Human Rights Violations on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Posted On: December 19, 2009

On 10 Dec 2009, a panel discussion was organized by the Permanent Missions to the United Nations of Argentina, Brazil, Croatia, France, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden on the occasion of the International Day of Human Rights.

The theme: Opposing grave Human Rights Violations on the basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.

You are going to hear Sass Rogando Sasot, who is one of the leading voices of the transgender rights movement in the Phillipines. In 2002, she co-founded the Society of Transsexual Women of the Phillipines, the first and only transgender support and rights advocacy group in her country. In 2003 and 2004, together with Drs. Sam Winter and Mark King of the University of Hong Kong, she did the first comprehensive research work on Filipina transgender women, which was published in the International Journal of Transgenderism. During the 2007 Manila Pride March she has been named as one of the nine faces of Pride.

I was multi-tasking on my laptop as I started the YouTube. But the conviction in Sass Rogando Sasot’s literally commanded me to stop whatever I was doing. The anger, pain and rage in the injustice transgenders have experienced was loud. I started crying.

All of us deserve to be born, live, and die with dignity. To have the freedom to express the uniqueness of the life-force within you. To live with authenticity. There is no excuse for any of us to inflicting indignity upon indignity towards each other. Absolutely no excuse.

This site shows the transcript.

View the entire UN session on SOGI (Real media, 1 hour and 25 minutes) here.

About Dr. Martha Tara Lee

Surrounded by friends who were sexually inhibited and struck by dire lack of positive conversations around sex and sexuality in Singapore, Dr. Martha Tara Lee decided to take it upon herself to right this societal injustice in 2007. She set out to make a positive difference in embarking on her doctorate in human sexuality, then launching Eros Coaching in 2009. Today, she remains dedicated to working with individuals and couples who wish to lead self-actualised and pleasure-filled lives.

She also holds certificates in counselling, coaching and sex therapy, and is currently pursuing her fourth degree – a Masters in Counselling. In practice for more than seven years, she is the only certified sexuality educator by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) in Singapore.

Often cited in the local media, Dr. Lee is the appointed sex expert for Men’s Health Singapore, and Men’s Health Malaysia. She was recognised as one of ‘Top 50 Inspiring Women Under 40′ by Her World in July 2010, and one of ‘Top 100 Inspiring Women’ by CozyCot in March 2011. She is the host of weekly radio show Eros Evolution on the OMTimes Radio Network. She has published two books: Love, Sex and Everything In-Between, and Orgasmic Yoga.

Martha works with individuals and couples in private coaching sessions, and conducts her own workshops. She takes prides in making sure all her workshops are also fun, educational, and sex-positive. This comes easily to her because even though she is extremely dedicated and serious about her work, she fundamentally believes that sex is meant to be fun, wonderful, amazing and sacred. As such, this serious light-heartedness has shone through again and again. For her full profile, click here. Email her here.

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