Recognizing that LGBTQIA people in the Philippines affect, or are affected by LGBTQIA-related developments in other parts of the world, Outrage Magazine is featuring the LGBTQIA activists who try to effect changes to better the lives of LGBTQIA people in their countries.
Chinese Lala Alliance
On Valentine’s Day in 2009, Dana recalled participating in an advocacy effort in Beijing for the visibility of LGBT people in China. While that advocacy activity was considered very successful, covered even by the international media, what touched Dana most was “the attitude of the public,” she said to Outrage Magazine, “which remained accepting.” She can therefore recall that moment as “what triggered me to become an LGBT advocate seriously.”
Dana now serves as the executive director of Chinese Lala Alliance, which is a network of lesbian, bisexual women, and trans groups and individuals across Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and in diaspora.
Mainly, “we have been working on Chinese LBT leadership development, and building sustained connection among LBT groups in different cities,” Dana said.
For Dana, there are the key issues that the LGBTQIA community should focus on, particularly in the region.
“The violence and discrimination towards LGBTI community, especially in Asia (is something we need to highlight), she said. This is particularly “since many kinds of violence and discrimination here are always regarded reasonable based on our culture, tradition and religion.”
Dana acknowledges, of course, that even within the LGBTQIA community, there is much that needs to be done. She finds it disappointing, for one, that within the LGBTQIA community, “there is the lack of gender perspective and democratic awareness.”
Nonetheless, “the local LBT communities I work with in China always inspire me since they always find creative ways to communicate with public although the Chinese government still holds conservative attitudes towards SOGIE issues.”
Dana is proud to say that through Chinese Lala Alliance, people “who may have no idea about LGBTI movement before they came to our camp finally became leaders not only in the LBT movement, but also in other civil society movements.” This was made possible through the organization’s training programs.
As such: “if you want to learn anything about LBT in Chinese speaking society, no matter in which city, Chinese Lala Alliance can help.”
The future for LGBTQIA people in China remans challenging, but for Dana, “we will continue our work on leadership development, hoping to include more marginalized populations. Also, we will focus on violence and discrimination towards Chinese LBT people.”