PRIDE: 10 One Young World Ambassadors Fighting for Equality & Visibility


Pride is the world’s most diverse celebration for the LGBT+ community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, queer, questioning, intersex, non-binary, asexual, polysexual, genderqueer and gender variant people) including people of every race and faith.


One Young World Ambassadors work with conviction to lead the way when it comes to creating awareness of LGBT+ issues and freedoms that will allow them to live their lives on a genuinely equal footing. Here are just a few:


Amir Ashour

Amir founded IraQueer; the first and only LGBT+ organisation in Iraq's public history. They are leading the Iraqi queer movement, raising the awareness level amongst the Iraqi queer commnunity, and the Iraqi society as a whole. They’re advocating on the international level by engaging directly with the United Nations through writing shadow reports, meetings, and speaking at events. Their online presence reaches an average of 9,000 people every month. Amir was an honouree at the QX Gay Gala in Sweden and has been nominated for several other awards including the Raoul Wallenberg Academy Prize and The David Kato Voice and Vision Award.


Follow Amir on Twitter here.

Amir Ashour

Donnya Piggott

Donnya co-founded two initiatives to support LGBT+ people: B-GLAD, and Pink Coconuts. B-GLAD, founded in 2012, provides a community for LGBT people in Barbados when there previously wasn’t one. Pink Coconuts is a tourism platform that allows tourists safe spaces when traveling to Barbados. In 2015, she was awarded Queen Elizabeth's Young Leaders Award for her activism in changing the lives of young people.


Follow Donnya on Twitter here.


Natalino Guterres

Natalino has been instrumental in bringing awareness to Timor - Leste’s about the country’s LGBT community. Natalino co-founded an organisation called Hatutan - which translates to “connect”-  with a mission to create an inclusive society where every youth has the opportunity to grow regardless of socio-economic status, ethnicity, religion, health status, disability, gender and sexual orientation. One of Natalino’s landmark projects includes producing a film called “The Road to Acceptance” which is about the struggles of the LGBTQ community in Timor-Leste and features the support of the country’s Prime Minister.


Follow Natalino on Twitter here.


Dehydys Pimentel

Dehydys Pimentel worked as a Business Developer at BP when she joined the Diversity & Inclusion team, and quickly became involved in organising LGBTQ events and ensuring a fair working environment on site. Language is a particular issue for the LGBTQ community in Spain, due to gendered words. Her advocacy for BP Pride has encouraged the group to use gender neutral language in all policy. In Madrid, it has built a community of 80 allies, and provided educational safe space sessions to 70 staff members at BP, including 20 members of the leadership team.


Melusi Simelane

Melusi is one of Eswatini’s foremost LGBT+ activists. He founded Eswatini Sexual & Gender Minorities (ESGM), the first and only organisation in the country to explicitly form to advocate on both legal and policy matters, as well as social issues. Melusi uses his voice to bring awareness to the conditions under which the LGBTI community and all minority groups live in Eswatini. As a passionate scholar and activist, he is an invaluable resource in driving the fight against discrimination forward through education, dialogue and capacity building. This was first demonstrated in the hosting of the inaugural Pride Celebrations which took place in June 2018. In April 2019, he founded this new organisation with the intent of moving forward the LGBTI movement in Eswatini.


Follow Melusi on Twitter here.


Irwin Iradukunda

In 2016, Irwin edited Walking the Tightrope: Poetry and Prose by LGBTQ Writers from Africa, a poetry anthology that seeks to challenge and engage individuals and institutions that consider homosexuality immoral and un-African. The anthology has been recognised by the first-ever fiveFilms4freedom 2016 Global List by the British Council – increasing visibility on his work and his profile as a LGBT Human Rights Defender. His addresses through keynotes in public meetings on HIV at national level plus working with the LGBTQ communities has made him one of the recipients of the 2016 Omololu Falobi Award for Excellence in HIV Prevention Research Community Advocacy, by AVAC – Global Advocacy for HIV prevention.

Follow Irwin on Twitter here.


Tebeio Tamton

Tebeio advocates for human rights for the LGBT community and has become a significant part of development in Kiribati given the importance of ensuring that LGBT individuals are given equal access to socio-economic opportunities in their community and most importantly, not be discriminated in their societies based on their sexual orientation and gender identity/expression (SOGIE). The formation of this space and gathering of LGBT community were the major building blocks in the establishment of the "Boutokaan Inaomataia ao Mauriia Binabinaine Association (BIMBA)" in Kiribati. Another significant contributing factor in the movement is the regional partnership with the Pacific Sexual Gender and Diversity Network (PSGDN) which included Kiribati as one of its member countries in 2015.


Follow Tebeio on Twitter here.


Daniela Villegas

Daniela is the Founder of It Gets Better Colombia, an NGO that works to empower LGBTQ+ people through educating children, providing counselling support and sharing stories of hope. Daniela also works toward building a more inclusive business environment, beginning within ABInbev, where she's a brand manager. “What I try every day is to replicate all the key learnings from my NGO within my company, AB InBev, making it more inclusive, diverse and open to whoever wants to make a professional career in the company regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or any other unconscious bias.”


Elvis Martin

Elvis educates LGBTI young people about staying safe while coming out, protection from bullying and unfair treatment at school, and overcoming discrimination. He is currently the Ambassador of National Youth Commission Australia and RUOK? Day. His main focus is use his platform to support young people who are experiencing hardships in life. For his work promoting equality, Elvis has received numerous awards including the Peter Sullivan Most Wanted Leader Award and the Victorian Premier Leadership Award 2018.

Follow Elvis on Twitter here.


Eman Borg

Eman is behind Gozo's- an island in Malta-  first LGBTI+ organisation, which works on creating safe spaces and self belief. Numerous educational campaigns, online guidance, social events and social services put this NGO as a highly regarded institution on the island. Eman is also the secretary-general of the National Youth Council of Malta, responsible for all administrative and directional planning of the youth council. Eman sits as the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sexual Characteristics officer within the Commonwealth Youth Gender Equality Network.


Follow Eman on Instagram here.


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