May 17, 2022
Numan, fighting for LGBTIQ+ rights in Malaysia
Today, on the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), we want to present the work of Numan Afifi, a LGBTIQ+ rights defender from Malaysia who is now staying at Shelter City Amsterdam.
Numan founded and now chairs a community-run organization and advocacy group for gay, bisexual and queer men in Malaysia. The organization works to provide a safe space for the members of the LGBTIQ+ community where they can feel accepted and supported. Numan and his colleagues also aim at strengthening the capacity of the LGBTIQ+ community by providing workshops, trainings and mentoring opportunities.
Defending LGBTIQ+ rights in Malaysia
Being a LGBTIQ+ rights defender in Malaysia comes with many challenges. The state still criminalizes same-sex relations and non-normative gender expression; and human rights defenders are subject to prosecution and threats. Numan had to face several police investigations for his human rights work.
However, Numan continues to fight for LGBTIQ+ rights. His work has been widely recognized for having improved the lives of the members of the Malay LGBTIQ+ community.
Numan’s stay at Shelter City
Numan is now staying at Shelter City Amsterdam, where he hopes to network with LGBTIQ+ organizations and academic institutions, focus on his wellbeing, raise awareness on the human rights situation in Malaysia, and speak at events on LGBTIQ+ rights.
He was one of the speakers at our Shelter City anniversary kick-off event. During his speech, he sent a powerful message to human rights defenders: to remain hopeful in the face of those who want to oppress them.
“We must remain hopeful, because the people who want to stop us want us to give up.” – Numan Afifi
International Day against Homophia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia
Today, when asked what IDAHOBIT means to him, Numan replied: “IDAHOBIT reminds us that everywhere in the world we must not take our freedom from granted. There are always bigots that paddle prejudice and hatred just because we are different than them, or we love differently than them. Let’s smash oppression against LGBTI people today, and every day”.
“Let’s smash oppression against LGBTI people today, and every day” – Numan Afifi
We at Shelter City stand side by side with LGBTIQ+ rights defenders such as Numan, who fight for a more inclusive society.
Are you interested in connecting with Numan or inviting him as a speaker to your event? Reach out to us!
You want to help us support LGBTIQ+ rights defenders like Numan?