DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE GLOBAL EQUALITY CAUCUS
ARON LE FEVRE
ARON LE FEVRE IS THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE GLOBAL EQUALITY CAUCUS AND WAS RECENTLY DIRECTOR OF HUMAN RIGHTS AT COPENHAGEN WORLDPRIDE AND EUROGAMES
You are the Deputy Director of the Global Equality Caucus. What is the Global Equality Caucus and what does that role involve?
The Global Equality Caucus is an international network of parliamentarians and elected representatives aiming to tackle discrimination against LGBT+ people. The Caucus links elected officials across the world regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics, and works in partnership with international institutions, non-governmental organisations and businesses to effect real change in LGBT+ people’s lives.
As Deputy Director, I am leading our work in the Americas and overseeing our expansion into Latin America and the Caribbean. I will also work on our campaign “Ban Conversion Therapy Now” and on different events taking place in Mexico, Argentina and the Equal Rights Coalition in June 2022 in London.
You were Director of Human Rights at Copenhagen WorldPride and EuroGames in 2021. What did that role involve?
Pride is a protest, and WorldPride should never omit visualising this. As Director of Human Rights, I was responsible for all our Human Rights work both during the event, but also before and after (until I changed jobs in November). With 11 Human Rights staff members, 21 executive partners and a multitude of other connections, we put together a program that brought the situation of the LGBTI+ Community to the forefront in Copenhagen, Malmö and in countries all over the world through our embassy engagement program with the Danish and Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Many of the events have been recorded and can be accessed on the legacy website of Copenhagen 2021.
It can be argued that LGBTI+ people today have gained more acceptance than ever before. So why is there a need for a Pride event? What more needs to be done in the world?
It can also be argued that only a handful of privileged LGBTI+ people have gained acceptance up to a standard that they feel equal and free. I think, looking at what is happening around the world, we have to be really wary to pretend we “made it”, because we did not. Backlash is more common than ever and the anti-gender movement, “pro-family” activists and repressive governments are singling out our community or parts thereof and pushing back.
So why do we need Pride? Because we need to be visible, we need to tell our stories and we need to fight for those that cannot. Let’s use our privilege to push for equality globally, because I do not think we can say we are equal, if “we” is not everybody in our community.
On a personal and a professional level what has been your proudest achievement to date?
I think the execution of Copenhagen 2021 has been my proudest achievement and more specifically, all these fantastic activists we got to engage. In the end, it is them doing the frontline work and they are the people that need to get the spotlight. With 230 scholarship recipients, amongst which many youth leaders, we really got an opportunity to make Copenhagen 2021 more special. Covid 19 has had a big impact on the event, but I am proud what we put together.
Where would you like the LGBTI+ community and its place in the world TO be in ten years’ time?
The sky is the limit, but in the words of the great Ymania Brown during our Copenhagen 2021 Human Rights Forum opening event at the United Nations City, let’s place those that have always been in the back of the line, in the front. We need to make sure we can all climb that ladder of equality and I think we need to look at those community members that are in the gravest situation, fearing for their lives. Those are the people that need to be supported the most. Decriminalisation is the bare minimum, but I want to dream so much bigger than that.
Who is your “hero”?
My heroes are all these activists that are working to improve the lives of community members in their regions, sometimes in fear but with resilience, as they want to leave this world in a better place than they found it. People like Lilly Dragoeva, Lady Phyll Opoku, Julia Maciocha, Erick Ivan Ortiz, Viktoria Radvanyi, Martin Karadzhov and Ymania Brown are some of those, I got the honour to work with, but there are so many others we might not even have heard of, but who deserve the acknowledgement for all their hard work, every day, without backing down on what they believe in. There is one thing we can and that is not be a silent bystander, be an ally, be a supporter and be a change maker.