Sappho For Equality, an organisation working for LBT women in Kolkata, has been awarded The Go Visible Award at the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) World conference 2012 held at Stockholm. Sutanuka Bhattacharya received the award on behalf of Sappho for Equality. The Go Visible Awards recognises an organisation or individual for promoting LGBTI rights; empowering LGBTI people; and supporting cooperation and alliances with other organisations in hostile places. Kenita Placide of Saint Lucia’s United and Strong and Miles Tanhira of Gays and Lesbians in Zimbabwe (GALZ) were also recognized for their efforts.
Sappho For Equality is a support group for LBT (Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender) women in Kolkata and provide peer group counseling, organize self-empowerment workshops, film-festivals, panel-discussions and advocacy campaign. They also publish a bilingual bi-annual newsletter Swakanthey.
Placide, who is a Co-Executive Director of United and Strong, was awarded for her work to increase her visibility and that of her organisation despite threats to her life and the destruction of United and Strong’s office. She has addressed her country’s Constitutional Reform Commission, the UN Universal Periodic Review and bravely led a stand in front of the office of the Prime Minister in Saint Lucia. Tanhira, information and communications officer of GALZ, was recognized for spearheading a campaign against hatred in response to a raid on their offices. His pro-love message received media attention as Zimbabwe was preparing for elections, helping LGBTI people claim their space.
The Go Visible Award, an award by the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT rights, was handed over by Co-President Ulrike Lunacek- the first Austrian parliamentarian to publicly announce her same-sex sexual orientation in 1995. The award was started in 2008 by Ulrike Lunacek and continues under the European Parliament Intergroup.