TRANSGENDER HERO Honourees
Supported by our Community Partner – APTN
Jannat Ali is a transgender activist and performing artist based in Lahore, Pakistan. She is the first to have coined the term Artivist that stands to define a mix of art and activism and uses the medium to work for Trans Rights in Pakistan. Jannat is the founder of Track – a trans-led community organization that fights for Trans Rights advocacy as well as inaugurating the first ever Trans Pride in Pakistan. She is currently running multiple volunteer projects in Pakistan through networking, lobbying and advocacy with community organizations, civil society organizations and governmental institutes.
“I was sleeping when I woke up and checked my email notification. I just started jumping and continued it, I felt as if I really won this Award—hahaha—as I’ve been trying to work better and better every year to win this HERO Award. My Pakistani community member who worked under my supervision has already won the Award so I keep my fingers crossed to make my whole community proud this time.”
Lenny Eko Sugiharto
Founder and director of the Srikandi Sejati Foundation, Lenny Sugiharto, is a transwoman or waria in Indonesia. After becoming interested in human rights and HIV/AIDS, Lenny started together with other transwomen a development program about HIV, addressed to all transwomen in DKI Jakarta. This was in order to collect information and conduct rapid assessments about transwomen’s needs. From there on, the idea grew of founding a special NGO with the focus on empowerment, education and leadership for transwomen: in 1998 Srikandi Sejati Foundation was founded. Until today, Srikandi Sejati Foundation provides HIV/AIDS programs for transwomen whereas 2500 transgender patients with HIV have received intervention, such as ARV treatment which lead to a significant improvement in quality of life.
“I feel proud and happy. I have realized my parents’ message to become a transwoman activist who is empowered and useful for society. I will celebrate and advocate for transwomen with a more productive spectrum issue!”
Nayyab Ali is a prominent transgender rights activist & Human Rights Defender from Pakistan. She is also the first transwoman in the Muslim world to contest national polls with political affiliation from NA142 Okara, Punjab Pakistan. Nayyab is currently involved in a lot of various projects fighting and advocating for the Transgender rights, which includes working as a Transgender Rights Expert Consultant with UNDP Pakistan and a capacity building expert in a Rule of Law Project, funded by the British High Commission. Further more she is running an organization & Consultancy Firm named Transgender Rights Consultants Pakistan.
“Nomination for Asia’s biggest Awards for Community is itself an achievement and nomination as “Transgender Hero” is a proud moment that filled me with more courage & belief that community trust is also with me in this battle of rights for all. I am so happy about this because If I won the title, it will give more space to the LGBT Community of Pakistan on international forums and also helps us in advocacy at all policy level in the country for all SOGIE communities in a positive manner by showing the government that international word is recognizing your people’s effort.”