Unfolding stories from previous HERO Awards recipients dedicating themselves for LGBTQI communities
Save the date for coming HERO Awards 2022: 25 November 2022
Tickets are available now
Bangkok, 7 November 2022—APCOM’s 6th HERO Awards 2022 will be hosted at the Australian Embassy, Bangkok, on Friday 25 November 2022, 18:00-22:30 under the concept of “Unity and Diversity”. APCOM Foundation would like to feature stories from previous HERO Awards recipients, who have dedicated themselves for the LGBTQI communities in the region, in order to remind and update of what our HEROs have been done so far for LGBTQI communities.
(2019 APCOM HERO Awards recipient for Transgender Hero)
Rena is a transgender woman and human rights of transgender and other vulnerable populations advocate from Bangkok, Thailand. She works as a program manager for transgender health at the Institute of HIV Research and Innovation, where she established the Tangerine Community Health Clinic, the first transgender-led sexual health and well-being clinic for transgender people in the region.
Rena is the face of the Tangerine Clinic in Bangkok, working tirelessly to improve the health and well-being of transgender people. One of her biggest successes is adapting online health intervention for Thai transgenders during the surge of COVID-19. As the country was locked down, people, especially Transgender, found it more difficult to access to health service. Most of people could not go out to the clinic and struggle to find medicines that need to be taken continuously. Therefore, she and her team, as Transgender healthcare specialists, set up the new way of online consultations to Thai Transgender who sought of health issue assistance during the outbreak via Zoom application. Apart from the consultation, the team also supported patients with medicine delivery, which saved many people form transgender communities to have the right medication in the right time at home. Not only physical treatment, Rena also expanded service to mental health screening. Ones who need the mental treatment will be referred to the expert and psychologist, who are into transgender too.
With her achievement, she still carries on this virtual consultation combined with on-site checkup. Finally, this approach is adopted and shared to transgender clinics in neighboring countries.
“During the down point of COVID-19, we had to adjust ourselves to provide best services as we could do and tailored them to our communities. In fact, community-center and client center are key to improve our transgender healthcare service, when the clinics really understand the patient and provide what they require. This online service can be one of the examples.,” mentioned Rena.
Dr. Pyae Phyo Kyaw (Victor) and Dr. Aung Soe Tun (Alex)
(2021 APCOM HERO Awards recipients for Social Justice)
Victor and Alex are from Myanmar holding M.B and B.S degree, graduated from University of Medicine. They came out as gay in 2017 and have been a couple for 5 years.
In earlier months after the coup, they joined several protests against the Myanmar military. They volunteered at a charity hospital and treated protesters who were brutally cracked down by the military. Then, they went to the Karenni IDP camps to help those people who fled their homes because of the ongoing attacks by the military. To help IDP people there, they founded a fundraising group and provided food, clothes, shelters and primary healthcare services, and they were able to take care of nearly 4,000 refugees for several months. Furthermore, they established a COVID-19 center during the delta wave and managed it with little mortality. Outside the clinic, they also gave courses of “Emergency and first-aid training” to volunteers from the local communities.
After receiving the HERO Awards 2021, they furthered their services, while getting more media attention and more people supporting their works, so fundraising became easier. Unfortunately, the military used air-strikes targeting civilians in the area, consequently, they decided to leave the camp and seek greater help from international communities. Despite being out of the camps, they still do tele-consultations for patients from the camps and support to function the fundraising group. However, they have been trying to reach out to broader communities to get more awareness and support for sustainability. They also believe that with everyone’s help, we can accomplish things that are impossible.
“Usually, the world cannot hear the voices of people in need unless there is a gateway between them. That’s what the HERO Awards are. They recognize individuals who are working for those people and help them raise awareness. It is a huge motivation to other people in similar situations. It tells them that they also have a chance and motivates them to keep moving forward. This is also an inspiration to future heroes. These real-life stories of the heroes can encourage people to do the right thing when they feel hesitant. So, we would like to thank everyone who has been supporting the HERO Awards and we hope more people will do the same in the future,” mentioned Alex and Victor.
Victor and Alex’s Interview: https://www.apcom.org/announcing-lgbtqi-hiv-heroes-awards-2021-recipients/5/
We invite you to meet our real HEROs of 2022 and join the After Party
Tickets are now available for HERO Awards 2022 Ceremony and After Party with limited seats (Sale Period: Today – 20 November 2022)
Please buy now: https://shop.line.me/@testbkk/product/1002996278
As the exclusive event, there is no ticket sales available on-site for the ceremony, but only for the After Party with higher price from advanced booking
Stay tuned and see you at HERO Awards 2022
About HERO Awards 2022
Standing for HIV, Equality and Rights, the HERO Awards is an annual event which acknowledges the region’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) communities and outstanding service to the HIV/AIDS response in Asia and the Pacific. The event is also a fundraiser for the APCOM Foundation, a leading NGO which works to fight HIV and advance LGBTQI health, rights and wellbeing across the Asia Pacific region. The Awards are being supported by a range of corporate sponsors, community organisations and diplomatic missions.
The event also promises a wonderful evening of inspiration and celebration. Up to 300 guests will gather in the Australian Embassy, in the heart of Bangkok for an inspirational awards ceremony and fabulously fun cocktail reception with delicious canapes accompanied by fine wines and premium beer. There’ll be great live entertainment from singers, musicians, and performers as well as an exciting fundraising auction with holidays, fashion, art exhibition, standup show, and dining up for grabs at bargain prices. The VIP guest lists, co-presenters, and our surprising celebrities will be announced together with the nominated HERO Awards 2022 finalists on APCOM’s official website and social media platforms soon.
Further information, please visit https://www.apcom.org/hero-awards/
Suriya Phongphunngam (Bobo)
Tel: 095 249 1950
Warin Pattarapatumthong (Audi)
Tel: 098 239 4544