As in many parts of the world, people in Kupang (the capital of West Timor in Indonesia) who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or in other ways not conforming to sexual and gender norms, face prejudice, discrimination and violence, as well as sexual health risk. Working with a local HIV and AIDS organisation, Yayasan Tanpa Batas, Many Coloured Sky is assisting the lgbtiq community in Kupang to develop peer support programs and activities and to challenge homophobia and transphobia.
AIM: To strengthen lgbtiq community in Kupang and assist that community in achieving their goals of a safe, affirming and inclusive Kupang for lgbtiq people.
ACTIVITIES: Development, delivery and co-facilitation of peer support and peer education programs. Support for the development and delivery of anti-homophobia and -transphobia activities across Kupang. Assistance in the development of an lgbtiq organisation and its governance.
WHAT'S HAPPENED SO FAR? Initial workshops took place to build relationships, identify the participants key challenges and community strengths, and to provide a toolkit and resources for participants to develop their own ideas about challenging homo- and transphobia and building a strong lgbtiq community.
Following this the group met several times to plan a series of activities addressing prejudice against lgbtiq people from within the major religions of the region - Christianity and Islam. With funding support from Many Coloured Sky and other sources, the group hosted an event for religious leaders, and developed relationships and trust by working together to improve the physical surroundings of the cities' major churches and mosques. The activities concluded with a fashion show, dinner and parade by the lgbtiq community for the religious leaders which was both well attended and popular.
In 2016 our plan is to provide a broader peer support platform for lgbtiq people across West Timor, and increase leadership capacity within the lgbtiq community.