Funding the Struggle for LGBTI Rights in a Time of Growing Backlash

There was a golden period — basically between the first successes of the marriage equality movement in 2001 to the election of Donald Trump in 2016 — when western wealth took seriously the efforts of LGBTI activists in distant corners of the globe. This was especially true in the close, geo-strategic circles of western influence, the former states of the Soviet Union in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Now that much of this region has fallen under the influence of right-wing populists and overt theocrats the early successes of local activists and advocates are in danger of being rolled back.

ILGA, the leading watchdog of the global struggle for LGBTI rights, has just released its report on the growing divide between the region’s authoritarian rulers and the established organizations working for local progress.

You can read the full report below and keep up with the global struggle for LGBTI progress here.

Much of the story of LGBTI activism in Europe and Central Asia can be seen through the lens of progress. Of communities empowered, lives protected and enriched, laws and minds changed, regional standards created. LGBTI organisations across various parts of the region have been at the forefront of change in recent years. At the same time, the threat of pushback against hard fought wins exists almost everywhere for LGBTI communities. The shift towards populism and rightwing ideology across Europe, the closing of space for civil society in many countries, particularly in Eastern Europe, West Asia and Central Asia1 , and the scapegoating of LGBTI and other vulnerable communities all pose a real threat to the progress that movements in Europe and Central Asia have made.
The ILGA report on Funding for LGBTI Activism in Eastern Europe and Central Asia