The United Nations Development Program Asia-Pacific Regional Centre (UNDP APRC) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) stressed the need to use innovative social media tools to support the “Being LGBT in Asia” initiative.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals in many parts of Asia live where social and legal environments remain far from inclusive, facing verbal and physical harassment, discrimination, stigma, and rights deprivation on a daily basis. The Internet and social media allow for organizations and individuals to exchange information and communicate more safely and freely with one another.
“We are working with communities that may or may not engage with traditional development issues and some may not feel comfortable deeply and openly engaging on the broader UNDP or USAID social profiles. Creating a dedicated channel for LGBT issues targeted at LGBT people will enhance outreach and engagement with the community,” stated Li Zhou, UNDP technical officer for LGBT & Human Rights.
The use of these innovative social media tools will act as a catalyst for creative interaction and enhance understanding of the political, legal, social, institutional, and environmental issues facing LGBT individuals in Asia.
Utilizing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, QQ-tencent, Douban, and Crowdmapping, as a start, the initiative hopes to create a diverse online network bringing together LGBT individuals and organizations in Asia while having the ability to consolidate, collect, and disseminate information about the various LGBT movements across the region.
The “Being LGBT in Asia” Crowdmap is the first and only deployment of its kind that tracks real-time information of incidences and events occurring in Asian LGBT communities. The map focuses on depicting the barriers to LGBT human rights, as well as the successes towards equality.
The initiative is avidly encouraging participation from the community to submit reports to the Crowdmap and to get involved in their other social media platforms. Training sessions will be conducted on how to use the tools at the upcoming “Being LGBT in Asia” national community dialogues to be held in Indonesia, Viet Nam, The Philippines, and China later this summer.
To connect with and contribute to “Being LGBT in Asia”:
Instagram and Twitter: @beinglgbtinasia
QQ Tencent: t.qq.com/beinglgbtinasia
“Being LGBT in Asia: A Participatory Review and Analysis of the Legal and Social Environment for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Civil Society” is a joint initiative undertaken by UNDP and USAID in partnership with grassroots LGBT organizations and community leaders to understand the challenges faced by LGBT people in Asia.