Thank you to everyone who joined the Global Leader’s Online Forum celebrating Pride month, in partnership with San Diego Pride and Sempra Energy. It was a pleasure being able to reconnect with so many IVLP Alumni and hear what incredible strides they have made in their communities. Special thanks to San Diego Pride for their continued support of these Alumni.
We learned that since Nisha Ayub’s visit to San Diego, being recognized as a 2016 International Women of Courage awardee, she has opened the first transgender home in Malaysia. June Chua, co-founder and chair of The T Project, shared that for the first time, the Minister of Law in Singapore came and visited the shelter, leading to increased credibility and visibility for the community.
Massam Hussain Ansari from Pakistan and Jennifer Henshaw from Liberia spoke to the impact that Covid-19 has had in their communities. Jennifer explained that the LGBTQ community has been accused of being the source of Covid-19 by religious leaders in Liberia and that they are working to educate the community that it is actually a pandemic. Massam discussed that many individuals have lost their jobs because of the lockdown and that the Sathi foundation is running online groups and answering one on one phone calls to prevent mental trauma since the majority of the community is not open to their friends and family. Similarly, Nikoleta Gabrovska shared the efforts to fight the stigma that is faced in Bulgaria with projects like CampOUT, an annual workshop for LGBTQ artists, also supported by San Diego Pride.
Fernando López, Executive Director of San Diego Pride, gave great insight as to what is happening in the U.S., explaining that last week, the Supreme Court decided that Title 7, that sex-based discrimination is all-inclusive of the trans community and people from the LGBTQ community. “The victories that we are able to sustain here in the United States have a very direct impact on folks all across the world,” Fernando says.
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