Alexia Bukely - Activism without Borders
the David Kato Vision & Voice Award (DKVVA) begins to celebrate its fourth
year, we continue to receive hundreds of nominations of phenomenal activists
for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) rights around the
world. With the announcement of this 2015 winner coming up on February 13th at
the renowned Teddy Awards in Berlin, we are honored to introduce you to the incredible people who have been shortlisted for this year’s award.
we highlight prominent LGBTI activist Alexia Bukely from El Salvador. Please
read her story below!
Alexia Bukely is a
leading transgender activist from El Salvador. In 2000 she founded Fraternidad Gay Sin Fronteras, bringing
cultural activities to the Salvadoran LGBTI community while also pressuring local
officials to denounce human rights abuse and promote HIV prevention and
treatment services for vulnerable populations.
anti-discrimination laws exist in El Salvador, the LGBTI community is still a major target
for prejudice and abuse and while steadily strengthening its health care
system to address HIV and AIDS, epidemic levels continue to plague vulnerable
communities – making Alexia’s work with Fraternidad
Gay Sin Fronteras all the more crucial. In 2007 Alexia’s organization was
granted legal recognition, becoming the first NGO human rights group dedicated
to LGBTI issues in El Salvador.
recognized the need for human rights initiatives organized around LGBTI issues
when she was an adolescent. After being
kicked out of her home for her sexual orientation, Alexia was driven to start a
group offering community, safety and artistic expression for the Salvadoran LGBTI
population. This group grew to become Fraternidad
Gay Sin Fronteras. It was among these friends that Alexia first came out as
Many of Alexia’s colleagues were HIV positive during this time, and Alexia soon
understood the intricacies and impact of HIV and AIDS among vulnerable
communities. In this way, Fraternidad Gay
Sin Fronteras expanded to include and advocate for not just sexual minorities but people
living with HIV and AIDS, sex workers, people with disabilities, and LGBTI
was emboldened to create a space to speak out about the issues affecting those
who are doubly persecuted, recognizing that these individuals are not only
oppressed by society at large, but also within the LGBTI community itself.
Alexia soon began an initiative to speak at universities, government
institutions, NGOs and other venues, educating and making visible issues particular
to those populations who are doubly, even triply discriminated against. She also
began the first national campaign to recognize May 17 as the National Day
against Homophobia in El Salvador.
has made great strides with her activism in El Salvador - remaining thoughtful
and self-reflexive throughout her community building. Her commitment and
dedication reveal the invaluable role activists play in making change happen on
a local, national and global scale.
The DKVVA is supported
by a Secretariat based at the Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF). The MSMGF
advocates for equitable access to effective HIV prevention, care, treatment,
and support services tailored to the needs of gay men and other MSM, including
gay men and MSM living with HIV, while promoting their health and human rights
worldwide. You can find more information about the MSMGF at www.msmgf.org