IRGT Governance

board

Abhina Aher

Abhina Aher is a transgender woman (identified as hijra, indigenous group) working as Programme Manager with India HIV/AIDS Alliance on sexual minority programme from over five years such as Pehchan (in hindi means acknowledgement, identity) which is the single largest country grant HIV programme with MSM transgender hijra community in 17 Indian states and Wajood (in hindi means pride) with 6000 transgender women and Hijras in five states to increase sexual health and reduce gender based violence. She has been working in sexuality, gender, health and human rights issues for over 19 years. She was elected as Chair of Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN) and member of the International Resource Group on Transgender women and HIV. She is staring committee member of International Trans Fund and board member of Global Trans Equality (GATE). She is also member of High Level Meeting Global Task Force Committee and started first ever ‘transgender dancing group called Dancing Queens’ to sensitize the key stakeholders on gender, sexuality and raise crucial funding for HIV positive trans people in India.

Prempreeda Pramoj N Ayutthaya

Prempreeda Pramoj N Ayutthaya

Prem was born in Bangkok. She completed two MA degrees, in Social Development at ChiangMai University and in Health Social Sciences at Mohidol University. Both of her master degree theses concerned rights for transgender people and sexual minorities people. She has worked with various local and international NGOs for key affected populations for HIV prevention and care. She was one of founding working group members of Asia Pacific Transgender Network. She worked as community representative and liaison for an HIV Prevention Trial for the Thai Ministry of Public Health and the US Centers for Disease Control. She also has been worked as HIV/AIDS National Programme Officer at UNESCO Bangkok. She has lectured on sexual and gender issues at several universities.

Mauro Cabral

Mauro Cabral

Mauro Cabral is the Director of Programs and Advocacy at Global Action for Trans* Equality (GATE). He also serves as Senior Advisor to the Intersex Fund at Astraea, and as Board Member of Akahatá - Espacio de Trabajo en Sexualidades y Géneros. He is member of several International Advisory Boards, including IDAHOT, Dignity For All and Transrespect vs Transphobia. Mauro participated in the production of the Yogyakarta Principles and edited the book Interdicciones. Escrituras de la Intersexualidad en castellano. He studied history and philosophy at the National University of Cordoba, and his current area of research is focused on the intersections between bodily diversity, biotechnology and the law. He lives in Buenos Aires.

Erika Castellanos

Erika Castellanos

Erika Castellanos is a Transgender woman diagnosed with HIV in 1995. She started her work in HIV volunteering in hospices where she realized the need to be organized as a community to improve the quality and quantity of life of people living with HIV. Erika is the founder and Executive Director of C-NET+, the Collaborative Network of Persons Living with HIV, which is the first and only organization by and for people with HIV in Belize. In addition, Erika is an executive member of the Belize CCM, the Belize focal point in the Latin-American and Caribbean Network of Transgender People (REDLACTRANS), an adviser for the Central American Network of People with HIV and now the representative in GNP+ (Global Network of People Living with HIV) for RedLa+, the Latin-American and Caribbean Network of People Living with HIV. Ms. Castellanos is studying Social Work at the University of Belize and has recently completed the certificate course in LGBT Health Research at the University of Pittsburgh as part of the amfAR scholarships program. Erika is a member speakers bureau of the Global Fund Advocates Network, a member of the Communities delegation to the Board of the Global Fund and one of the LAC delegates to the Program Coordinating Board of UNAIDS. Erika joined IRGT in early 2016.

Cecilia Chung

Cecilia Chung, is the Senior Strategist of Transgender Law Center, a Health Commissioner of San Francisco and an internationally recognized leader HIV policies, LGBT equality, and social justice. Cecilia has been calling San Francisco home for over 30 years where she began her advocacy works. During that time, she has broken ground in a number of ways including: being the first transgender woman and first Asian to be elected to lead the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Celebration; the first transgender woman and first person living openly with HIV to Chair the San Francisco Human Rights Commission; and the architect of Transgender Economic Empowerment Initiative, the nation’s most ambitious publicly funded program, addressing economic justice within the transgender community. In 2014, Cecilia founded Positively Trans, a community-led project to empower transgender women living with HIV in leadership and advocacy positions. Cecilia currently serves as Chair of the US PLHIV Caucus, Co-Chair of the Amsterdam-based Global Network of People Living with HIV and a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.

Manisha Dhakal

Manisha Dhakal

Manisha Dhakal is a transgender LGBT rights activist from Kathmandu, Nepal. Manisha has been involved in Nepal’s LGBT rights movement since 2001 through different projects about HIV/AIDS, human rights activism, constitutional campaigns, advocacy, capacity building, academic research, and others. Manisha is the Executive Director of Blue Diamond Society (BDS), Nepal’s leading LGBT rights organization. Manisha is also the president of the board of the Federation of Sexual and Gender Minorities Nepal, which is the network of all LGBT rights organizations. She was awarded the “Nai Ram Laxmi” National award in 2010 for her contributions to the LGBT movement in Nepal. On 21 December 2007, the Supreme Court of Nepal issued a landmark verdict directing the government to enact laws enabling equal rights to LGBT citizens. Manisha was involved in court pleadings on this case on behalf of LGBT people before the Supreme Court.

Leigh Ann van der Merwe

L. Leigh Ann van der Merwe is a coloured transgender woman born in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Leigh Ann’s own experiences of violence and discrimination prompted her to establish Social, Health and Empowerment, a feminist collective of transgender women working in Southern and East Africa. Leigh Ann has conceptualized projects such as the African Transformative Feminist Leadership Institute and has co-authored the Transilience Research Report on violence against transgender women in South Africa. She considers herself an “intersectional” feminist whose analysis is seeking to understand how factors such as race, class and the economic status influences one’s own identity. She holds a certificate in community journalism from UNISA. She is the author of the African Trans Feminist Charter. Leigh Ann has been a Global Reference Group member for a project called the Applied Research Services on Inter-linkages between gender based violence and HIV. This projects works closely with and is funded by UNAids, and is led by the HEARD consortium. Leigh Ann was recognized as a Women’s Human Rights Defender in December 2012 by the Masimanyane Women’s Support Center in East London, South Africa.

Marvellous Moffat

Marvellous Moffat

Marvellous Moffat is a trans woman coming from two ethnicities western and northern Tanzania. She is the last born in the family of four children consisting of two brothers and a sister. Growing up in a very cultural and religious context that solely lives in a community lifestyle wasn't easy for her as she has faced a lot of challenges from family level to community level. Professionally she is a fashion designer but passing through a very rough journey in her lifetime she has dedicated herself into advocating for trans women rights in Tanzania through working as the Executive Director and Head of Transgender Department at House of Empowerment and Awareness in Tanzania (HEAT).

Ricky “Rikki" Nathason

Ricky “Rikki" Nathason

A member of the Southern African Regional Trans* Forum, the Trans* Women’s Feminist Institute and All Africa Trans* & Intersex Committee. Additionally, I am a Board Member of the Sexual Rights Centre in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. This month I formed Trans* Education, Advocacy & Training [TREAT], which seeks to address the rights issues in the education, advocacy and training about, and to, the basic violations of the human rights of the trans* diverse and gender non-conforming population of Zimbabwe in the areas of health, justice and the socio economy. Professionally, I hold a qualification with the Institute of Chartered Secretaries of Zimbabwe.

Alexandra Rodriguez

Alexandra Rodriguez

Alexandra Rodríguez, is born in Mexico City and is a gender and sexuality freelance consultant and also an activist and advocate for Human Rights of LGBTQI individuals, and her passion is to fight for transgender rights, including their right to get proper medical attention and HIV medications. Alexandra is very proud to be part of the LGBTQI population in Mexico and around the globe and she is actually working on many personal projects, including her memoir called “Crucé La Frontera en Tacones” (I Crossed The Border in High Heels), writing for various publications and doing advocacy work for transgender individuals and sex workers rights in the US, Mexico, Spain, and Latin America.

Michelle Ross

Michelle Ross

Michelle is Co-founder of cliniQ (www.cliniq.org.uk), the first and at present the only holistic sexual health and HIV wellbeing service in London UK for trans people by trans people. She is also Co-lead on service development, with an overview of how cliniQ services work holistically for our clients. She has been involved with sexual health, HIV & wellbeing since 1988 with Terrence Higgins Trust where she developed the trans awareness programme with the focus on sexual health and HIV. She was the lead in developing the groundbreaking UK first Trans Health Matters, Sexual Health, HIV & Wellbeing booklets and web pages for trans women. Michelle is the convener of cliniQ’s series of conferences Trans Health Matters. She attends and presents at many conferences on the issues of sexual health, wellbeing and HIV for trans people. Michelle is a BACP accredited relationship counselor/psychotherapist. She began her training in the 1980s receiving her first counseling certificate in HIV/AIDS counseling 1989 at London Lighthouse Centre for HIV. Michelle is a member of IRGT: A Global Network of Trans Women advocating for trans issues in the international HIV response. She believes strongly that trans people can speak for ourselves on our issues for our communities.

Simran Shaikh

Simran Shaikh, a hijra, has dedicated her professional life to human rights advocacy. She has been a pioneer in India in raising the issues of people living with HIV (PLHIV) in the context of transgender and hijra communities. She is a strong advocate for Right to Health for all. Simran has developed the capacity of community-based organizations (CBOs) and networks that work for PLHIV and gender minorities. She has been a consultant to national and international organizations on issues of gender and sexual minorities living with HIV and intends to continue her work on health & human rights for the most marginalized communities in future. She is also the current UNAIDS PCB Member from Asia Pacific region. A graduate from Mumbai University, she currently works with India HIV/AIDS Alliance in New Delhi as a Senior Programme Officer for Pehchan and Vihaan , Both Global Fund-supported initiative strengthening community systems for men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender and hijra CBOs to improve HIV prevention, Care and Support outcomes in India.

khartini slamah

Khartini Slamah is Transgender Women from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She has been involved in HIV/AIDS for the last 28 years. She is an advocate for Transgender and Transgender sex workers rights. She is also the founder of Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN), founder of Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW), Board member of International Trans Reference Group (IRGT), Advisory Committee of Global Coalition on Woman and AIDS (GCWA) and ex NGO Delegation to PCB, UNAIDS.

Maria Sundin

Maria Sundin

Maria Sundin is a senior Swedish trans activist, sexologist and social worker. She has been involved in trans as well as LGBT organizations for the past 25 years. Maria is a member of the Board of the Swedish Federation for LGBTQ rights – RFSL. She is also a member of IRGT, a Global Network of Transgender Women and HIV. Maria has also served on the Executive Board of Transgender Europe (TGEU) as well as the organization’s Co-chair. She is also extensively involved in trans de-pathologisation globally.

Kanyanta Kakana

Kanyanta Kakana

Kanyanta Kakana is a 21-year-old trans feminist from Zambia; a writer that works around different forms of media outsource that focus on transgender empowerment. Despite the repressive laws that victimize the LGBTI community in Zambia, Kanyanta has braved the storm and has been an active advocate for trans awareness and sensitization for the last two and a half years. Kanyanta is also an HIV counselor and tester under an organization called Intrahealth where she has been working for the last six months. Kanyanta also represents a unique position in that very little is known about the Zambian transgender community and brings with her some valuable insights into the plight of what could be referred to as the 'unknown gender' in her country context.

Jana Villayzan Aguilar

Jana Villayzan Aguilar

Jana Villayzan Aguilar is a trans woman activist focused on Human Rights for trans women in Peru and Latin America. Villayzan has a masters in public health focused on gender, sexuality, and reproductive health and has collaborated with different research projects working with trans women in Peru. Villayzan has over 16 years of experience and is the founder of the trans movement in Peru and is the Executive Director of Red Nacional por los Derechos de las Personas Travesties, Trangeneno y Transexual in Peru (RED Trans Peru).