OutRight Now: Reunion 2018

OutRight 28 Years and Counting View this email in your browser

OutRight 28 Years and Counting

Hi Friend,

When OutRight was founded - as the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission - by Julie Dorf in 1990, the earliest volunteers and staff set out to disrupt the human rights field and resource grassroots LGBTIQ activism by building a community committed to the radical concept of global solidarity. This past weekend, we held a reunion to honor the former board and staff of OutRight. As I sat there, looking at old photos of big hair, stone-washed denim, t-shirts with political slogans, young activists and LGBTIQ people of all stripes staging kiss-ins and risky demonstrations, and talking with those that have played such an instrumental role in advancing human rights for LGBTIQ people everywhere, I cannot believe how brave they were or far we've come.

Over OutRight’s 28 year history - we have inspired action - and achieved many firsts on the international arena - led by a philosophy that’s simple: our community deserves respect and equality - and we have joined together in any and every way that we can to help people achieve this dream wherever they live.

I wanted to share with you some of the things that I heard over the weekend:

I wanted to share with you some of the things that I heard over the weekend:

“IGLHRC/OutRight gave us a place to stand, a place to grapple, and a place to change the world.”

- Daniel Lee, former Regional Coordinator for Asia and the Pacific

“From the beginning, we thought of ourselves as allies and partners to activists around the world-that framework was one of our contributions to the movement.”

- Gara La Marche, former board member

“A human rights framework is sometimes needed to interrupt cultural norms and let people imagine what could be. At the same time, grassroots experience must inform and influence the human rights perspective. This is a dynamic to be treasured.”
Judith Butler, former board member

“If this is a movement about access to existing institutions, then you can claim victory and move on. If you think about it more broadly, as an evolving movement whose ultimate goal is the transformation of institutions and not simply access to them, then you understand there will be a lot of steps forward and backward.”
- Masha Gessen, former IGLHRC activist

I am proud to lead this organization today, and for us to stand on the shoulders of giants.

I wanted to say thank you to OutRight's former board, international advisor, volunteers and staff for your courage, creativity and resilience. To those who have passed, we miss you dearly: Mirka Negroni, Prudence Mabele, Joel Nana, Kagendo Murungi, Paula Ettelbrick, Harry Hay, and Neil Rosen.

OutRight is better today because of all of you.

See more pictures from this weekend’s reunion.


Jessica Stern,
Executive Director, OutRight Action International

Above: Current and former OutRight staff, board, and international advisors at the reunion. Below: David Lee, Judith Butler, Masha Gessen, and Gara La Marche speak on an opening panel.

Photo hightlights of OutRight’s Reunion

OutRight Reunion 2018