Vision and Voice - the award that opens doors

Maurice Tomlinson

Twelve days left until nominations close for the David Kato Vision and Voice Award.

The criteria are simple: we’re looking for an inspirational individual who has demonstrated courage and outstanding leadership in advocating for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people around the world (LGBTI).

The award recipient will receive a one-time grant of $10,000. Critically, the individual will gain a unique, high-profile, global platform for their cause. The David Kato Vision and Voice Award is an honour, an endorsement, and an opportunity to take the winner’s work to a wider influential audience.

For Maurice Tomlinson, winning the David Kato Vision and Voice Award last year has enabled him to draw national and international media attention to the violent homophobia which is rife in Jamaican politics and society.

It’s also given him access to senior government and foreign office officials in the UK, and he’s undertaken a large number of speaking engagements at academic and advocacy conferences around the world.

To learn more about his work, see this interview in the Guardian and the news story announcing his award earlier this year.

The award honours a man who showed incredible bravery in fighting for LGBTI rights. View the trailer to "Call Me Kuchu", the award-winning documentary about LGBTI rights in Uganda which documents the reasons for, and nature of, Kato's fight.

It’s critical that the fight is taken forward and – as Maurice Tomlinson’s experience shows – this is an award which opens doors.

So: do you know anyone who deserves recognition for their work in LGBTI and whose work would benefit from the opportunity the award presents? Please go to the David Kato Vision and Voice David Kato Vision and Voice Award Information page to make a nomination.

Sexual rights are basic human rights. But around the world, they are denied daily to people through violence, abuse and coercion, and through criminalization and discrimination.

IPPF Director General Tewodros Melesse says, "IPPF Member Associations constantly deal with the consequences of individuals’ and governments’ failure to recognize sexual rights. The organisation's belief is that such recognition is imperative.

"This belief informs every aspect of the Federation's work, and IPPF's partnership role in creating and promoting the David Kato Vision and Voice Award is just one initiative which seeks to further this critical cause".