Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Today is day one of the pre-conference. The whole week is divided into two. From 1 June to 3 June, all the international participants of the International Congress on Gender Identity and Human Rights will stay put at our hotel where three days of workshops will happen covering different topics related to activism: organizational growth, socio-economic, cultural and political change, HIV/AIDS, working with governments, working in fundamentalist contexts, networking and alliance building, funding, violence, pathologization and many others.

Introducing myself

The pre-conference is called Trans*Action=Trans*Rights and aims to clarify the issues that that global trans community faces before the main conference on June 4-5 where everyone will be working on a document declaring transgender human rights to the world. Today was quite long. We started at 9 am with a plenary session that opened with a round of introductions. I introduced myself, told the whole session room about STRAP and how I was very proud to be among the future of the global transgender movement (see pic above).

Diverse delegates

There were about a hundred people in the plenary room this morning from almost all the continents. It is truly a very diverse group of people (see above).

With Kelley Winters & Carla Lagata

The day was also a chance to meet old and new friends alike. Today for the first time I met Kelley Winters who has been a passionate advocate for reforming the gender identity disorder (GID) diagnosis by the American Psychiatric Association for transsexual people. Kelley's writings I have only read online. It was truly an honor to have met her finally. This morning I took a picture with her (right) and Carla Lagata (left) of Transgender Europe (TGEU) (see pic above).

With Hua from Thailand

Of course I also saw some transactivists from Asia who I met before. In the picture above, I am with Hua from Thailand who I met in Indonesia in 2008 for the 60th anniversary commemoration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

With Miss Major, Jane Thomas & Carla Lagata

I also met for the first time Miss Major from the United States who is also the Executive Director of Transgender, Gender Variant and Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP), an NGO primarily working on trans and intersex rights in the penal and correctional system. In the picture above we are joined by Jane Thomas from Germany (left) and Carla Lagata (right).

With South Asian & Latin American  participants

I took a picture with participants from South Asia and South America (see pic above).

With Skipper & Miguel

Me with Skipper from Botswana and Miguel from Spain.

Documentation workshop

The first workshop I attended was on documenting and reporting human rights violations. It was moderated by Jessica Stern of the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC). I joined this workshop because STRAP is involved in a 3-year project documenting rights abuses against lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LBT) women in 5 Asian countries. After the workshop we took a class picture (see above).

In the afternoon I attended a workshop on internet-based activism. I am currently involved in a project in the Philippines linking information and communications technology (ICTs) with violence against women (VAW) so the workshop was perfect for me. There will be more workshops in the next two days and I will tell you all about them. For now, I do feel that I had a very long day and it's time to turn in. Good night for now and till the next post.

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