Top 10 LGBTQ+ organizations in the world

The world is a scary place sometimes. Especially for those who identify themselves as a minority and are pushed to fight for survival in order to live a life of equality and respect. This can be understood in the context of the people belonging to the LGBTQIA+ communities, who are fighting a battle every single day of their life in order to resist, reject and toss out the misogyny and patriarchy that they are exclusively subjected to. Thankfully, there are some noble organizations and institutions that have undertaken the responsibility of creating a safe space for people in the LGBTQIA+ communities. These NGOs voice out the opinions, demands, and grievances of the LGBT+ people and also organize timely protests in order for their voices to be heard by the highest authorities. In this article, we list some of the most frequently active and widely known LGBT+ organizations around the world.

  1. All Out is a global not-for-profit organization that is focused on political advocacy for the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/-sexual, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual/aromantic, and all others in LGBTQIA+ communities. It was first established in 2010 as a program of Purpose Foundation, later becoming its own legal entity, Purpose Action, and finally All Out Action Fund, Inc. in 2014. All Out’s goal is to bring the power of people beyond geographical barriers to express their solidarity and be a positive force on the side of LGBTQIA+ people. In 2012, All Out took down a petition aimed at shooting back against anti-gay boycott groups placing pressure on EA due to gay characters included in the game publisher’s titles. The page was hit by spam attacks that came from different IP addresses. This was later sorted by removing the spam comments and updating the signature count on All Out’s campaign page.
  2. The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association (ILGA) is an organization who is committed to advancing human rights for all people, disregarding gender identity, sex characteristics, and expression. ILGA participates in a multitude of agendas within the United Nations, such as creating visibility for LGBTI issues by conducting advocacy and outreach at the Human Rights Council, working with members to help their government improve LGBTI rights, ensuring LGBTI members are not forgotten in international law, and advocating for LBTI women’s issues at the Commission on the Status of Women.
  3. The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer & Intersex Youth and Student Organisation (IGLYO) is an international LGBTQI organization that was created in 1984 as a reaction to the need for better cooperation among regional, local and national LGBTQI youth and student organizations. It advocates on behalf of members of international bodies, institutions, and other organizations. IGLYO is a membership-based umbrella organization representing 95 member organizations in more than 45 countries. IGLYO is an active member of the European Youth Forum, ILGA-Europe, and the Euromed platform, and is an associate member organization of the European Students’ Union.
  4. The International Railroad for Queer Refugees, formerly known as the Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees (IRQR), is an advocacy group for LGBT rights in Iran. It was founded and is headed by Executive Director Arsham Parsi. It was set up on behalf of Iranian LGBT persons seeking safe havens both within and outside of Iran. It is the first Iranian NGO in the world, to work on behalf of Iranian LGBT people around the globe. It has it’s headquarters in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where the organization is registered as an NGO. IRQR provides assistance with asylum applications, housing, and financial assistance to those in need. It files petitions to governments on behalf of Iranian LGBTQ persons facing deportation back to Iran, where homosexuality is a criminal offense punishable by death. In August 2016, IRQR was granted charitable status by the Canadian Emergency Agency. In November 2018, IRQR expanded its services to non-Iranian LGBTs and officially changed its name to the International Railroad for Queer Refugees. IRQR documents and reports cases of torture, persecution, execution, and other human rights violations that occur in Iran on a regular basis; it has helped demonstrate the situation of LGBT persons in Iran. IRQR also aims to educate people who are opposed to homosexuality due to a lack of correct information and sexual education and also to “end the current lack of self-recognition and self-confidence among queer people and to prevent frequent tragedies, such as suicide.” The organization’s name is inspired by the Underground Railroad which helped African-Americans escape slavery in the 19th century.
  5. Global Action for Trans Equality (GATE) is an organization and think tank on gender identity, sex characteristics, and bodily diverse issues. The current executive director is Mauro Cabral Grinspan Cabral Grinspan is an Argentinian intersex and trans activist, and signatory of the Yogyakarta Principles. Former co-directors included Justus Eisfeld, a co-founder of Transgender Europe and a contributor to the Activist’s Guide for the Yogyakarta Principles in Action, and Masen Davis, also former Executive Director of the Transgender Law Center. The organization was founded in 2009. The organization works on the reform of medical protocols, HIV response, and access to funding. In 2014, GATE and American Jewish World Service published the first study on transgender and intersex groups’ access to funding. GATE also has a connection with Julia Ehrt of Transgender Europe in Germany and Tamara Adrian of The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Intersex Law Association in Venezuela. It also maintains a durable relationship with United Nations Special Rapporteurs and NGOs and tries to advance its political agenda through lobbying at the United Nations and World Health Organization. On 17 June, GATE contributed to the resolution of the UN Human Rights Council presented by South Africa along with Brazil concerning human rights on sexual orientation and gender identity. On 30 June 2011, Cabral Grinspan, held a speech at the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights for trans and intersex rights. In 2022, GATE released a report mapping anti-trans actors in the United Kingdom. According to the report, there had been a “dramatic increase in anti-trans content and activity in UK media and politics” since 2015, and the most influential group in this rise was a “large coalition of the right/media”, though some centrist and leftist actors were also involved.
  6. GRIN Campaign, Global Respect in Education, is a transatlantic non-profit organization and advocacy group that campaigns primarily for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) people’s social and political equality in education. It seeks to end discrimination, harassment, and bullying based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression in all educational institutes with an underlying message that “being different was ‘cool'”. It is one of the first campaigns of its kind to originate outside the United States, be run by students, and be intentionally international. The campaign supports both direct action and a viral photographic protest, known as “RESPECT” to help “make respecting people in school a cool idea” and ignorance to be “uncool”. The photographs show people in front of a white backdrop wearing block rainbow colours with “RESPECT” painted on their faces in the colours of the gay pride flag. The campaign was created on October 29, 2010, by Bedales School student Claudia White. The RESPECT photographs are featured on the campaign’s website, as well as on Facebook and Flickr. The campaign also had over 1000 followers on Twitter within a week of its website going live.
  7. Kaleidoscope Trust is a non-profit organization that campaigns for the human rights of LGBT+ people in countries where they are discriminated against. John Bercow is the President of the Trust, and Sir Stephen Wall is the current Chair of the Trust Board. Kaleidoscope Trust was founded in 2011 and launched with a reception held by then Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow MP. Kaleidoscope Trust has received support from former Prime Minister David Cameron, former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, and former leaders of the opposition Elton John and George Michael were also supporters. Phyll Opoku-Gyimah joined Kaleidoscope Trust as executive director in August 2019. Opoku-Gyimah made history when she became the first black woman to head a leading LGBT+ organization in the UK. A community builder and organizer, with strong ties to emergent LGBT+ movements around the world, Opoku-Gyimah is also the co-founder and executive director of UK Black Pride, dedicated to promoting “unity and co-operation among all Black people of African, Asian, Caribbean, Middle Eastern and Latin American descent, as well as their friends and families, who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender.” The Trust receives funding from the UK government Department for International Development, funding from the Canadian and UK governments for its work in the Commonwealth, and solicits public donations.
  8. The Organisation Intersex International (OII) is a global advocacy and support group for people with intersex traits. According to Milton Diamond, it is the world’s largest organization of intersex persons. A decentralized network, OII was founded in 2003 by Curtis Hinkle. Upon Hinkle’s retirement, American intersex activist Hida Viloria served as Chairperson/President-elect from April 2011 through November 2017, when they resigned in order to focus on OII’s American affiliate, OII-USA’s transition into the independent American non-profit, the Intersex Campaign for Equality.OII was established to give voice to intersex people, including those speaking languages other than just English, for people born with bodies that have atypical sexual characteristics such as gonads, chromosomes, and/or genitals. OII acknowledges intersex as a normal human biological variation, and rejects the terminology of disorder, as in DSD/Disorders of Sex Development, utilized by some other intersex groups, as well as the sexualization of intersex (as in Intersexuality). They acknowledge intersex people’s own distinct sexuality, as people who may identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, trans, straight, or other, in alliance with other members of the LGBTI population.
  9. OutRight Action International is an LGBTIQ human rights non-governmental organization that addresses human rights violations and abuses against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people. OutRight Action International documents human rights discrimination and abuses based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and sex characteristics in partnership with activists, advocates, media, NGOs, and allies on a local, regional, national and international level. OutRight Action International holds consultative status with ECOSOC. OutRight Action International, formerly known as International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), was founded by Julie Dorf in 1990, and incorporated as a non-profit organization on November 7, 1990. Though initially focused on LGBT human rights abuses in Russia, the organization is now active in many parts of the world, including the Americas, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. OutRight Action International is headquartered in New York City with satellite offices on the West Coast and in Spain and Manila. OutRight Action International has a digital archive of its LGBT human rights documentation and education materials for research.
  10. The Naz Foundation, a sexual health NGO working with gay men, files public interest litigation (PIL), in the Delhi high court, challenging the constitutionality of section 377 and calling for the legalization of homosexuality. Eventually, sec 377 has been scrapped and now homosexuality is no longer a crime in India. It’s vision is to create a just and equitable society by transforming individuals from socially and economically excluded communities into agents of change.

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