LGBTI rights in Mongolia
Mongolia's socialist past made being queer (umbrella term for all LGBTI+ identities) a crime and a mental disorder. Attitudes from those times are still harmfully alive and spill out in systematic discrimination against queer people in all spheres of life, with many cases of hate crimes dealt by the community on a regular basis. The LGBT Centre, the first and only LGBTI human rights organisation in Mongolia, championed since 2009 for a hate crimes regulation, and got it: it is now a crime to discriminate people on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity, with strict hate crimes regulation effective 1 July 2017. But the mere existence of laws does not guarantee automatic removal of biases: it is only the beginning, and the public information and advocacy remains key.
In many countries, Pride is about celebration of where the queer community is, with public servants like the police, army, healthcare providers and educators joining the Pride Marches to show their commitment to equal rights for everyone. Companies pour millions of dollars into these events, all with an understanding that equality means a better society for everyone. However, that is still not the case in Mongolia: since 2013, not a single company donated 1 MNT towards Equality & Pride Days, since 2013 not a single Equality Walk happened without unlawful interference from the police and metropolitan authorities in Ulaanbaatar, neither do we have public service providers marching with us for all of us.
Meanwhile, Equality & Pride Days span ten days in Ulaanbaatar and reach tens of thousands of people in Mongolia through our annual, regular events like Voices-4-Equality Concert, Equality Walk, Beyond the Blue Sky Queer Film Festival, Arts-4-Rights Exhibition, thematic public discussions and ad-hoc, year-by-year events such as Yoga-4-Equality, etc, all of them public and free of charge. We can proudly say the human rights-focussed programming of the Equality & Pride Days have proven to be crucial to the public discourse and gradual societal acceptance of LGBTI rights, step-by-step.
But there’s a problem
Equality & Pride Days’ organiser is the LGBT Centre, a tiny, 4-staffer, very underfunded human rights organisation in a country that has only very recent notions of private property, corporate social responsibility, a complete absence of philanthropy and zero government funding for non-governmental organisations. For the past 4 years, we have relied on our community members’ donations and in-kind contributions (films, for example) from foreign cultural and diplomatic organisations.
But that is just not enough: we’re growing bigger and reaching out to many thousands of people through our public events and we need more space and equipment for different events, rental of these costs the money we simply do not have and can not raise single-handedly in Mongolia.
So here we are: for the first time in its history, the LGBT Centre is reaching out for crowdfunding to make our very non-commercial Equality & Pride Days a reality: please donate to help us make Equality & Pride Days bigger, help us make it a success and help the queer community in Mongolia!
You can join us
Check out the Equality & Pride Days - 2017 event details and more about the LGBT Centre on our website (presently in Mongolian language only, but go on, be brave, try out Google translate, it should give you a good gist, if not a full, correct translation of materials in the website.)
And here’s an amazing perk for supporting us that you can’t live without
For each donation 50$ and above, you will receive a collection of Arts-4-Rights postcards with impressions of the original LGBTI-themed artworks by young Mongolian visual artists and allies who support LGBTI rights and the freedom of expression, printed by the LGBT Centre and used for fundraising, valued at 10$. Make sure to include your postal address!