Telling Our Stories

“These video portraits demonstrate the profound resilience and courage of LGBT activists who are leading some of the most important battles for human rights in the world today."  - Nancy Nicol

Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights presents “Telling Our Stories,” a series of 5-minute video portraits of LGBT activists. They speak directly to what it means to work to continue the struggle for LGBT rights at home and internationally, despite violence and risk.

The videos can be played directly from the website, using Vimeo. For permission to download the videos, please email us: 

To find the videos, click on the bar above for each country. These countries were selected for Envisioning’s research on two grounds: 1) a shared legacy of British colonial laws that criminalize same-sex intimacy and 2) partnerships with local grassroots LGBT organizations working for human rights. Envisioning provided support to the partners to hire local researchers and videographers. They created the video portraits and other videos, working in collaboration with Prof. Nancy Nicol, students at York University and others.

Through the voices of the 31 people in these 25 portraits we learn about discrimination and violence fuelled by state, church, workplace, family and community. Most importantly, we hear stories of resistance and resilience: building support within family and community, building movements, using media, challenging the laws through legal cases.

 Seeking asylum as a refugee is another impact of criminalization. Envisioning has conducted research on issues faced by LGBT refugees in Canada. The portraits provide insights that are valuable in learning and teaching about the experiences and needs of LGBT newcomers. For more information about our asylum research, Click here.

Guyanese photographer and Envisioning team member, Ulelli Verbeke, offers lyrical photo/text images of LGBT migrants from Guyana and the Caribbean to Toronto, whose sense of home shifts and unfolds in complex and unexpected ways.

“The reasons for LGBT migration from the region to North America and Europe are multi-faceted and varied.... the singular story of fleeing persecution based on sexual orientation, gender identity and/or HIV status is the dominant representation in the mainstream media… But as LGBT Guyanese and Caribbean people, our experiences are not just as victims of oppression. We also have stories of resilience which have the power to transform people's perceptions of LGBT people and win hearts and minds.” - Ulelli Verbeke