Korean Sexual-minority Culture & Rights Center / South Korea
Candy YUN (she/her) is currently the executive director of the Korean Sexual-minority Culture & Rights Center (KSCRC). And, a steering committee member of Rainbow Action against sexual-minority discrimination the coalition group of LGBT+ and allies’ organization. Within 2 groups, Candy is working for various project on advocacy, capacity building, social campaign, organizing the national conference, human rights activism, research, lecture and so on.
She started involved in LGBTI+ movement from the Sexual minority Committee of Democratic Labors’ Party in 2006.
Soon, she deeply involved the trans* movement with co-found the <Korean Transgender Activist Group Jirung-e> for 5 years till the group closed. After closing of Jirung-e, she worked as a project manager of <Transgender patchwork project> which was incubating project of new trans* organization from KSCRC.
As part of local feminist activities, she worked with the Salim Medical Co-operative.
As part of the Bisexual Activism, she co-founded the Bi-Moim (now Bi-Magazine), a bisexual social meeting group.
Also, she is a guest activist for the transgender human rights activist group Jogakbo in Korea.
6Rang / Iran
Shadi Amin (she/her/hers and they/them/their/theirs), a pioneering and influential Iranian LGBTI activist, is the coordinator of Iranian Lesbian and Transgender Network (6Rang). 6Rang is a community dedicated to serving LGBTI Iranians whereby Shadi seeks to raise awareness about human rights violations on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. Shadi is also a leading writer and researcher in her field and has authored and co-authored numerous authoritative books and articles.
Shadi’s selection and translation of Adrienne Rich and Audre Lorde's articles, published in Ghodrat va Lezzat (Power and Joy, 2006), was one of the first among her literary works and one of the few resources available in Farsi on lesbian existence. She is also the co-writer of Crime and Impunity: Sexual Torture of Women in Islamic Prisons (2012). Another one of her publications is Gender X: a Farsi book written based on the findings of a three-year research about LGBTI individuals and the abuse of their rights in Iran. The English version of the report on this research is available under the title of Diagnosing Identities, Wounding Bodies.
In 2010, Shadi led Iranian members of the lesbian and transgender communities in creating the 6Rang network which offers peer support and raises awareness in the larger society. Another unique contribution from Shadi is the “No to Forced Sex Change” project, which documents the medicalization of gender identity.
Shadi has also taken the initiative to set up an alternative counseling e-system, which methodically informs, educates, supports and assists LGBTI Iranians. Through this effort, she is changing the status quo and creating opportunities for a better life for thousands of Iranian LGBTI at the grassroots level under the Islamic Republic regime in Iran—a government intent on denying LGBTI individuals’ very existence. Shadi works with UN Mechanisms such as Treaty-bodies, special rapporteur and Universal Period Review to defend the rights of LGBTI people in one of the most stigmatized regions in the world.
Mosaic / Lebanon
Dr. Charbel Maydaa (he/she/they) is the founder and Former director 2014 - 2019 of MOSAIC, the MENA Organization for Services, Advocacy, Integration and Capacity building that serves as a holistic program committed to the improvement of the health and wellness of LGBTIQ persons in the MENA region.
Alternate Co-chair ILGA Asia 2017
Researcher / Co-Investigator UKRI GCRF Gender, Justice and Security hub
Since 2004, Dr. Maydaa has been promoting the rights for LGBTIQ persons through his work experience and activism in NGOs and INGOs since 2004.
He/she/they led many initiatives that advanced the programs to support and raise awareness on issues addressing LGBTIQ. He is a certified trainer on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression, and Sex Characteristics, Reproductive Health/Rights and Clinical Management for women and men Survivors of Sexual Violence/Rape and has facilitated more than 150 trainings at national and international levels.
Dr. Maydaa has to his credit a series of publications; to name a few:
• Coauthor of A Gendered Approach to the Syrian Refugee Crisis
• Nahnou booklet: Booklet for teachers on social issues related to gender with Nabee’ Organization
• Training booklet on Sexual orientation and Gender Identity with Helem organization
• Myths and Facts about Homosexuality Booklet with Helem organization
• Research on LGBT social and health needs (|Yemen,Sanaa) and (Egypt,Cairo) with UNDP regional office.
ICS Center / Vietnam
Ngo Le Phuong Linh (she/her) started to serve as ICS Center’s Director since 2019. Despite having different background which is a Hospitality management degree, she pursued her passion for non-profit and human right activism at a very young age. Since 2015, started as a volunteer and then full time staff of ICS, she has involved as leading roles in many topics such as: organizing Vietpride – the biggest annual LGBT event in HCM city, and Work with Pride - the first initiative of that increase the engagement of business sector, promotes workplace equality and inclusion for LGBTI in Vietnam, which also includes Labor Code advocacy to have better protection for LGBTI employees. On international level, Linh is an alumni of YSEALI Academic Fellows Program on Social Entrepreneurship & Economic Development, and is also serving as the youngest Executive Board member represents South East Asia in International Lesbian, Gay, Transgender and Intersex Association (ILGA). One of her current goals is to work with partners to achieve marriage equality in Vietnam.
Taiwan Tongzhi (LGBTQ+) Hotline Association / Taiwan
Jennifer Lu (she/her) is a social worker, activist, writer and political worker. She has been devoting in LGBT rights and political reform movement for 15 years.
Jennifer was born in the Taipei city, where is the capital city in Taiwan, and she had a younger sister who was the most serious heart disease patient. Her younger sister’s struggling life thought her to rethink what is the most important thing in our live and led her to join the social movement. She graduated from National Taiwan University for her social worker bachelor and Sydney University for her policy studies master degree. Jennifer focused on establishing LGBT community support systems and services and gender equality education for ten years. She had over 1,000 speeches and the number is still increasing nowadays.
In January 2016, Jennifer represented social democratic party and ran for a parliamentary seat in general elections as one of the first out lesbian candidates in Taiwan. During her election campaign, she and her team successfully raised the visibility of LGBT issues and pushed to include equal rights issues and young generation political participation on the agenda of the Taiwan Parliament. Now she is Chief Coordinator of Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan and Senior Research Fellow at Taiwan Tongzhi(LGBTQ+) Hotline Association. Jennifer and her team organized several successful rallies, one of them was on Human Rights Day in December in 2016, which was over 250,000 people to stand up for supporting Marriage Equality and this rally has pushed whole society to achieve the significant milestone of Marriage Equality in Taiwan.
As one of the leaders who is leading Marriage Equality Campaign in Taiwan, Jennifer believes in the power of communication and collaboration. She opened the communication window between civil society/government/parliament and invited over 85 groups to participate in the marriage campaign in the past three years. After marriage law passed in Taiwan, Jennifer and her team are going to found a new organization that keeps on fighting for equality and human rights for a better Taiwan.
Khuwaja Sira Society / Pakistan
Moon Ali (She/her) belong to Trans-gender community and serving as Program Director since 2012, at one of the community based organizations, named Khawaja Sira Society based in Pakistan working in field of HIV/AIDS and health related issues of TG community. Being a program director of Khawaja Sira Society she has successfully implemented the multiple projects which includes, Multi Country South Asia Global Fund Project. (Reducing the Impact of HIV on transgender populations in South Asia") in Lahore Pakistan as Sub-Recipient (SR) with the collaboration of UNDP and save the children international Nepal, another project titled "Service delivery to Transgender sex workers /transgender to Reducing the Impact of Hepatitis B & C and syphilis on transgender populations with the collaboration of Punjab Aids Control Program and she has also implemented the IGNITE project 1st round (Advocacy with key stake holders to create an enabling environment) with the collaboration of YVC. She has experience to ensure that Plans are developed and implemented also she has experience to provide assistance and guidance related to policy development in service centers.
She has also experience to provide training to community for community system strengthening as she provided training to community on security and well, leadership and child protection policies.
She is also a well-known person in transgender community and Hijra’s community as an activist . It has been more than three year that she representing Trans-gender community on different national and international platforms as she participated in regional dialogue on LGBTIs human rights and health in Asia Pacific, ICAAP 12 , RRRAP summit conference held at Bangkok ,ILGA Asia and international AIDS conference 2018 (Amsterdam) .Being a member of solidarity circle group .she also actively involve to identify issues and raise voice for the issues faced by the Community.
She is one of the technical experts who has drafted Trans protection act 2018 with the support of feminist collective and now she is also working closely with the social protection authority and social welfare on the policy for the implementation of Trans protection act2018.
Moreover she is also working with National Aids government program for transgender people regarding the health services and providing them HIV/Aids services to reduce the HIV prevalence among community. And she has developed the policy/Guideline/SOPs along with national aids control program for the implementation of community based model. Other then that she is working on transgender economic empowerment and developed value chain small business for community to promote job opportunities and to give them chance to serve for mainstreaming to promote inclusion.
She is by profession charter accountant completed her ACCA and Master in accounts and finance.
Diversity and Solidarity Trust (DAST) / Sri Lanka
Niluka (he/him) currently works as the Communications and Coordination officer of Global Fund Advocates Network Asia Pacific (GFAN AP), a regional network of community and civil society advocates for a fully funded Global Fund. In his previous position as the regional coordinator of Youth Voices Count, a regional network of young LGBTQ+ people in Asia Pacific, Niluka has been advocating for human rights and sexual health of young people belonging to diverse gender and sexual minorities. Niluka also currently serves as a member of the advisory group of the Community, Rights and Gender Department of the Global Fund. Niluka is an English Honors graduate from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka and also holds Master’s in Human Rights and Democratization from the University of Mahidol.
The Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP) / The Philippines
Dr. Brenda Rodriguez Alegre (she/her) is the youngest of two. She was born in Samar, Philippines but she spent most of her life in Manila. She was a Registered Psychologist and a Licensed Teacher as well. She is currently among the Board of Directors of STRAP or The Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines which is the first and longest existing support and advocacy group for and of transgender women. She is also the lead coordinator for the English speaking members of TGR – Transgender Resource Center in Hong Kong. She also co-represented STRAP as ILGA Trans Secretariat from 2015 to 2019.
She is a Resident Tutor at Lap Chee College, University of Hong Kong, and a Lecturer at the University of Hong Kong where she teaches Sexuality and Gender, perhaps one of the few if not the only trans* identifying academics in Hong Kong. She has upcoming publications on transgender people’s experience. She was featured as an expert or a Psychologist in TV News and Current Affairs programs in the Philippines. She has also appeared in Hong Kong’s Pearl TV as an expert feature and in the Youtube chanel Transcendence Hong Kong. She has also appeared several times as an expert on Trans and LGTBQI matters in Hong Kong radio such as RTHK and DB Fuse. She was featured a couple of times in Hong Kong Free press, HK01, Ming Pao Daily, SCMP among others. She has for many years been part of the LGBTQ Rights movements in both Hong Kong and the Philippines being one of the recognizable faces on trans* rights.
Aside from psychology, LGBTQ advocacies and teaching, Brenda is also interested in Music and singing and has performed as a soprano in one of her company choirs. She is currently part of The Harmonics, the first ever LGBTQ Choir of Hong Kong was the LGBTQ Plus Public Champion in 2018.
Srishti Madurai / India
Gopi Shankar Madurai (ze) is Dharmic indigenist, equal rights activist, author and public speaker. Gopi is also the founder of Srishti Madurai LGBTQIA+ Student Volunteer Movement. Ze is rooted in the Indic traditions of spirituality from Sri Ramakrishna Math & Mission, Gopi is one of the youngest, first openly Intersex & Genderqueer person to contest Indian state assembly elections. Gopi coined the regional Tamil terms for Genderqueer people and wrote Maraikkappatta Pakkangal the first book on LGBTQIA+ Gender-Variant identities in Tamil language it’s widely used as part of syllabus at various universities in Tamil Nadu. Ze also organized Asia’s first Genderqueer Pride Parade in 2012 and organized more than 100 seminars on SOGIESC which impacted more than 2 million students in India. Gopi’s work inspired the Madras High Court (Madurai Bench) to direct the Government of Tamil Nadu to order a ban on sex selective surgeries on intersex children through which after Malta the Indian State of Tamil Nadu became 2nd place globally to ban non necessary surgeries on infant born/identified with Intersex traits. Gopi is one of the core committee members of Intersex Asia; it is the Asia's first collective forum for Intersex Individuals and organizations. Gopi’s constructive contributions to interfaith dialogue, International sports and women athletes, and youth issues related to SOGIESC Human Rights advanced the equal rights and gave voice and visibility to various important cases including Justice for Santhi Soundarajan campaign. Gopi was awarded a Leadership Degree "Leading Change" exclusively for The Queen's Young Leaders from the University of Cambridge on 2017; ze is an alma mater of the American College in Madurai specialized in ethics, religion, philosophy, sociology, cultural anthropology, Indian constitutional law and etymology.
Asia Pacific Transgender Network / Thailand
Wannapong (Nhuun) Yodmuang (she/her) received her law degree from Thammasat University in Thailand and currently pursue LLM in International Human Rights Law at the University of Essex in the UK. She used to work as Programme Officer at Asia Pacific Transgender Network and the Human Rights Researcher at Manushya Foundation as well as the National Consultant for the United Nations Development Programme’s “Being LGBTI in Asia” where she conducted several research projects that aimed to assess the effectiveness of Thai laws and policies and its compliance with International Human Rights Standards. The research projects were related to particular issues such as legal gender recognition and employment discrimination against trans individuals. She was also the Human Rights Case Management and Policy Advocacy Officer at the Rainbow Sky Association of Thailand, advocating for the rights of LGBTIQ community members by engaging with national legislation and UN Human Rights Monitoring Mechanisms.
Youth Voices Count / Bhutan
Tashi Tsheten (he/him) the current Director of Rainbow Bhutan:"Celebrating diversity" and also a member of the Core Working Group of Youth Voices Count(YVC).
Rainbow Bhutan:"Celebrating diversity" is a national network of diverse individuals of SOGIESC based in Thimphu(capital city of Bhutan). Organised in 2015 as an HIV advocacy network and then as Rainbow Bhutan in 2017. Rainbow Bhutan is the first and only organized LGBT+ network in Bhutan working with various institutions to increase awareness, build acceptance and create an enabling environment for all diverse individuals in the country.
Youth Voices Count (YVC) is a regional organization of LGBTQI+ youth in Asia and the Pacific region(Registered in the Philippines). Founded in 2010 by 40 young gay men, transgender women, and other men who have sex with men, from 19 countries, YVC addresses issues related to HIV, health, and human rights through capacity building, advocacy and community mobilization. Led by a dynamic group of young persons from the region, YVC brings together community leaders to address stigma and discrimination, including self-stigma, and to leverage the power of young people in regional and international gatherings.