Washington, DC, February 19, 2019 – Over the course of three days, tens of leaders, defenders, and activists from the LGBTI community on the American continent met in the 4Ward Miami event organized by 4Ward America to share their experiences [and] knowledge and search for opportunities to connect through different activities.
More than 30 speakers participated in the event, held February 16-18, who spoke about the state of LGBTI persons in their respective countries vis-à-vis various topics. Public officials also participated, such as Fabrice Houdart, a United Nations Human Rights Officer; Susan Harper, Consul General of Canada in Miami; and Congressman David Richardson, a Florida Representative in the United States House of Representatives.
The International Institute of Race, Equality, and Human Rights (Race & Equality), in addition to being the official sponsor of the event, was a participant, represented by its LGBTI Programs Officer for Latin America, Mauricio Noguera, and several partner organizations: Cristián King, Executive Director of Organización de Transexuales, Travestis y Transgéneros de la Republica Dominicana [Organization of Transsexuals, Transvestites, and Transgender Persons of the Dominican Republic] (TRANSSA); Bruna Benevides, Secretary of the Articulación Política de la Asociación Nacional de Transexuales de Brasil [Political Coordinating Body of the National Association of Transsexuals of Brazil] (ANTRA); and Luna Sharlotte Humerez, President of Organización de Transexuales, Travestis y Transgénero Femeninas de Bolivia [Organization of Transsexuals, Transvestites, and Transgender Females of Bolivia] (OTRAF).
Noguera expounded upon the current state of LGBIT rights in Latin America; Humerez and Benavides spoke on the state of LGBTI women in the Americas, specifically in their countries of origin and in particular spheres, such as indigenous trans women; and King presented on the current state of the LGBTI population with HIV and AIDS in the region, wherein he placed particular emphasis on explaining a law on the topic that is applied in the Dominican Republic.
“It was relevant for our partner organizations to be able to be heard in this type of international forum, to be able to bring information on their countries and present it in this space. In addition, it was relevant for all of us to come together to dialogue, analyze common problems, establish alliances, and share concerns,” noted Noguera.
Thanks to the support of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor of the United States Department of State, Race & Equality was able to sponsor the event and facilitate the attendance of the aforementioned international invitees.
The Symposium on LGBTI Human Rights also addressed issues such as environmental sustainability, healthcare, immigration, and sports, all of which were focused on the measure to which they intersect with the various degrees of security, equity, and freedom experienced by LGBTI persons.