Being LGBT in Asia

"Being LGBT in Asia” is a ground-breaking, first-of-its-kind initiative to support Asia’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. It works to bolster basic LGBT rights across the continent and in specific focus countries including China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand. In 2014, the Embassy of Sweden in Bangkok, through the section for Regional Development Cooperation, joined the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as a lead funding partner, raising the profile of regional organizations and institutions in addressing LGBT rights issues. The program will be implemented through 2017.

ENGAGING NATIONAL AND REGIONAL INSTITUTIONS

“Being LGBT in Asia” works to help Asia’s LGBT populations exercise their rights, addressing often deep seated discrimination. Program activities work through LGBT civil society engaging national and regional institutions and advocating for LGBT protective laws and policies, and the empowerment of civil society leaders. Between 2012 and 2014, USAID and UNDP implemented a landmark review and analysis of LGBT circumstances across 18 Asian countries. It found that Asia’s LGBT people suffer not only from unsupportive policies and laws, but also high levels of stigma and discrimination, affecting every aspect of LGBT people’s lives from families and the workplace to law enforcement, the media and health and education services.

ADVOCATING FOR LGBT PROTECTIVE LAWS AND POLICIES

Key objectives include working with LGBT civil society to engage with country level institutions to advocate for LGBT protective laws and policies, and supporting community empowerment and mobilization activities. “Being LGBT in Asia” also supports multi-stakeholder dialogues on LGBT rights, promoting advocacy frameworks to address discrimination and assist in legal challenges. In doing so, “Being LGBT in Asia” mobilizes policy and operational research, and strategy development among key populations including faith-based communities and the private sector to effectively address LGBT and sexual orientation-gender identity issues.

GENERATING PARTNERSHIPS, DIALOGUE AND UNDERSTANDING

The partnership has reviewed LGBT rights in 18 countries in Southeast and East Asia, establishing national-level dialogues and publishing reports for eight focus countries: Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Mongolia, Nepal, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. The initiative is working with the ASEAN Sexual Orientation-Gender Identity Caucus, the Asia-Pacific Transgender Network, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Asia-Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions. On the web, “Being LGBT in Asia” is producing LGBT information and testimonial videos on the Philippines-based B-Change web-application sites, ‘Be’ and ‘Plus,’ and has an active presence through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and China’s popular social media site, Weibo, among other online platforms.

OUTCOMES - 'BEING LGBT IN ASIA' COUNTRY REPORTS 

The current “Being LGBT in Asia” analysis covers eight countries: Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Mongolia, Nepal, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Below are the Country Reports that have already been released: (all with links to pdf files)

Being LGBT in Asia: Cambodia Country Report
English | Khmer
Press Release

Being LGBT in Asia: China Country Report
English | Chinese
Press Release

Being LGBT in Asia: Indonesia Country Report
English | Bahasa Indonesia
Press Release

Being LGBT in Asia: Mongolia Country Report
English | Mongolian  
Press Release

Being LGBT in Asia: Nepal Country Report
English | Nepali
Press Release

Being LGBT in Asia: Philippines Country Report
English
Press Release

Being LGBT in Asia: Thailand Country Report
English | Thai
Press Release

Being LGBT in Asia: Vietnam Country Report
English | Vietnamese
Press Release

STORIES OF BEING ME

USAID and UNDP have been working with Philippines-based B-Change Foundation in seven capital cities around Asia to develop a series of ‘Stories of Being Me’ video documentaries through an online LGBT crowd-sourcing campaign. These videos are now hosted on BE, a web-app designed as a community and knowledge base for young people from diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.

Below are the videos that are self-filmed by the subjects or their friends and have been officially released:

The Stories of Ngo Menghourng (Cambodia)

The Stories of Iron (China)

The Stories of Imam (Indonesia)

The Stories of Nilu (Nepal)

The Stories of Cha Roque (Philippines)

The Stories of Sophon Shimjinda (Thailand)

The Stories of Darius (Singapore)

LAUNCH OF "BEING LGBT IN ASIA" PHASE II 

UNDP’S “BEING LGBT IN ASIA” WEBPAGE:

www.asia-pacific.undp.org/content/rbap/en/home/operations/projects/overview/being-lgbt-in-asia/

Last updated: September 14, 2017

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