Maeve Devers and Kirby Fullerton from our Fellowship team have pulled together a select list of RSA Fellows doing innovative things in the LGBTQ+ community.
We're celebrating Pride by highlighting the work of a few of our incredible Fellows as they support LGBTQ+ individuals and communities to, for example, access life-saving resources, advocate against hostile environments, fight for human rights, and honour queer histories and lives through literature.
In 2022, the UK saw a 41% increase in hate crimes against LGB people. In the same period, there was a staggering 56% increase in transphobic hate crimes in this country. This is why this work is both worth celebrating but is also a stark reminder of the importance these projects in fighting for social change for some of the most vulnerable people in the UK and beyond.
As a lived-experience trauma and discrimination speaker, Saba works with many governing bodies to facilitate change including the Crown Prosecution Service local scrutiny panels for London Hate Crime and Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) with a particular focus on the LGBTQI+ community. Saba also sits on the Met Police Service Trans and Non-binary Forum, and LGBT+ Independent Advisory Group, working to raise awareness and ensure marginalised voices are heard and visible.
Saba works to ensure a safe space is provided for LGBT+ victims of abuse, as a trustee for Galop, the UK’s LGBT+ anti-abuse charity. She is also a trustee for Building Bridges for Peace, which promote peace and conflict transformation. This has informed and shaped Saba’s advocacy work as she mentions: “I am able to deal with situations in a nuanced manner, without dehumanising another person and resolving differences amicably.”
A lot of Saba’s work involves raising awareness of issues faced by the LGBTQ+ community, but also ensuring those voices are a part of the conversation. Saba has recently been part of a global trans solidarity campaign #TransPeopleAreLoved. The campaign asks allies to counter anti-trans rhetoric and “Make Love the Loudest Voice” by using the hashtag #TransPeopleAreLoved, sending virtual messages of love and solidarity to the transgender community.
Where to find Saba and engage with her work
Visit Saba's Linktree to find out more about Saba and her brilliant advocacy work.
As Saba says: “No one should have to suffer from hate for being who they are - the #TransPeopleAreLoved campaign is a fantastic opportunity for everyone to show their solidarity with the trans community.”
If you are interested to find out more about Saba or any of her work and projects, please send her a message on via our Circle community.
Uli is a bookseller, book reviewer, literary journalist, event coordinator and author interviewer. Uli works at Gay's The Word, the UK's oldest independent LGBT+ bookshop. It was established by a group of gay socialists in January 1979 - a time when mainstream bookshops were resistant to the idea of stocking queer books - as a community space where all profits were funnelled back into the business.
Uli describes himself as: “Passionate about brilliant writing, the bookshop that I’m blessed to look after, queer community and culture, and championing the extraordinary canon of LGBT+ literature.”
His interests include geopolitics, astrophysics, ecology, and scuba-diving, and he loves a literary festival; “kid in a candy store territory for me.” Uli values social justice, equity, learning, changemaking, kindness and compassion.
According to Uli, Gay's the Word has a 'genuinely warm, welcoming atmosphere and the bookshop space has long been used for book and community events'. Some people will also know Gay's the Word as the bookshop that features in the 2014 film 'Pride' about Lesbians and Gays Supporting the Miners alliance that supported striking miners between 1984 and 1985.
Gay’s The Word is a touchstone for the LGBTQ+ community. Their ethos of providing a space for the community continues today, with many exciting events occurring and exciting new books to be found. If you haven’t visited already and you're in London, we recommend you make a trip.
Fabrice worked at the World Bank and the United Nations between 2001-2016. At the bank, he is credited for launching the first multilateral program looking at the inclusion of LGBTQ+ people in economic development, a topic he now teaches at Georgetown University and next year at Columbia University.
At the United Nations, he worked on Free & Equal, a global campaign fighting homophobia and transphobia. There he co-wrote the UN LGBTQ+ Corporate Standards, the largest corporate social responsibility initiative on LGBTQ+ human rights.
Fabrice reports being motivated by the memory of a day not so long ago where LGBTQ+ people everywhere could only envision a life that was 'solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short' to borrow Hobbes's words. He feels the need to pay it forward to those in a similar situation.
He lives in New York City with his twin sons Eitan and Maxime.
"We have only scratched the surface of Equality. Our journey is far from over."
Since then, Fabrice has founded the Association of LGBTQ+ Corporate Directors, a unique non-profit organisation focused on improving LGBTQ+ representation in the boardroom.
Besides this role and teaching, Fabrice publishes a weekly newsletter at the intersection between business and LGBTQ+ rights, read by more than 6,000 leaders in the movement. He serves on numerous boards such as Outright International and HousingWorks. He is the Treasurer of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia and advises the board of Open for Business.
Leni is the chief executive officer of Galop; she joined Galop in June 2020. Galop provides advice, support, and advocacy to thousands of LGBT+ people who experience abuse and violence, every year through their frontline services.
Leni is passionate about supporting and advocating for the LGBT+ community and has worked within an array of LGBT+ and human rights organisations over the last decade. She cares deeply about the LGBT+ community and is driven to use her time and energy to make things better for the for everyone who is part of it.
Leni says: "I think of the LGBTQ+ community as my family, and as it has supported me through so much, it’s only right that I return the favour in whatever way I can.”
Leni understands that Galop’s work with LGBT+ victims of abuse is incredibly important. She has close family who have experienced domestic abuse and has witnessed the long-term effects it can have on a survivor.
In her own words: “Being able to be part of Galop’s work to support LGBT+ victims and survivors of abuse, and to amplify their voices, is a real privilege and I am glad to be here, doing this work alongside our incredible team.”
We encourage you to continue the conversation and connect with other LGBTQ+ changemakers through our LGBTQ+ Fellow-led network.
If reading about these inspiring people making an impact in the LGBTQ+ community and beyond has reminded you of any changemakers, we encourage you to nominate them to become an RSA Fellow.
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