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Exchange of LGBTQ+ Activists from Africa and Orlando Roundtable Forum

Photo of the fountain at Lake Eola Park in Downtown Orlando.

Yesterday I held the distinct honor of representing QLatinx as part of the City of Orlando's Exchange of LGBTQ+ Activists from Africa and Orlando and the Meridian International Center's Global Connect Project Faith and Human Rights: A Program for Southern African Roundtable Forum. Through this project exchange I was introduced to inspirational international leaders in the fight for LGBTQ+ equity from Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, and Zambia, each running programs in their home countries dedicated to bridging the connection between the LGBTQ+ and faith communities.

I was humbled and transformed by the experiences, energy, and collective wisdom that was shared in the sacred space we built together. I was inspired by the eternal passion we hold close to our hearts, and blessed to be in community with awe-inspiring individuals brought together by a call for hope and and yearning to create positive change.

I would like to extend my most sincere appreciate and gratitude to Luis Martínez, Director of Multicultural Affairs for the City of Orlando, and Felipe Sousa-Rodriguez, Manager of Collaborative Partnerships for the Office of the Mayor, for organizing this powerful discussion and invited some of the local thought leaders from our community to learn and grow from this experience.

I would also like to acknowledge the amazing individuals that joined in this fruitful and beautiful discussion, which elevated my consciousness around the degree of oppression that exists for our international LGBTQ+ family, and thank them for speaking their truth and sharing their impactful stories.

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