( NEW YORK ) — The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, marking its 25th anniversary, on Monday announced a new name—-OutRight Action Internationalat its annual gala in New York City.
"We chose a new name that speaks to the heart of our mission. We have been 'out' for rights for 25 years, and at a time when civil society and LGBTI rights are under attack in many parts of the world, we believe our new name speaks to our commitment to LGBTIQ activism and resilience internationally," said Jessica Stern, the executive director.
Alan Cumming, an ambassador for the organization, called it "a beautiful new name" in a video message ( LINK ). Moisés Kaufman, the playwright and founder of Tectonic Theater Project best known for The Laramie Project, hosted the event during which OutRight honored Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe, also celebrating its 25th anniversary.
Instead of adopting an acronym, the organization said it prefers the simpler "OutRight" as shorthand.
Along with a new tagline — Human Rights for LGBTIQ People Everywhere — OutRight reflects the organization's commitment to inclusiveness for everyone in the LGBTIQ global community.
"For 25 years, we've worked hand-in-hand with activists around the world to challenge discriminatory laws and abusive practices. Now we are taking a step to explicitly devote ourselves to dignity and acceptance for all in the LGBTIQ community: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer," Stern said.
With the new name the organization unveiled a new logo and website ( www.OutRightInternational.org ).
The new name drew enthusiasm from supporters and LGBTIQ activists in countries around the world who were consulted by a core team of staff and board members. The Board of Directors unanimously approved the name.
Julie Dorf, founder of IGLHRC in 1990 and Senior Advisor to the Council on Global Equality, said: "For an LGBTIQ activist organization, the boundaries are always evolving as we push to eliminate discrimination and improve the lives of people who experience injustice. It's wonderful for me to see the organization I founded choose a new name that builds on its strengths and determination for two and a half decades."
Kasha Jacqueline, founder of Freedom and Roam Uganda and of Kuchu Times, said, "There's no question that our movement needs international LGBTIQ organizations whose support is unwavering. Over the years, our movement has had exactly that support from IGLHRC —- even when it wasn't a popular thing to do. Now, we embrace its transition, and we look forward to partnering with OutRight over the 25 years ahead!"
Kenita Placide, co-chair of St. Lucia's United and Strong, said, "Since we began organizing the Caribbean Women's Conference, IGLHRC has been there, supporting a new generation of activists with training and resources. As a newer movement, this is exactly what we want: to utilize accumulated wisdom, tailored to our own needs, to cover a lot of ground quickly. With this exciting transition, OutRight reminds us again that we must be bold to create change."
Natasha Jiménez, Executive Director for Mulabi, Latin-American Space for Sexualities and Rights, said, "Advancement towards respect for the human rights of trans and intersex people only comes with hard work, dedication, and solidarity. This is the kind of support we consistently get from IGLHRC in good times and bad. We can't wait to continue this important work with OutRight until all trans and intersex persons everywhere can enjoy our full human rights."
Tim Lane, co-chair of the OutRight Board of Directors, said: "Our board is excited about our new name. OutRight is bold statement of our commitment to bring about a more just world where every LGBTIQ person can live in freedom and safety, and where human rights are protected for everyone, everywhere."
OutRight Action International
Every day around the world, LGBTIQ people's human rights and dignity are abused in ways that shock the conscience. The stories of their struggles and their resilience are astounding, yet remain unknownor willfully ignoredby those with the power to make change. OutRight Action International, founded in 1990 as the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, works alongside LGBTIQ people in the Global South, with offices in six countries, to help identify community-focused solutions to promote policy for lasting change. We vigilantly monitor and document human rights abuses to spur action when they occur. We train partners to expose abuses and advocate for themselves. Headquartered in New York City, OutRight is the only global LGBTIQ-specific organization with a permanent presence at the United Nations in New York that advocates for human rights progress for LGBTIQ people.