New Publication: A Research Report on the Lives of Lesbian and Bisexual Women and Transgender Men in Timor-Leste
ASEAN SOGIE Caucus releases a new publication titled “A Research Report on the Lives of Lesbian and Bisexual Women and Transgender Men in Timor-Leste”. The research, the first research of its kind in Timor-Leste, was conducted in collaboration with Rede Feto, a national network of women’s organisations working to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment.
“This report manifests our sustained commitment to strengthen the LGBTIQ movement in Timor-Leste,” says Ryan Silverio, Regional Coordinator of ASEAN SOGIE Caucus. “While there are ongoing advocacy efforts to advance rights of LGBTIQ persons, we realize that lesbian, bisexual and queer women, and transgender men are sidelined. This report puts a light on their issues and seeks to widen future political spaces for them to engage”, he added.
Iram Saeed, one of the report’s authors considered that research as “a pioneer effort in the history of Timor Leste”. She hopes that the report will serve as a “reality check” for all agencies in government to address human rights issues of lesbian, bisexual and queer women, and transgender men in the country.
The report documented various narratives of psychological and physical abuse, including domestic violence, forced marriage, and attempts by family members to change their sexual orientation and gender identity. It looks into other social and economic factors, such as financial dependence on families, and how these affect their lives in Timorese society. Among its recommendations were for government and civil society to facilitate leadership-building opportunities and support groups and to provide lesbian and bisexual women and transgender men “opportunities to enhance their own capacities to help make them active and capable advocates for their own rights.”
“It is envisaged to use the findings in various national and regional platform to raise awareness about LBT rights issues. This will help us in initiating advocacy… to support members in living a dignified life without fear of violence, discrimination and prejudices towards them due to their non-conformist gender identity and sexual orientation”, says Iram Saeed.
Download the publication here: