Giving Compass' Take:

Last year, the Seattle Foundation hosted Siri May, program coordinator for United Nations OutRight Action International, to discuss global LGBTIQ rights and how the organization is working hard to address abuses that the LGBTIQ population suffer around the world. 

• How can we create a network of support for LGBTIQ populations around the globe?

• Read about how LGBTIQ philanthropy is growing in Europe. 

Seattle Foundation hosted a discussion on global movements for LGBTIQ equality during Pride month. One of the speakers was Siri May, the United Nations Program Coordinator for OutRight Action International. Siri leads intergovernmental work for OutRight, the only global LGBT organization with official consultative status at the UN based in New York. Siri previously served with the Australian Human Rights Commission and her career has been dedicated to social justice, human rights and public health.

OutRight Action International is dedicated to advancing human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) people everywhere. We envision a world where all LGBTIQ people are safe, enjoy fundamental freedoms, form strong communities and thrive personally and economically.

LGBTIQ people are part of the bigger global picture where we see a rise in nationalism and a shrinking space for civil society. This impacts LGBTIQ people in particular, because we are among the most vulnerable populations. In 2017 we saw the largest number of mass arrests of LGBTIQ people across the globe and we watched in horror as people were rounded up, tortured and in some cases murdered simply for being perceived to be LGBTIQ.

Today, mainly due to the legacy of colonial laws, 73 countries criminalize consensual same sex behavior and 43 of these include consensual same sex behavior between women. In some countries transgender and gender non-conforming people can face arrest under ‘cross dressing laws.’

We have so much knowledge and skill as a global movement. Now is the time to listen to our mates from around the world and ask, How do you do it? What can we learn from you? How can we walk with you? What can we do to support your work?

Read the full article about global LGBTIQ work at Seattle Foundation.