Nine LBTIQ Human Rights Defenders from the Global South and East have been selected for OutRight's Beijing+25 Fellowship program which engages systematically around the many entry points into the international Beijing+25 process also known as the Generation Equality Process.
We are very excited about our Beijing+25 Fellowship Program because it will bring together queer and trans voices from all over the world to occupy the Generation Equality Process. We're working to guarantee our voices and demands are heard. Lesbians, bisexual and queer women, and trans persons cannot be left behind on this call for action to achieve gender equality. The program will help to make sure not only that we are present in these spaces, but that stakeholders understand these are our spaces too.
Meet our team of 2020 Beijing+25 Fellows:
Nidal Azhary, Morocco
Nidal Azhary is a Moroccan feminist and LGBQTI+ advocate. Nidal is the founder and Executive Director of L’Union Féministe Libre (UFL), an organization working on violence based on Gender and Sexuality and providing legal and psychological support within the Kingdom of Morocco. UFL launched the first application, website, and hotline for reporting and documenting violence experienced by women and LGBTQI+ in the country.
Rituparna Borah, India
Rituparna Borah is the Co-Founder and director of Nazariya. Rituparna is a queer feminist activist working on issues about gender and sexuality for almost 15 years. Her expertise lies in planning and conducting training sessions on sexuality with organizations, collectives, rural communities, gender trainers, lawyers, students, and government officials. Rituparna has been involved in multiple collectives including Voices Against 377 which played a key role in the decriminalizing of Section 377 in India. Rituparna is a trained peer counselor and has been assisting LGBTQIA people during a crisis and other mental health-related concerns. Locally, Nazariya has started to sensitize the work and culture of groups and individuals working on issues of gender-based violence, livelihoods, education, and health from an LBT perspective.
Niue Island/New Zealand
Ms. Phylesha Brown-Acton is a high profile member and spokesperson of the Pasifika LGBTQI+ community. Her work to secure rights and support for minority groups has raised the profile of transgender communities in New Zealand and abroad. She is the co-founder and director of F’INE Pasifika Aotearoa, an organization that provides navigation support services to Pacific LGBTQI+ peoples and their families in the Auckland region, New Zealand. She has been a trustee of the Māori, Indigenous, and Pacific HIV/AIDS Foundation, and is the Co-Chair of the Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN). In June 2019, Ms. Brown-Acton received a Queen’s honor from the New Zealand Government for services to Pacific and LGBTQI+ communities. Phylesha is the first Pacific trans woman to receive a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit honor.
Mandy Chng, Singapore
Mandy Chng is the Programs and Events Coordinator at Sayoni, a feminist organization based in Singapore that works to uphold human rights protections for queer women, including lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons. At Sayoni, she oversees community engagement, as well as research and advocacy initiatives, aimed at promoting equality in dignity and wellbeing regardless of SOGIESC, at national, sub-regional, and international levels. She is currently helping Sayoni to convene the ASEAN Feminist LBQ Womxn Network. She also engages in LGBTIQ youth activism as a volunteer for Young Out Here, a queer youth community group in Singapore, and is a Core Working Group member of Youth Voices Count, a regional network of LGBTIQ youths in Asia-Pacific.
Kutlwano Pearl Magashula, Botswana
Kutlwano Pearl Magashula is a human rights lawyer who is the co-founder and lead researcher of Black Queer DocX (BQDX), a grassroots feminist collective aimed at amplifying the voices of LBTQ persons in Botswana. Using feminist principles and approaches, they are charged with strengthening BQDX’s internal operating capacity through the development of operating structures and systems that ensure strong and effective program delivery. At the international level, their work focuses on accountability for human rights violations and providing information on State compliance and other interventions. Kutlwano is an active member of the women’s movement in Botswana and the LGBTIQ community. They currently serve on the board of the Lesbians, Gays, and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO).
Barbados/Trinidad and Tobago
Ro-Ann Mohammed is a Caribbean feminist and LGBTIQ activist, based in Barbados. She is currently the Director of Sexuality, Health & Empowerment (SHE) Barbados, the only platform in Barbados dedicated to LBQT advocacy, movement building, and research. She is a Director of Pride Barbados and coordinator of the annual Pride Parade in Barbados. She serves as board member of Equals Barbados, an organization working to provide LGBTQI+ people with direct access to services and resources. Over the years, she has co-founded Barbados – Gays, Lesbians and All-Sexuals against Discrimination (B-GLAD), served as Grantmaking Advisor for the FRIDA The Young Feminist Fund. She is a Women Deliver Global Young Leader alumni focused on the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) for LGBTQI+ people.
Ying Xin, China
Ying Xin is the executive director of Beijing LGBT Center. Currently she is on a visiting scholarship with Columbia University. Since 2009, she has been actively campaigning for LGBT rights. At the Beijing LGBT Center, Ying has led advocacy and awareness campaigns against conversion therapy for LGBT persons and for the removal of homosexuality from the Chinese Classification of Mental Disorders. Ying co-curated the China Women’s Film Festival and co-founded Wuhan Rainbow, a community-based LGBT organization. Ying was an initiator of the National Survey on Discrimination based on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression in China conducted in partnership with the UN Development Program and Peking University. She also initiated the first National Survey on Living situation of transgender people in China.
Kira Xonorika, Paraguay
Kira Xonorika is an activist, artist, researcher, and writer from Paraguay. She co-founded Transitar Paraguay, a grassroots movement of trans, travesti and non-binary people that works on building a trajectory for community development by enabling interactive spaces, providing access to information and healing through bodily integrity empowerment. She’s also a community educator on issues such as trans and fat depathologization, non-essentialist perspectives on biology and decoloniality. Internationally she’s participated in regional workshops with AKAHATÁ (BR) Gordas sin Chaqueta (CO) and was a speaker at the Hague Talks platform (NL) where she advocated for the necessity to actively prioritize and integrate trans people with employment opportunities, trans specific labor quotas, to reach concrete reparations.
Dawn Macahilo, Philippines
Dawn Macahilo is a development worker, young feminist, human rights activist and avowed SRHR advocate from Iloilo, Philippines. She is currently the SheDecides Regional Movement Building Advisor for Asia. SheDecides is a global political movement who works tirelessly to promote, provide, protect and enhance the fundamental rights of every girl and woman. It is driving change, fuelled by actions in communities, with young people at its heart. It works under three priority areas: Stand Up Speak Out, Change the Rules and Unlock Resources. Dawn mainly works with launched and emerging movements in Asia namely, India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Nepal, and the Philippines. These countries are starting to identify the most pressing policy changes and other transformative developments for their specific contexts.
Published on January 28, 2020 | OutRight Action International an LGBT human rights organization