Held in August 2019, the eighth ILGA Asia conference welcomed 310 LGBTI activists and allies form 46 countries to Seoul, South Korea. Participants represented ILGA member organisations from all regions as well as 34 ILGA Asia member organisations including 6Rang (Iranian Lesbian and Transgender Network).
This year’s theme was “Building Alliances to Strengthen the Movement,” stressing the necessity for connecting and collaborating with allies from other movements and sectors together with forming alliances with other members in the LGBTI community. Over several workshops, keynotes, and panel discussions, this conference tackled topics related to youth, advocacy and research, marriage equality, and issues related to the LGBTI individuals and women.
The conference prioritised topics that aligned with the theme and objectives of this year, had never been discussed at previous ILGA Asia conferences, emerged as issues with great impact on Asian communities, and those that featured speakers representing diverse identities and the geography of Asia.
The first plenary meeting concerned the main theme: “Building Alliances to Strengthen the Movement”. Shadi Amin, the Executive Director of 6Rang, spoke about the importance of building international alliances that work towards the abolition of the death penalty for same-sex sexual conduct, decriminalisation of sexual orientation and de-medicalisation of gender identity at the first panel discussion of this meeting.
Other panel discussion, workshops and keynotes under this theme tackled topics such as chem-sex in Asia, conversion therapy, desires and justice work, resilience against conservatism, criminalisation of consensual same-sex sexual activity in the military, intersex movement in Asia, marriage equality campaigns, and monitoring violence against the LGBTI community.
Mehrnoush Ahmadi, another member of 6Rang, spoke in the panel on conversion therapy where she discussed the importance of combating this problem and the international mechanisms available that can be employed to this end.
This year, the Executive Board of ILGA Asia also changed. The conference elected seven new members to the Executive Boards and four members of the previous board remained in position. Moreover, a youth representative was elected for the first time and the Constitution was amended to include a new position, namely, bisexual representative.
The following nominees have successfully been elected into the ILGA Asia Executive Board:
Co-chairs of ILGA Asia Board
Candy Darim YUN (female)
East Asian Representatives
Candy Darim YUN (female)
South Asian Representatives
Southeast Asian Representative
Ngo Le Phuong Linh
West Asian Representatives
Wannapong (Nhuun) Yodmuang
Gopi Shankar M (Intersex & Genderqueer)
Read the full report here.