Amir Ashour has been awarded the GAY TIMES Honour for International Community Trailblazer. Radio presenter Harriet Rose announced the win in front of an audience full of LGBTQ+ community members and allies on 25 November at Magazine London in the heart of the capital, with Amir accepting the Honour via video.
Since founding IraQueer, an organisation which has fought for LGBTQ+ rights in Iraq for the last seven years, Amir has worked tirelessly to help queer people facing persecution in the country. “I’m grateful that the team continues to dedicate themselves to the organisation and the queer community,” Amir explained to GAY TIMES Magazine in the December 2022 issue. “But my hope for the organisation is that it will just not need to exist one day.
I want to live in a world where we don’t have to advocate for queer people. Where we just exist as people and have our rights because we’re humans.” Sadly, things have not improved for LGBTQ+ people in Iraq since the inception of IraQueer and members of the community continue to face discrimination in the country.
The work Amir started is therefore as important as ever and functions across education, advocacy and direct services by sharing multilingual resources, providing safe housing and engaging with international bodies to advance LGBTQ+ rights.