OutRight Now: OutRight in the New Year

Dear Friends,

2020, likely one of the strangest and most challenging many of us have ever or will ever experience, has ended.

Despite the challenges, we were able to support the global LGBTIQ community and achieve some notable progress.

Early on in the pandemic we released a report documenting the amplified effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and surrounding containment measures on LGBTIQ people around the world, compounded by humanitarian responses which exclude LGBTIQ people and an inability to access community spaces. We launched the Global LGBTIQ COVID-19 Emergency Fund and have distributed 1 million to support our community worldwide - this was the biggest COVID-19 relief fund for LGBTIQ people around the world.

We also hosted the first virtual OutSummit, with over 1600 participants from over 100 countries - the biggest OutSummit to date. Global advocacy also progressed, as following the release of OutRight's pioneering report on the global reach of sexual orientation and gender identity change efforts (so-called conversion therapy) in August 2019, the UN Independent Expert released his own report in June 2020 and called on a global ban on the practices.

Thank you for your support and continued interest in OutRight throughout this challenging time. We could not have done it without you!

From all of us at OutRight – I wish you a very happy new year, health for you and your loved ones, and, hopefully, the ability to reconnect with friends and colleagues in person before too long.

With the new year comes a new US administration - one that we expect to be the most LGBTIQ friendly ever. We are particularly excited about the the nomination of Samantha Power, who we collaborated with extensively in her past role as Ambassador to the UN, to lead USAID. You can even see a glimpse of Ambassador Power meeting LGBTIQ activists at an OutRight meeting in the official nomination video. We have high expectations that Samantha Power can expand LGBTIQ inclusion in USAID’s work.

We are kicking off this year with a new series of OutTalks. New topics will be added regularly, so I encourage you to keep an eye on the OutTalks schedule on our website.

With best wishes for this year,

Jessica Stern, Executive Director, OutRight Action International

P.s. we have just launched applications for the 2021 Religion Fellowship. Supported by the Horizons' Global Faith and Equality Fund, the fellowship is open to activists from East, West and Central Africa, South America and the Caribbean. Please spread the word!