Published March 29, 2016
Awards , Civil Liberties , Human Rights , Transgender , U.S. State Department
Tags: Malaysia, Nisha Ayub, Secretary John Kerry, SEED Malaysia, Transgender, Women of Courage Award
The Council for Global Equality congratulates Nisha Ayub, Director of SEED Malaysia, for receiving the 2016 Woman of Courage award from Secretary of State John Kerry at a ceremony in Washington DC today. She is the first transgender woman to ever receive this award. Ms. Ayub has been challenging Malaysia’s harsh treatment of transgender citizens, including the anti-cross dressing laws.
This award is not just about me–it’s about recognition and acceptance of trans people in regards to their gender identity. Today I am being fully recognized as a woman.
She previously met President Obama on his visit to Malaysia last year.
(Remarks by Secretary Kerry about Nisha Ayub at 21:21)
Read Secretary Kerry’s remarks
Learn more about the award and this year’s recipients.
Learn more about Nisha Ayub.
Related Content: Nisha dedicates Women of Courage Award to all transwomen (The Star Online)
Published March 2, 2016
Asylum , Politics , Refugee
Tags: Bisexual, Gay, Gender Identity, Human Rights, Lesbian, LGBT, Michael Guest, sexual orientation, SOGI, State Department
Repost from the Washington Blade
Former U.S. Ambassador to Romania Michael Guest on Monday spoke forcefully against the anti-immigrant rhetoric that many Republican presidential candidates have used on the campaign trail.
“The America that we have heard painted during this presidential campaign is so, so different from the America that I used to represent as a diplomat,” said Guest during a Council for Global Equality reception that took place in Northwest D.C. “It’s so painful to hear the dialogue. It’s so impossible to understand how U.S. diplomats now describe and explain their country abroad because we know that America really is at its best when its doors are open, when it is a beacon of hope for people like the people who have just spoken about their ordeals, when it’s a harbinger of hope.”
Guest, who is the first openly gay ambassador confirmed by the U.S. Senate, represented then-President George W. Bush’s administration in Romania from 2001-2004. He currently works for the Center [sic] for Global Equality as a senior advisor.
Guest in his remarks did not specifically mention Republican frontrunner Donald Trump or any of his GOP challengers. The former ambassador did refer to “the hateful rhetoric that we’ve heard during this campaign so far” that includes “talk of building walls” and “xenophobia.”
“This is our country,” said Guest. “No presidential candidate, no presidency is going to take our values and our character away from us.” Continue Reading