In February 2014, homophobic Mongolian nationalists sexually assaulted a gay man. When police first found out about it, they refused to register his case because male-on-male rape was not explicitly listed as a crime in the country’s laws — the man later died from his injuries.
Neo-Nazi and ultranationalist groups in Mongolia began attacking foreigners and anyone who did not conform to rigid gender standards after the collapse of socialism in the country in the early 1990s; their violence is fueled by conservative religious figures who preach anti-LGBT intolerance in the country’s impoverished areas.
In this climate, transgender Mongolian activist Anaraa Nyamdorj, Executive Director of the LGBT Centre in Ulaanbaatar — a small, underfunded, nonprofit with just four staff members — has worked alongside other LGBT activists to secure legal reforms (including hate crime laws) that will help ensure that anti-LGBT violence gets treated seriously by the country’s judicial system.
Nyamdorj spoke to Alturi — an online hub for news, stories, and advocacy on the issues and challenges facing the LGBTI community around the globe — about his journey towards activism and LGBTQ life in Mongolia. In addition to his story, Alturi also has a collection of international resources, activists and organizations. Go read his full story there!