We recognise that not every country in our region is comfortable with the very Western language of “LGBTI” to encompass all sexual and gender minorities. In many countries there are “third gender” societies that have traditional roles to play and encompass, but do not directly correspond to, the umbrella term of LGBTI. We do not see this difference in terminology as a problem and fully respect and value all approaches. We believe that our differing backgrounds and attitudes enable us to learn from each other and work together effectively to end such things as anti-sodomy laws, violence, discrimination and public hostility.
We strive to be respectful of the local nature of many of the debates around LGBTI rights and issues in the Asia Pacific region, and are acutely aware of the risk of being perceived as neo-colonialist. With this in mind, we never take any action without first engaging in extensive consultation with local activists, to ensure we are giving full force and effect to their aims and wishes.