Global LGBTQ Activists You Need to Know About

In honor of LGBTQ History Month, HRC is releasing a series of blog posts that pay homage to the diversity and breadth of our community.

Today, we are recognizing our international partners and fellow LGBTQ advocates from across the world. Their strength and courage to fight for LGBTQ rights, sometimes risking their lives to do so, is a solemn reminder of how dangerous the road to equality can be.

To find out more about HRC’s global partners, and what HRC is doing to amplify their voices, please visit

  • Arsham Parsi: Arsham Parsi is a queer activist from Iran, currently living in exile in Canada. In 2003, he first started secretly advocating for LGBTQ rights in Iran, using underground online groups to unite the community in order to evade Iranian authorities. In 2005, after being pursued by Iranian police for his activities, he fled to Turkey and then Canada. It was in Canada that Parsi started the Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees, an organization that supports and provides guidance to LGBTQ asylum seekers. Earlier this year, Parsi joined HRC on Capitol Hill to support LGBTQ refugees affected by Trump’s travel ban.
  • Abhina Aher: Abhina Aher is part of the hijra community in India — a thousand-year-old South Asian transgender community. As a prominent transgender activist, Aher has been on the front lines advocating for greater visibility and equality for LGBTQ people in India. In 2003, she founded The Dancing Queens, an LGBTQ dancing troupe that aims to raise awareness in her country about sexual and gender diversity. In 2017, Aher attended HRC's Global Innovative Advocacy Summit — a dynamic annual conference where established and emerging advocates from around the world exchange ideas and approaches to advance LGBTQ equality.    Read more via HRC