Salzburg Global LGBT Forum Fellow Updates




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Dec 16, 2015
by Ana Alania
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Salzburg Global LGBT Forum Fellow Updates

From securing a seat as a member of the National Assembly to receiving an “Alternative Nobel Prize” - these are the updates on our Global LGBT Forum Fellows.  Salzburg Global LGBT Fellows

Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera won Sweden's Right Livelihood Award, a kind of “Alternative Nobel Prize” for her work on LGBT rights in Uganda. The award recognizes those who do inspiring and courageous work to combat social issues and since its inception 35 years ago, there have been 162 recipients from 67 countries. In December 2015, Nabagesera also spoke at a panel at the UN on the economic costs of exclusion and benefits of inclusion of LGBT individuals from the business, State and civil society perspectives. Watch her interview on how the Global LGBT Forum supports her work here

Lee Badgett joined the same UN panel where her two reports were referenced throughout by many speakers (including Zachary Quinto). Our friends at UNDP including Clifton Cortez, UN Development Programme (UNDP), announced a global LGBTI inclusion index, and utilizing the power of data. Cortez published an article with the title titled 'When people are counted, no one is left behind': “If LGBTI people continue to face exclusion, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will remain out of our reach,” Cortez stated and urged to ensure LGBTI inclusion in data and efforts on the SDGs. 

Tamara Adrian, a lawyer and advocate for LGBT rights, was elected as a congresswoman in Venezuela’s National Assembly. This has been deemed by many as a historic moment for the nation, as Adrian became the first transgender congresswoman elected in the country and in the whole of South America. Watch her interview on being trans with the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum here

Fan Popo and his team successfully organized the 8th Beijing Queer Film Festival in September 2015, now referred to as Love Queer Cinema Week. His 2012 documentary, Mama Rainbow, which follows mothers in China who love their gay children, was banned from a popular streaming website Following this, the filmmaker sued SARFT, a regulatory organization in China that reportedly ordered the ban. Fan Popo is currently awaiting the results of his lawsuit case. Watch his interview about family and love with the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum here

As a Latin America and Caribbean outreach and communications officer at the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia Committee (IDAHO Committee), Mariano Ruiz is currently organizing and putting together a schedule of activities for 2016 event, which will run under the theme of "Mental Health and Well-being". Find out more about IDAHO, which takes place every year on May 17th, here. Watch his interview about the importance of family with the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum here

Yuko Higashi recently organized a series of seminars on ‘Sexual Diversity and Family’ at her Women’s Studies Center in Osaka Prefecture University. In one of the sessions that took place in November 2015, Kaoru Aoyama spoke about what it is like to be in a same-sex relationship with a partner of different nationality and raising their child, which remains uncommon in Japan.  

Saskia E. Wieringa coordinated the International People’s Tribunal on the mass Crimes Against Humanity committed in Indonesia after October 1, 1965. The Tribunal took place in November 2015 with an aim to examine the evidence for these crimes against humanity and develop an accurate historical and scientific record. It was a highly emotional event with the organizers - as Saskia reports - now facing ‘inevitable backlash’. Dr. Wieringa is currently engaged in a legal mapping of homophobic and heteronormative bylaws in Indonesia, collaborating with several LGBT organizations and other groups working on sexual rights. 

Benjamin Cantu, currently an artist-in-residence in Tel Aviv, is working on a family-biography film script. Before arriving in Tel Aviv, Benjamin completed filming and editing of an 80 min version of the documentary titled 'Because of Who I Am'. He has submitted the film to various film festivals and is looking forward to setting up community screenings in 2016 with the help of our Global LGBT Forum network. 

Blue Diamond Society, headed by Manisha Dhakal as its executive director, conducted their first #PurpleMySchool Campaign at Joseph High School, Chakrapath, Nepal. It was attended by 130 students of grade 9 and 5+ teachers. The same campaign is planned to be carried out in 5 more schools in Kathmandu valley despite the problems created by the earthquake and India Blockade. Watch her interview on the importance of family with the Global LGBT Forum here

Homosexualities (June 26 - Dec 1, 2015), an exhibition  at the German-Historical Museum and the Gay Museum in Berlin, Germany, did draw an unexpected 100,000 visitors. As part of the exhibit, Klaus Mueller had curated 'Within the Pink Triangle: a Memorial Space' that showed six survivors of the Nazi persecution of homosexuals. Watch his interview about the long-term goals of the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum here.

Spanish photojournalist, Álvaro Laiz, was awarded the 2015 FotoVisura Grant for Outstanding Personal Project for his photo series “The Hunt,” that documents the Udege people and their practice of shamanism in the heart of the Russian Far East.