Innovative LGBTI advocacy from around the world

From 3 to 6 April, Antonio Mihajlov from Subversive Front took part in the 2 Global Innovative Advocacy Summit organised by the largest LGBTI association in the USA, the Human Rights Campaign. The Washington DC’s headquarters of HRC was the hosting venue of the summit that brought 30 advocates for LGBTI equality from Libya, Sudan, Algeria, Tunisia, Lebanon, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India, Cambodia, Taiwan, Vietnam, China, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Jamaica, Belize, Latvia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Russia, Ukraine and Macedonia. HRC’s annual Global Summit provided a forum to exchange ideas for advancing LGBTI equality and network with key policymakers in the USA and non-profit leaders. The LGBTI advocates – participants at this Summit, have showcased projects and approaches that have advanced equality, particularly around storytelling, innovating and advocating in their respective countries.

Within the scope of the Summit, the LGBTI advocates had discussions with representatives of the World Bank, with US Congress Representatives, and with former and current advocates for equality at HRC, on a variety of issues. The discussions were centered around the topics of using humor, pop-culture, and art in conducting innovative advocacy efforts, then the topics of transgender justice and HIV prevention, treatment and care, workplace and corporate engagement for LGBTI equality, and advocacy for the rights of intersex people. Innovation for LBT women, entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship for LGBTI people, as well as movement and alliance building for making a political change, have also been discussed in length within the scope of the 2nd Global Innovative Advocacy Summit.

Antonio spoke about the assessment of the inclusion of LGBTI in the political agenda during 2016 and especially about the “Vote for equality” campaign last year prior the 11th December elections which increased the visibility of LGBTI people in the media and the TV debates among the politicians. He mentioned the importance on initiating and maintaining the dialogue with the political parties, especially the parliamentary political parties across the political ideology in improving the safeguard of the human rights of the LGBTI people in Macedonia, as well as the vital interest in having more mobilized and more organized LGBTI community in the country. Some of the key concerns from the summit were related to the continuation of the US support and assistance to improving the status and the rights of LGBTI people in the world under the Trump administration.