In what seems like a blink of an eye another year has passed. We began this year full of hope and determination to overcome the pandemic and return to some semblance of normalcy. While vaccines have become widely available in some places, travel has resumed, and in person connections are possible, albeit in more restricted ways, vaccine access is far from equitable, and our global LGBTIQ communities have continued to face amplified effects of the pandemic.
Last week OutRight hosted our annual global conference for LGBTIQ people - OutSummit. Throughout the conference we heard about increasing challenges to not only achieving further progress in the recognition of our humanity, but to an active offensive against rights we have already secured. Participants spoke of facing an offensive against gender justice, bodily autonomy, LGBTIQ equality and human rights overall; about those opposing us increasingly using human rights language, pinning one right against another and positioning LGBTIQ equality as a threat to children, families and women. Many speakers also highlighted increasing divisions in the women’s, feminist and even LGBTIQ movements, especially when it comes to sex workers’ rights, trans people and non-binary people’s rights.
And yet, despite the heightened challenges, and despite the many setbacks encountered over the past year, throughout OutSummit participants found hope and drive.
If you weren't able to join us, I encourage you to look at the highlights and watch recordings of sessions all available here. And as we wrap up this year, I want to leave you with quotes from our keynote speakers, Masha Gessen and Gigi Chao:
With best wishes to you and your family in the holiday season!
Senior Development Manager
OutRight Action International
Many thanks to OutSummit supporters who make the event possible:
Founding Sponsor: Small Change Foundation. Signature Sponsors: Anita May Rosenstein Foundation and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy. Friend Sponsors: Seattle Pride and the David Bohnett Foundation.
We also thank the following corporate partners:
Presenting Sponsors: Adobe Foundation and Procter & Gamble Company.
With support from:
Google.org. Signature Sponsors: Critical Role Foundation, Levi Strauss & Co., Microsoft Corporation, and the Partnership for Global LGBTI Equality (PGLE). Premiere Sponsors: Dell Technologies, Global Citizen, Herman Miller Cares, Hunter Boot, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Michael Kors, Scotiabank and The Walt Disney Company. Major Sponsors: Boohoo Group, Groupe Dynamite, JAMF, Waterdrop, and Zynga. Official Sponsors: Barclays, Bluebella, Revolut, Verizon, and World Bank Group GLOBE. Friend Sponsors: Imperfect Foods, JIMDO, JKP Fundraising, Nomura Holdings America, Ooni, Shogun, and TomTom.
- Botswana’s Court of Appeals rejected the government’s efforts to overturn the 2019 ruling decriminalizing same-sex relations. OutRight’s former UN Religion Fellow Katlego K Kolanyane-Kesupile was in the room both during the 2019 ruling, the start of the appeal, and the latest ruling. Read her insightful reflections here.
- OutRight’s staff have completed a report on the situation facing LBTQ women in Iraq. Stay tuned for a release early next year!
- With the involvement of 190 volunteers OutRight assessed almost 300 applications received in the latest call to the COVID-19 Global LGBTIQ Emergency Fund focused on vaccine access and awareness in LGBTIQ communities. The first grants will be issued early next year. Thank you to the volunteers who engaged in this process!
Damon (he/him) is OutRight’s Senior Development Officer for Institutional Giving responsible for maintaining partnerships with institutional donors, and writing and reporting on grants supporting OutRight’s work promoting the human rights of LGBTIQ people everywhere. Damon lives in New York with his husband and their 3-year-old English bulldog Saga. Outside of work, he enjoys creative writing and knitting. His international experience includes working in Central Asia for five years, part of which he did as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer.
- Open Democracy OutRight’s Senior Research Advisor Amie Bishop in an investigation into so-called conversion practices in the US.
- AfterEllen mentions OutRight in an article about the Court of Appeals in Botswana upholding the 2019 High Court ruling to decriminalize same-sex relations.
- OutRight’s Senior Research Advisor Amie Bishop is mentioned in a PinkNews article about so-called conversion therapy.
- OutRight’s UN Program Officer Luiza Drummon Veado and Senior Communications Manager Daina Ruduša co-authored an opinion piece about the importance of including LGBTIQ people in the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence published in Women’s Enews.
Holidays are usually a time spent with families. For LGBTIQ people around the world, biological families are too often unsupportive, LGBTIQ-phobic, or even violent. As such, common among our communities is the concept of chosen family – a group of close friends or relatives who we see as family, and who serve the roles families typically serve, such as offering support, comfort, love and safety.
- International drag performer, activist and winner of the first season of Rupaul’s Drag Race, Bebe Zahara Benet, joined OutSummit for a special interview with Rikki Nathanson, OutRight’s Senior Advisor – Global Trans Program. Their conversation can be seen here. They discussed Bebe’s journey of self acceptance and introduced her new documentary Being Bebe. Bebe invited OutSummit attendees and OutRight supporters to attend a special screening of the documentary. Sign up to receive a ticket to the screening.
- Save the date for OutRight’s annual Gala, Celebration of Courage, which will take place at the TriBeCa Rooftop in New York City on 6 June, 2022. Stay tuned for sponsorship opportunities and ticket sales, and event information in months to come!
In many parts of the world this is holiday season and a time of year which emphasizes giving – and what could be more important than giving back to the community?
If you are in a position to donate, please consider making a gift for global LGBTIQ equality. With partners in regions around the world, OutRight works every day to build movements, mobilize advocacy, and create a foundation of research in order to bring about systemic change.
But without your support, none of that is possible.
Making a gift has never been easier: you can donate online in most currencies, donate crypto, or from donor advised funds, checks, or gifts of stock. We accept a wide variety of donation types to make your gift giving experience simple, and we appreciate every gift.
Published on December 17, 2021 | OutRight Action International an LGBT human rights organization