Youth Voices Count (YVC), a regional network for young lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex individuals, has been at the forefront of advocacies geared towards the human rights of sexual and gender minorities across Asia & the Pacific. The organizations has been actively working to find solutions to different social issues faced by young people. This includes unique experiences of stigma, including self-stigma, and discrimination faced by young men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender individuals due to their sexual orientation, sexual behaviour, gender identity, and gender expression. This further marginalises these populations and increase their vulnerability to HIV.
From 2013 to 2015, YVC filmed a series of campaigns called “Loud and Proud” to celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia and International Youth Day in 8 countries including Mongolia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Fiji, Sri Lanka, China and Myanmar. In each country, a community event took place with large gatherings of young people from diverse gender and sexual backgrounds. The mini documentaries that were created were designed to bring the message of self-stigma among young MSM and young TG persons to the surface. Check out Youth Voices Count’s Youtube channel for the full videos.
The campaign used two strategies in its implementation. First, a video is developed in the implementing countries featuring young MSM and young transgender people and their issues particularly related to self –stigma and broader stigma and discrimination. Apart from that, the implementing countries will also organize an event on the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia in celebrating the young MSM and young transgender people and their courage to stand against stigma and discrimination.
This campaign contributed to raise awareness among the local communities on homophobia, transphobia and biphobia but also contributes to the international movement to raise awareness globally about the LGBTQI community by providing an effective platform for our young MSM and young transgender members to powerfully and creatively bring out their issues.
Some of the specific issues discussed in the campaign videos include, family and self-acceptance in China, mental health support in Fiji, freedom of expression and pursuit of happiness in Mongolia.
Video campaigns are increasingly effective in this time and age as it has a wider reach over the internet. It is also considered very youth-friendly and engaging with an easier method of tracking the engagement to the videos, though YouTube views, likes and comments.