, rule of law and civil society. She holds a Master of Laws degree from Georgetown University, where she attended as a Fulbright Scholar and is a proud alumna of Pearson College UWC. She is a Salzburg Global LGBT Forum Fellow.
Midnight Poonkasetwattana – Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health
Midnight is the executive director of APCOM. Founded in 2007, APCOM is a coalition of members – governments, UN partners, non-profits and community based organisations – from Asia and the Pacific. It aims to advocate on, highlight and prioritise HIV issues that affect the lives of men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender people.
Neil Goodwin - South Africa
Neil is an activist, film-maker and writer.
He studied documentary film making at the London College of Printing. In 1991, he co-directed the documentary ‘Operation Solstice‘ about the Battle of the Beanfield for Channel 4.
Throughout the 90’s he was a video activist and road protester, involved in the No M11 Campaign, Newbury and Reclaim the Streets and wrote articles for The New Statesman, The Guardian, and Squall Magazine about environmental protest and DIY Culture.
Since 2006, he has been a mime activist, dressing up as Charlie Chaplin (Charlie X) in Cape Town and London and pulling funny faces outside the wrong places – campaigning against corruption and state secrecy, and for human rights and cultural diversity.
He lived in South Africa for nearly ten years. Throughout 2015 / 2016, he was the Human Rights officer at the Scalabrini Centre in Cape Town, an outreach centre for refugees and asylum seekers, running a number of campaigns back to back, including the Let’s Face It Campaign.
He now lives in London, and continues campaigning on a number of fronts.
Niluka Perera - Youth Voices Count
Niluka is a gay activist from Sri Lanka working as the regional coordinator of Youth Voices Count, a network of young LGBTQ+ people in Asia and the Pacific. Young people and their rights have always been his passion and he has been advocating for the rights of LGBTQ+ people since 2010. Niluka also currently serves as a member of the Global platform to fast track the HIV and human rights responses among gay, bisexual men and other men who have sex with men convened by MSMGF and UNAIDS as well as a member of the Community, Rights and Gender advisory group of Global Fund.
Ron Schlittler – American Psychological Association
Ron Schlittler currently works for the American Psychological Association’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Concerns Office as Program Coordinator. The role includes both domestic and international responsibilities. Prior to that, he worked at the local, state and national levels of the LGBT rights movement for nearly 20 years including 10 years at the national office of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays in Washington, DC, with positions raging from Field Coordinator to Interim Executive Director. He earned his Master of International Policy and Practice with an emphasis in international human rights law in 2009.
Ryan Silverio - Philippines / Asia Region
Ryan V. Silverio is the current Regional Coordinator of the ASEAN SOGIE Caucus. He has been involved in LGBTIQ activism in the Philippines for more than a decade where he helped organized pride marches in Metro Manila and conducted human rights education with youth activists. He has worked with human rights and child rights organizations. His activism extends into the academe in his capacity as Senior Lecturer at the Department of International Studies of Miriam College in the Philippines where he teaches courses on gender, human rights and social research. He has co-authored publications focusing on children’s right to participation in ASEAN, human rights education, and migration and ICT. Ryan holds a Master of Arts in Human Rights degree obtained from Mahidol University, Thailand.
Shale Ahmed – Bangladesh
Shale works with the Bangladeshi organisation Bandhu Social Society Welfare, which supports sexual health and welfare of sexual and gender minorities in the country. He brings expertise of working in an extremely difficult context and with muslim religious communities.
Tamara Adrian – Venezuela
Tamara is a lawyer and law professor, and has been a Trans activist in Venezuela, across Latin America and globally for many years. She has been working extensvely on legal reforms in Venezuela and the region. She has published extensively in several languages on the legal aspects of sexual orientation and gender identity. She is female co-president for International Lesbian Gay Transgender Law Association ILGALaw.
Toni Reis – Brazil
Toni Reis is the former President of the Brazilian LGBT federation ABGLT, a national umbrella organisation uniting 203 organisation and conducting information, lobbying, advocacy and campaigning activities. ABGLT has amongst many other achievements successfully lobby President Lula to officially recognize the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia in Brazil.
Vreer Verkerke – Transgender Europe
Vreer is a Transgender activist from the Netherlands and serves on the IDAHO Committee advisory board as liaison officer with the umbrella network Transgender Europe.
Wiktor Dynarski – Poland
PhD student at Warsaw University Institute of Applied Social Sciences, a trans*activist (within Poland and internationally, especially in Central Eastern Europe), author, researcher, blogger.
Freelance trainer and lecturer on trans issues, trans human rights, trans Polish history and internal NGO management.
Wiktor’s longest work experience was the time they spent at Trans-Fuzja Foundation, Poland’s first trans NGO. They became its volunteer in 2008, joined the board in 2009 and served as its Vice-President, became the International Affairs Officer in 2012 and settled as the President and Executive Director in June 2014. Wiktor left the presidential position as well as the organization in January 2017.
Between 2010 and 2014 Wiktor served as a Steering Committee member and later Co-chair of Transgender Europe – the European Network of trans organizations working for human rights of trans and gender variant people. Between 2013 and 2015 they served as a member (later also chair) of the Control Committee of TransFúzia, Slovakia’s first trans* association and between 2014 and 2016 as a member of Control Committee at Miłość Nie Wyklucza (Love Does Not Exclude), an organization working for marriage equality in Poland.
Wiktor Dynarski is now in New York as a program officer with the Open Society Public Health Program, where they focus on trans and intersex health and rights
Xin Ying - China
Ying Xin (Iron) is the executive director of the Beijing LGBT Center in China, where she started the LGBT affirmed psychologists’ training and initiated the first national survey on social attitudes towards sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. She also initiated China’s first trans gender hotline and LGBT affirming psychologists network. Ying is the co-curator of China women’s film festival and co-founder of guerrilla salon – a feminist salon in Beijing. Ying is a Fellow of Session 551, Salzburg Global LGBT Forum: Strengthening Communities – LGBT Human Rights and Social Cohesion and Session 570, Salzburg Global LGBT Forum: The Many Faces of LGBT Inclusion
Xiaogang Wei – China
DrXiaogang Wei is the founder of the LGBT webcast Queer Comrades, and the Executive Director of the Beijing Gender Health Education Institute (BGHEI) which houses the webcast Queer Comrades. Founded in 2002, it constitutes one of the first Chinese NGOs to focus on issues of gender, sexuality and sexual health, thus fulfilling a pioneering role in Chinese society. He is also the curator of the Beijing Queer Film Festival for 2015 and 2016 and a board member of the Beijing LGBT Centre. And a member of Technical Advisory Group of the UNDP “Being LGBTI in Asia” program.
Nguyen Hai Yen - Viet Nam
Yen identifies herself as a queer women and has been engaging in lesbian grassroots activism since 2004. She worked in ICS Center, the organization of LGBTQ community in Viet Nam from 2008 to December 2017 as its Program director. She initiated and organized leadership programs and capacity/advocacy building workshops to young and student activists, and maintained relations with stakeholders including local LGBTIQ communities, youth allies, researchers, education sector, partners and donors, regional and global LGBTIQ organizations. She is very enthusiastic with building bridges among grassroots communities that work on diverse topics including mental health, gender equality, education, environment, etc., From 2018, she entirely works on feminist movement building with the focus on LBTQ community empowerment. She tries to learn new things, being more critical and strategic, and thriving to use feminist approach in every decision making.