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Voting at ILGA-Asia conference in Bangkok 2013

Notes from Ng Yi-Sheng on votes for the host city of the next conference and the election process in Bangkok 2013.

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19th April 2013 12:46

Alessia Valenza | ILGA Asia

Host City Plugs!
(filed by Ng Yi-Sheng)


Ashley had a slideshow and a video. His group, Hotline, has "many many experiences" in hosting public events that are over 1000 people. They hold an annual funding charity party, every year.

His city has the biggest LGBT Pride in Asia, he reminded us – and it’s not a Pride Parade, because it’s more than a parade: it’s part of a social movement – a 70,000 bare-naked party of a social movement! "I would like you to join us so you can all come to this Pride," he said.

The slideshow – don’t know if I can get pics – included a trio of boys bringing a rainbow flag all over Taiwan, to all its temples and Buddhas and touristic landmarks.

Ashley: We have also very delicious street food. (pointing) That is also one of our delicious street foods –Taiwanese boys!

Jennifer: And girls! And we have very good lesbian parties. And we have very good connection with universities.

Yes, there are drawbacks: travelling will be expensive for South Asians, but budget flights are available. Most people will need visas, but they’ve been assured that this won’t be a problem as long as they can produce invitation letters. (Of course, participants from China must expect a longer processing time.)


A lot of us know about Angkor Wat, Srun Sron said, but he’s not here to talk about civilisations. He too has experience with big numbers: his group hosted the 3,000-strong ASEAN Grassroots People’s Assembly.

Hotel costs are super-cheap, he added. Also, 63% people of people are young! (Not sure whether he was talking about youth outreach or eye candy.) Good travel connections with all ASEAN countries already, except Brunei.

Oh, and Prime Minister Hun Sen’s announced that the country supports the LGBT community. The Ministry of Tourism’s also declared that Cambodia’s a beautiful country for gay people! There are now a big gay club and fashion shows in Siem Reap!

(Nice, but what about Phnom Penh itself? I hope there’s sexier stuff there than Tuol Sleng Prision.)
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Candidate plugs!
(filed by Ng Yi-Sheng)

Each candidate had two minutes to promote himself/herself. Here’s more or less what they said.

Yogita emphasized her work with Sangini, providing legal aid, family protection and training to LGBTs.

Stefan spoke about the “passion, strength and love” at this conference and asked us to echo his belief in the strength of Asia.

Poedji explained she was running again for the sake of continuity: “we should finish what we start.” When the board was elected in 2008 they didn’t know what they were doing: now they know how the ILGA system works and they think they’re on their way to having a permanent office.

Sophanut apologized for her bad English and reiterated the commonality of Cambodia’s problems with the region’s.

Sron talked about his work as a co-founder of Rainbow Community Kampuchea, the newness of LGBT rights when they began to celebrate IDAHO. He also honoured the “two old lesbians” who’ve joined the mostly young activists in the cause.

King again talked about the need for continuity. Also, “I’m an introvert. I’m not good at speeches. But teams need introverts.”
Dana described her work at the Chinese Lala Alliance. She admitted she’s not the greatest activist from China, but she will be able to facilitate exchange between ILGA and Chinese-speaking activists back home.

Ashley again talked about continuity, his work at Hotline, and his belief that “we can do something more together instead of just talking conference.”

Otgo noted his work founding the first LGBT Centre in Mongolia, his UN experience, and how supportive his government has become of LGBT rights.

Xiaogang told us of his work as an organizer in Beijing, and promised that he’s a good listener.

Agniva joked, “I was wondering why we are as usual the last four persons. But I am happy to be last four queens in the pageant.” She remembered how the Trans Representative had disappeared at the Surabaya conference, and how she’s glad it’s back. She hoped there’ll be a Trans Secretariat for Asia.

Joane identified herself as a transgender lesbian Christian. “Being a transgender is a gift from god. We can break the barriers between all genders.”

Gina from Trans China promised to keep on sticking up for subgroups and minorities.

Toto/KS spoke up on the issue that “transgenders are not only transwomen.” She expressed her desire to share the voices of both transwomen and transmen with ILGA, and hoped to set up an ILGA Secretariat here in Thailand.
Posted by Ilga Asia at 1:41 AM No comments:
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(filed by Ng Yi-Sheng)

We’re all gathered in the Ballroom of the Palazzo Hotel. Sahran and Azusa are in front: they’re overseeing the elections because they’re board members (of ILGA Asia and ILGA World respectively) who won’t be running for re-election.

Sahran’s already announced that the constitution and strategic plan has been approved. So we’ll be voting on board members and the host city for the next conference. I’ll be updating this article as news comes in.

Here are the candidates!

West Asia, female:
[Candidate] – absent, thus INVALID

South Asia, female:
Yogita Singh (India)

South Asia, non-female:
Stefan Joachim (Sri Lanka)

Southeast Asia, female:
Poedjati Tan aka Poedji (Indonesia)
Sophanut Meas (Cambodia)

Southeast Asia, non-female:
Srun Sron (Cambodia) – absent, but we’re trying to find him! Okay, he’s found and accepted.
King Oey (Indonesia)

East Asia, female:
Dandan Zhang, aka Dana (China)

East Asia, non-female:
Ashley Wu (Taiwan)
Otgonbaatar T. aka Otto (Mongolia)
Xiaogang Wei (China)

Agniva Lahiri (India)
Joane Leng (Hong Kong)
Gina Zhao (China)
Kaona Saowakun, aka Toto (Thailand)

Host Cities:
Taipei, Taiwan
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Now everyone’s giving their two-minute plugs. Ooh, now 10 minutes for voting. And now 15 minutes break while votes are counted.