Throughout the sessions I have been sitting in at this year’s Internet Governance Forum (IGF), one thought has continuously come to mind: Where is the LGBTIAQ+ community in all of this?
I specifically followed the inclusion track of the IGF because what interests me is bringing more people to digital technology in ways that are safe and enabling for their existence. Specifically, the LGBTIAQ+ community. The internet creates the possibility for people across the world to find each other and to share their lived experiences, to gain a sense of belonging, and to build community with each other. Often being an LGBTIAQ+ person is an isolating experience, but the internet makes it possible to imagine a world where more people like you exist. And to find those people, even if they are spread out across the globe.
We cannot ignore LGBTIAQ+ people in our conversations on the internet, especially not in spaces like the IGF.
We need diverse representation of LGBTIAQ+ people at the IGF, because not every person or group or location has the same language for making sense of gender and sexual identity. The more voices we have in spaces, the more complex and richer our understandings of LGBTIAQ+ experiences will be. Our policies and approaches will be better tailored to the needs of this community when we adopt a deeper understanding of gender identity and sexual identity.
Continue reading at GenderIT.org.