On July 28 and July 29, the General Election Network for Disability Access’s (AGENDA) conducted a two-hour training on building allyship between lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI+) communities and persons with disabilities for disabled people’s organizations (DPO) partners in Southeast Asia. The training was facilitated by Ramil Andag, a consultant from APCOM Foundation, and aimed to increase DPO partners’ knowledge on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression, and Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) concepts and rights-based approaches to SOGIESC issues. Participants identified areas of intersectionality on issues faced by LGBTQI+ communities and persons with disabilities, as well as entry points for working with LGBTQI+ organizations. On the first day, DPO partners were introduced to different definitions of SOGIESC concepts and engaged in an interactive group exercise to fill out a “genderbread person” where participants further explored the concepts of sex, gender identity and gender expression. On the second day, participants learned the core principles surrounding LGBTQI+ issues which include advocating for non-discrimination and equal human rights for marginalized groups. Participants learned that whether it be social, political or economic rights, all human rights are universal, inalienable and indivisible. Through group discussions, participants brainstormed existing laws and regulations relevant to LGBTQI+ issues and the current state of LGBTQI+ communities related to healthcare, education, employment and societal norms/attitudes in their respective countries. Participants mentioned that in most ASEAN countries, LGBTQI+ people experience similar barriers as persons with disabilities such as public stigmatization and stereotypes towards their right to marriage and discrimination in the workplace. Twenty-four DPO representatives from Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam participated in the training.

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