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  • Writer's pictureDechen Khangkyil


1. How did you begin your involvement with the LGBTIQ community?

I was 19, studying International Relations in college and came out as gay. Almost right after that I joined my school’s LGBT student association, where we organized workshops, film screenings, had a radio show, and all kinds of nerdy but very fun activities. I also started writing an LGBT column in the school newspaper. I’m 36 now, and since then I’ve become more and more involved with LGBT issues.

2. What motivated you to become a board member at ORAM?

I have learned about ORAM over the past couple of years and have been inspired by the very important work that the organization is doing in different regions. That, along with opportunities to meet LGBTQ+ asylum seekers and refugees and hear their stories first-hand about coming to Canada, the U.S., Mexico, and Argentina, motivated me to become a board member.

3. What are you most looking forward to from being on ORAM’s Board of Directors?

The chance to contribute to ORAM’s mission, in general, is very exciting. I have already started to work on using my networks and whatever influence I may have on others to bring in donations to ORAM. I look forward to doing more of that, reaching more people who might want to support ORAM and helping the organization become stronger and impact more LGBTQ+ lives.

4. What part of ORAM’s work do you feel most connected to?

I have to say I genuinely feel connected to its mission overall. A lot of my work in the LGBTQ+ community during the past 15 years has been international, and that has made me see that we truly are a global movement and we share many challenges. I know the hatred and discrimination we face are similar, no matter the country. I know the joy we experience when we win more rights is very similar. What I’ve experienced at Pride marches in different cities is almost the same. I obviously feel a special connection to ORAM’s work in Mexico and want to see that programmatic work expand and become more solid.

5. What are some of your hopes for ORAM’s future?

A part of me hopes that the work of ORAM becomes obsolete at some point, but I don’t see that happening soon. So, I hope for ORAM to get stronger, to help many more people in the countries where it’s most needed, to be an organization that learns to adapt to new contexts, and to inspire both the LGBTQ+ community and our allies to support our work.

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Lula Strong
Mar 07, 2023

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