Above: The forum begins, at the Museum of the Resistance in Santo Domingo.
Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute and its Dominican partner Diversidad Dominicana welcomed dozens of LGBTI leaders to Santo Domingo last month for a half-day civil society forum. The forum was the first module in a series of events through July 2017 that aim to build bridges between authorities and the LGBTI movement, increase LGBTI visibility, and maximize LGBTI political inclusion in the country.
At the civil society forum, high-ranking elected officials (including Dominican Representative Jacqueline Montero) met with community leaders for panel discussions, a film screening and networking opportunities. The event brought together fresh faces, as well as those who had participated in the Victory Institute co-sponsored LGBTI Political Leadership School that took place in November.
“This [forum] is part of increasing the visibility of this population, to practice their rights to elect and to be elected, and exercise their full civil rights as citizens” said Diversidad Dominicana Director Rosanna Marzan. “[This] gives a message that the government is for everyone and spaces are created for all, not only a specific elite.”
This event is part of continued efforts to empower the Dominican LGBTI community as they prepare to host the International Meeting of LGBTI Leaders in Santo Domingo, which will bring together LGBTI leaders from South and Central America as well as the Caribbean.
The forum was made possible with the help of the British and Netherlands Embassies in the DR, USAID, and the Inter-American Foundation.