Bangkok, 12 Nov 2018:Taiga Ishikawa, one of Japan’s leading advocates for the health and rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, has been named as the winner of a special accolade to be presented at the HERO Awards gala in Bangkok on Friday 30 November 2018.
Standing for HIV, Equality and Rights, the HERO Awards is an annual World AIDS Day event in Bangkok which acknowledges outstanding HIV and LGBT advocates and allies from across the Asia Pacific region. The event is produced by the Bangkok-based APCOM Foundation, a leading NGO which works to fight HIV and advance LGBT health and rights across the Asia Pacific region.
Mr Ishikawa will receive the Shivananda Khan Award for Extraordinary Achievement following 20 years of groundbreaking activism aimed at improving the lives of LGBT people across Japan specifically and throughout Asia more broadly. The award is named after the late Shivananda Khan, a pioneering hero of the Asia Pacific response to HIV and LGBT health/rights, and founder of APCOM.
Mr Ishikawa became one of the first openly gay male politicians in Japanese history when he was elected as a Toshima ward city assembly member in Tokyo in 2011 and was the first openly gay candidate for leadership of a parliamentary party when he contested the chairmanship of the Social Democratic Party in 2013. He has campaigned tirelessly over many years for LGBT rights, achieving many successes such as allowing Japanese citizens to marry foreign nationals of the same sex in countries where same-sex marriage is legal. In 2004 he also founded Peer Friends, an organisation which helps reduce social isolation among young LGBT people in Japan. He also skillfully uses media and public events throughout the Asia Pacific region to focus attention on the need for LGBT law reform in Japan and throughout the Asia Pacific region.
Mr Ishikawa will join a diverse and inspirational mix of 24 people and organisations who have been selected as finalists in eight community-nominated categories, with each of the eight winners being awarded their prize before 300 local and international guests during a gala event at Bangkok’s British Embassy.
APCOM Regional Advisory Group Chair Dede Oetomo: “Taiga Ishikawa is an exceptional figure in the region and a true hero of the LGBT community. He is a courageous leader and inspirational role model who has dedicated his life to improving the health and rights of LGBT people. APCOM is proud to be recognizing his substantial achievements with this very well-deserved award.”
In addition to honouring the achievements of Mr Ishikawa and the 24 finalists, guests at the HERO Awards will enjoy a fabulous cocktail party with delicious canapes, quality wines and beers, and great live entertainment and DJs. There’ll also be an exciting silent auction where guests will be able to take home bargain holidays, international travel, 5-star accommodation, art and homewares as well as fine dining and entertainment packages.
The Awards are being generously supported by a range of corporate sponsors, community organisations, international development agencies and Bangkok-based diplomatic missions.
HERO AWARDS CEREMONY & COCKTAIL PARTY
Friday 30 November 2018, 6:30pm – 11pm | Ambassador’s Residence, British Embassy, Bangkok
THB2500/US$75 per person (all inclusive) | www.HEROawards.asia