Our global programs support innovative advocacy and use our collective might to carry the voices of activists to advance equality and help end discrimination.
LBQ Connect is a global feminist program aimed at boosting the work and visibility of lesbian, bisexual, and queer activism around the world.
The program aims to strengthen LBQ movements and make a concrete difference in the lives of lesbian, bisexual, and queer (LBQ) women* by enhancing the capacity of LBQ activists, supporting the work of existing and new groups, collecting data and raising the visibility of LBQ issues and leaders.
As the forms of marginalization experienced by LBQ women are multifaceted, the program will use different strategies to strengthen the work of the LBQ movement.
* LBQ Connect refers to LBQ women as a term inclusive of lesbian, bisexual, and queer women, both cisgender and trans, and all non-binary people on the gender spectrum who relate to a lesbian, bisexual, and/or queer identity.
LBQ Connect is composed of four main components, which are strongly interconnected:
- Learning and mentorship:
- The first step of the program focuses on strengthening skills and capacities of LBQ activists. LBQ Connect is intended for new and aspiring LBQ activists and also for more experienced activists who feel they need to boost specific skills. We will offer a range of training opportunities, workshops, and peer learning sessions using different formats and facilitation techniques to best meet the needs and learning styles of all participants. We will select 50 LBQ activists to enroll in the program for approximately 9 months. All participants will be accompanied by a mentor, another LBQ activist with strong experience, who will support and advise them during the program. The mentorship will build solidarity and connection among different generations, forms of activism and regions and a stronger ecosystem within the global LBQ movements.
This second component shifts from the individual to the movement level. The grants will support LBQ-focused projects of different kinds, e.g. establishment of new LBQ groups or strengthening existing organizations; mainstreaming of LBQ agendas in non-LBQ focused organizations (LGBTIQ, feminist, GBV, etc); building alliances with other movements and organizations around key issues; planning and implementation of advocacy and campaigning strategies. In the first cycle of the program we will invite grant applications only from participants in the learning and mentorship program. Projects will last up to 12 months and will be carried out with an organization.
Research and documentation:
During the program, the Outright research and program teams, in cooperation with civil society partners, will develop up to 15 LBQ-focused research initiatives. The topics covered as well as the type of research will be identified based on a thorough assessment of needs and gaps and with input from program participants.
Data provided by the research component, as well as needs and priorities expressed across the learning and grant program, will inform Outright’s LBQ advocacy agenda. Besides international advocacy within human rights mechanisms, the program will contribute to the circulation and sharing of LBQ movements’ wealth of knowledge on national and regional advocacy. Throughout the program Outright and partners will raise awareness about LBQ communities and issues, especially those most marginalized and structurally underfunded, with governmental funders as well as private donors.
Within global LGBTIQ movements as well as in feminist movements, democracy and human rights movements and in society overall, LBQ women are routinely marginalized.
LBQ women, both cis and trans, and non-binary people confront misogyny, homophobia, and cisheteronormativity and often live in hostile contexts at the intersections of gender, sexuality, race, class, and disability. These power dynamics and social norms expose them to a unique set of human rights violations, including particular risks of violence and discrimination in accessing education, health care, housing, and employment. Data on the experience of LBQ women is scarce, which has a negative impact on the visibility of LBQ issues and their relevance in advocacy agendas. As a consequence, the rights and issues of LBQ women are radically underserved - and under-resourced. Only 5% of global LGBTIQ funding (which itself represents less than 1% of all foundation and government funding) is specifically directed to LBQ issues, according to various sources like Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, Mama Cash and the Global Philanthropy Project.
In the last decade, LGBTIQ movements have greatly accelerated legal and social progress around the world, often led by extraordinary LBQ women activists doing groundbreaking work. Still, LBQ activists are made invisible and are disproportionately affected by restrictions on assembly and expression, and often cannot access policymakers or influential stakeholders. LBQ women also remain underrepresented in leadership roles, even among LGBTIQ civil society organizations. In some places, emerging organizations for LBQ women have vanished due to external opposition, and in other cases, LBQ women are never given the opportunity to have organizations of their own.
Outright believes that a strong LBQ movement is essential to advance human rights for all LGBTIQ people and to improve the lives of all women.
LBQ Connect is designed to strengthen LBQ activism and boost the visibility of LBQ issues and leaders around the world.
As such, the program's primary target is LBQ women. In the framework of the program, LBQ focuses on sexual identity and is inclusive of lesbian, bisexual, and queer women, both cisgender and trans, and all non-binary people on the gender spectrum who relate to a lesbian, bisexual, and/or queer identity.
For many people, labels are often inadequate or unwanted, language is limited, and gender exists on a continuum. LBQ in this context serves as the operational definition and as key inclusion criteria for participation in this program.
(This terminology is inspired by the recent Astraea report “Vibrant yet under-resourced: the state of lesbian, bisexual, and queer movements”, which in turn was based on a broad consultation with activists.)
Outright recognizes that LBQ identities and experiences intersect with other markers of identity and experience such as race, nationality, age, religion, and economic background, and we prioritize marginalized LBQ women throughout our work.
In the LBQ Connect program, we will welcome all participants who self-identify as LBQ women and who have some identification, affinity or attachment to LBQ issues, work and movement building. We discourage participants who exclude transgender, intersex or non-binary people in their work, as they are not a good fit for our program.
The LBQ Connect learning program is for all LBQ activists and aspiring activists who feel the need to strengthen their skills. It is also for LBQ women from other movements (climate, sexual and reproductive rights, anti-corruption, indigenous, etc.) who want to connect to LBQ activism.
The program is being implemented by Outright with the support of a Sounding Board of LBQ activists, including:
- Andre Rivas - AFDA - Argentina
- Esther Adhiambo - INEND - Kenya
- Kenita Placite - CariFLAGS - Saint Lucia
- Lini Zurlia - ASEAN SOGIE Caucus - Indonesia
- Nataka Gmakagni - QAYN - Burkina Faso
- Noor Sultan - Bedayaa - Sudan
- Sarita K.C. - Mitini - Nepal
- Viviane Simakawa - International Trans Fund - Brazil
Outright launched LBQ Connect in March of 2022 in conjunction with International Women’s Day, Women’s History Month and the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.
1ST CYCLE: MARCH 2022 TO SEPTEMBER 2023
March 8, 2022: Call for applications for 50 participants to the Learning and Mentorship program; call for mentors.
April 8, 2022: Deadline for the submission of applications for participants and mentors.
April 30, 2022: Selection of participants and mentors is completed.
May 2022 - February 2023: Learning and mentorship program.
Summer 2022: Call for project proposals for the first grant program (only for participants in the learning and mentorship program).
September 2022 - September 2023: Projects funded and implemented.
Research and advocacy activities will be conducted throughout the program period.
Do you want to be part of LBQ Connect?
- A second cycle of the mentorship and learning program and of the grant program will start in March 2023.
- Do you have questions regarding any aspects of the program, including accessibility? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us via email.
- You can support LBQ Connect by donating or contact Katie Hultquist.
LBQ Connect is supported by contributors and partners including the Global Equality Fund, the Lesbian Equity Fund, Linksbridge Foundation, Women Tribe, Lesbians for Good, Horizons Foundation, Channel Foundation, S&P Global Foundation, and other donors.
Outright International’s pioneering report, Harmful Treatment: The Global Reach of So-Called Conversion Therapy, exposed that conversion practices aiming to change, divert, convert or suppress the sexual orientation and/or gender identity of LGBTIQ people, including with physical and psychological force, are prevalent across the world.
In 2019, Outright International, in partnership with three partner organizations – The Initiative for Equal Rights (TIERS) in Nigeria, galck+, and Access Chapter 2 (AC2) in South Africa – commenced a project to document and end conversion practices, also known as conversion “therapy,” that impact lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people.
- Build a body of knowledge and evidence on conversion practices in Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa to ensure localized data on the manifestation of conversion practices in these countries.
- Raise awareness at national, regional, and international levels of the nature and negative impact of conversion practices.
- Build a broad base of support among relevant key actors who condemn these harmful practices and are willing to work towards establishing appropriate protections against conversion practices.
In addition to the ongoing work in Africa, Outright International has carried out a number of initiatives to challenge SOGIE CE/conversion practices, In 2019, Outright International issued a landmark report, Harmful treatment: The Global Reach of So-Called Conversion Therapy on the global nature and extent of conversion practices or so-called conversion therapy. Most recently, Outright also published Converting Mindsets, Not Our Identities.
In March 2021, Outright International convened two meetings, the Asia regional experts meeting and the global experts meeting on pathways to eradicate SOGIE change efforts, and in September 2021 we convened the Africa regional experts meeting on pathways to eradicate SOGIE change efforts in Africa. These convening brought together a diverse group of LGBTIQ activists, SOGIE CE survivors, lawyers, medical and mental health professionals, faith leaders, and human rights experts (109 participants from 40 countries) to collectively recommend advocacy strategies to eradicate these harmful practices. The outcome of these meetings was the development of the SOGIE-CE Resource Hub, a global repository for information and a communication platform on all aspects of SOGIE CE, also known as conversion practices, and other terms.
galck+ is The National SOGIE Umbrella Body, Representing LGBQ Voices Across Kenya. The galck+ has been instrumental in establishing (and re-establishing) working relationships and alliances with Government institutions and Civil Society organizations through which to inspire a society that appreciates diversity and recognizes that everyone has a right to equal opportunities irrespective of their real or perceived sexual orientation, gender and expression. galck+ envisions a safe and enabling environment for all. A space where the fundamental principles of human rights, equality and non-discrimination and the protection of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Queer are guaranteed; that all Kenyans, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression are accorded their rights and freedoms as guaranteed by the Constitution of Kenya 2010.
The Initiative for Equal Rights (TIERs) is a Nigeria-based registered non-for-profit organisation working to create a society where human rights are guaranteed regardless of status, identity, orientation and affiliation. We exist to protect, uphold and promote the rights and humanity of all Nigerians through advocacy, empowerment, education, and the provision of safe platforms of convergence. We were founded in 2005 as a response to the discrimination and marginalisation of sexual minorities in both HIV prevention programming, human rights protection, advocacy, and mainstream human rights work
Access Chapter 2 was initiated to promoting the human rights and empowerment of women and girls, and LGBTI+ person in all their diversities, facilitate participation of civil society organisations at a local, national, regional and international level by creating space and coordinating platforms for engagement on governance, policy and accountability processes and by developing innovative and active empowerment for transformation knowledge for community systems strengthening and build solidarity within civil society and other various sectors.
AC2, galck+, and TIERS commenced the collection of qualitative and quantitative data on the nature, extent and impact of conversion practices on LGBTQ lives in 2019. The three research reports were developed providing substantial data on the manifestation of conversion practices in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, contributing much-needed evidence of harm to inform advocacy interventions to curtail these harmful practices. On 24 February 2022, Outright International, in partnership with, galck+, TIERS and AC2 in South Africa, launched three national landmark reports on the nature, extent, and impact of conversion ‘therapy’ (sexual orientation gender identity and expression change efforts) in Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa. The hybrid Launch was held in Cape Town, South Africa, and was well attended with the presence of a representative from the Netherlands Embassy to South Africa, Linda Diedericks, the chairperson of the Commission for Gender Equality, Tamara Mathebula, The Deputy Minister, Department of Justice and Constitutional Development John Jeffery, and Chairperson of the House of Traditional and Khoisan Leaders, Nkosikazi Nomandla Mhlauli as well as CSOs and survivors of conversion practices.
Global Trans Program
Outright International’s Global Trans Program works with Trans activists and advocates to support global movement building through research, advocacy, and funding.
Our goal is to increase visibility and meaningful engagement for trans people everywhere. Outright has long prioritized inclusion and centering trans activism, issues and voices.
- Build relationships across the global trans community and other stakeholders to foster relations and guide and set working parameters.
- Through grants, assist trans organizations and activists who are under-resourced.
- Create regional learning institutes aimed at cultivating strong, confident leaders to provide sustainability for the movement.
- Facilitate discussions, litigation strategies, advocacy, and lobbying to obtain legal gender recognition, inclusive health care, and social services for the global trans and gender diverse community.
For information on our Global Trans Program, please reach out to our Senior Advisor of the Global Trans Program, Rikki Nathanson, who works to build on these values while ensuring the visibility of all gender identities and gender expression in our programming.
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