The African lesbians, gays, bisexual, transgender and intersex organisation Out and Proud Diamond Group (OPDG) has been nominated in UK National Diversity Awards 2015 under the category of Community Organisations.
These awards celebrate the excellent achievements of grass-roots communities that tackle the issues in today’s society, giving them recognition for their dedication and hard work.
Out and Proud Diamond Group has been nominated in the category of Community Organisations that deal with LGBTI issues.
Please continue voting for Out and Proud diamond group by following this link:
OPDG was formed in 2011 by prominent LGBTI activists from Africa based in the United Kingdom. The founders themselves fled their home countries due to the persecution and discrimination among others that they experienced because of their sexuality.
The organisation is aimed at challenging homophobia, transphobia, biphobia and any discrimination or injustices towards LGBTI people because of their sexuality or gender. The organisation also supports LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees.
Since the organisation was started, it has organised and participated in many peaceful demonstrations against many anti-gay governments and individuals including, Russia, Lithuania, Jamaica, Gambia, Cameroon, Uganda, Nigeria, Dolce and Gabbana and the Commonwealth Countries, among others. The organisation has also campaigned against abuses, detained LGBTI asylum seekers and other asylum seekers in the UK immigration detention centres.
The organisation has helped many LGBTI asylum seekers in the United Kingdom through getting them legal representation, supporting in immigration tribunals, organising social events, getting Doctors, Counsellors, accommodation, helping them to reconcile their sexuality and gender with their religion, creating a safer place for them to speak and interact with other members. Being a community organisation, it is the first point of contact for many LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees in the United Kingdom.
The organisation has visited many LGBTI asylum seekers in immigration detention centres across the United Kingdom. Through our work we have stopped many deportations of LGBT asylum seekers from the United Kingdom. This has been done through working with our legal and other partners. Many of these survivors have won their asylum in the United Kingdom.
All the LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees in this organisation are being helped to fully integrate in the British community, through helping them to get jobs, education and being law abiding citizens among others.
The organisation has done many petitions both online and in paper form in order to bring justice and equality for LGBTI people, this has been very effective in bringing awareness and gathering support against these anti-gay Countries. Many LGBTI people in these Countries have felt the support that they get through the works of this organisation.
It is well documented that homophobia in Africa and other Countries is deeply rooted and spread by extreme religious leaders, this organisation has been instrumental in challenging such religious leaders when they come to preach in the United Kingdom.
The organisation has written many articles to challenge homophobia and also bust a lot of myth surrounding homosexuality in African Countries, many of these articles can easily be accessed online.
The organisation has been instrumental in lobbying various western governments to do something about the on- going persecution of LGBTI people in those 78 anti-gay Countries.
The organisation has embarked on a campaign of going all over the United Kingdom and on all social medias to raise awareness of the on-going persecution of LGBTI people in the Commonwealth Countries. This will help to gather support and solidarity against homophobia.
Peter Tatchell of the Peter Tatchell Foundation, said ‘I am really honoured to support the nomination of the Out and Proud Diamond Group and urge you to vote for them. They do awesome work, not only for African LGBTI people and issues, but in support of the LGBTI struggle in the UK and worldwide. Out and Proud also does amazingly successful work helping win asylum for LGBTI refugees. It is one of the most active campaign groups in the UK. Please give them their support.”
“We would like to thank all those who have nominated and those who are still nominating us above all we thank the organisers of these awards. This nomination means a lot to our organisation and the struggle for justice and equality for LGBTI people in Countries where we are coming from. Above all, it is a motivation and creates more hope in our members especially those who have faced persecution and discrimination because of their sexuality and gender. We hope and pray that we win this Award.”
I wish to nominate OPDG for saving me from impending suicide. I am a victim of multiple traumatic incidences that were later diagnosed as complex PTSD all resulting from homophobic experiences. I was alone in a foreign land with no family to turn to. As a bisexual asylum seeker and now a refugee, l felt more vulnerable and hopeless. OPDG leaders and members, on learning about my situation, supported me, through getting me a Solicitor to process my asylum application in the UK, getting a therapist, making regular phone calls to check on me, offering me a safer place to regain my self esteem, visiting me regularly whilst in Yarlswood immigration removal centre, supported me all through my asylum process and is now supporting me to fully intergrate in the community. Above all, they have helped me to gain skills of campaigning for LGBTI rights.
Refugee from Uganda
I nominate Out and Proud Diamond Group for the outstanding work they are doing for vulnerable people, mostly African LGBTI people who have fled their countries to escape persecution and in seeking for asylum, many are detained and put on fast track which is more like the persecution they went through back in their countries. Giving an example of myself, Out and Proud Diamond Group has fought for me, they helped me stop the deportation which was un fairly determined by home office, they have continued to help me through my whole asylum process which has not been easy and without them God knows what I would be facing now in my life. It’s not only me they have done this for, but they have helped so many LGBTI vulnerable people to find them where to sleep for those who have no homes, find them GPs for those who need medical attention, find them lawyers for those who are asylum seekers, and have helped many people to be confident about their sexuality to come out and be who they are with no fear and shame and stop living a life of lie. Yet it’s a group which is not funded for the work they do. For these reasons and more unmentioned ones, I would like to request you to nominate Out and Proud Diamond Group.