Bess Hepworth

Bess is an Australian born social media scientist with a background in community development and high performance sport. She has represented Australia as a youth footballer and coach as well as recently represented Hong Kong in cricket. Bess recently founded Planet Ally, an LGBTI and ally travel based advocacy platform and prior to that worked as APAC Partnership and Community Manager Out Leadership. LGBTI Business organisation based in New York. Bess’s other previous roles include, Director of Pink Season, Asia’s largest LGBTI Cultural Festival, Coordinator for IDAHOT Hong Kong, Events and Volunteer Coordinator for Kids Ocean Day, Hong Kong, TEDx curator and advisory Board member for Social Media Week Hong Kong and an organizer of Rainbow Families Hong Kong. Prior to founding Planet Ally, Bess ran a successful corporate team building company focused on creativity, productivity and performance. A wife and mother of 2 young boys, Bess now spends much of her time between raising her 2 sons, the youngest who is deafblind and working in the LGBTI social media space. 

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Jack Byrne is a trans man from Aotearoa / New Zealand and has been a community activist since 1981, initially within lesbian and then queer communities, before transitioning in 2002. His passion is intersectional coalition politics and he has been active on projects to reduce violence, poverty and homelessness and that promote the rights of workers, people with disabilities, and indigenous people. Jack co-founded an online support network for trans men in New Zealand, works closely with the Asia Pacific Transgender Network and has been a part of GATE’s international campaigns on depathologisation and funding for trans movements. He worked as a Senior Human Rights Specialist at the New Zealand Human Rights Commission and project managed their Transgender Inquiry. He is now a self-employed human rights researcher and has created trans resources for activists, human rights institutions, health professionals, and United Nations agencies. For example, he co-wrote the 2015 Asia Pacific Trans Health Blueprint and is currently working on a legal gender recognition project being undertaken in eight countries in Asia.


JACK Harrison-Quintana, M.A

Jack Harrison-Quintana is a queer Mexican-American author, activist, and researcher currently serving as the director of Grindr for Equality. In 2010, Jack was a contributing author for Outing Age 2010: Public Policy Issues Affecting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Elders, and in 2011, he was a co-author of Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey. Since then he has authored the publication series, Racial Justice/Trans Justice, as well as “A Gender Not Listed Here: Genderqueers, Gender Rebels, and OtherWise in the NTDS,” “Still Serving in Silence: Transgender Service Members and Veterans in the NTDS,” “Finding Genders: Transmasculine Crossdressers in the NTDS,” and “ID Accurately Reflecting One’s Gender Identity Is a Human Right.” 


Justus Eisfeld

Justus Eisfeld has founded numerous successful organizations and networks around the world focusing on human rights, anti-discrimination, and intersectional approaches with a specialty in transgender and LGB rights. As co-founder of Global Action for Trans* Equality, Transgender Europe, and Transgender Netwerk Nederland, he is skilled in developing high impact startups from initial conception to stable and growing organizations.


Dr Nittaya Phanuphak, MD, PhD

Dr. Nittaya Phanuphak is the Chief of the Prevention Department at the Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre (TRCARC) in Bangkok, Thailand.  She joined the TRCARC in 2002 to lead a country-wide prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) operational study.  She has gradually developed deep interest in the areas of HIV prevention and key populations, especially around the use of key population-centered approaches to enhance access to HIV testing, prevention and treatment.  Since 2008, an anal neoplasia screening service has been used successfully to bring men who have sex with men into HIV program at TRCARC under her leadership and was then replicated in Bali, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur.  In 2015, she supported the establishment of the Tangerine Community Health Center at TRCARC using an integrated hormone therapy and sexual health service approach to effectively bring trans women and trans men into health care system.  The model is currently being expanded to other community-based organizations working with transgenders in Thailand. 


Resitara Apa

Resitara has been a strong advocate for Pacific identified LGBTI for Human Rights, health and wellbeing. Resitara was the Secretariat for the Pacific Sexual Diversity Network and held the position of Acting Executive Director for the Samoa AIDS Foundation. A strong believer of empowerment and leadership for young Pacific Transgender people. Resitara is currently residing in Sydney Australia which she co-founded an LGBTIQA youth lead Edutainment Organisation, that addresses issues through performing arts, she is pursuing a Bachelors in Social Science and Liberal Studies at the Australian Catholic University.


Dr Sam Winter, BSc, PGCE, MEd, PhD

Sam Winter recently moved from Hong Kong to head up the small sexology team at the School of Public Health at Curtin University (Perth, Western Australia). A psychologist by training and professional experience, he teaches, researches and publishes in trans health and rights. He also works with trans clients. He has worked with WHO (on the current ICD-11 proposals), with UNDP (their 2012 Lost in Transition report), and with UNESCO (tools for examining homophobia and transphobia in schools). He is a board member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) and was on the authoring team for the Standards of Care (SOC-7). He does advocacy work regionally and worldwide, working with Asia-Pacific Transgender Network (APTN), Global Action for Trans* Equality (GATE), and other groups


Dr Sarah Zaidi, SC.D

Sarah Zaidi has over 20 years of experience in governance, management, international health policy including HIV and human rights. She was a co-founder (1993) and Research and Managing Director of one of the first global NGOs focusing on rights to health, healthy environment and education, the Center for Economic and Social Rights based in New York. Moving back to her native Pakistan in 2005, she served as Head and Associate Professor of the Social Sciences Department at the Lahore University of Management Sciences. Between 2009 and 2012, she led global HIV treatment activists as the Executive Director of the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition. Most recently, her work has focused on creating capacity of regional community networks of key populations based in Southeast Asia and their partners, on strategic planning, governance, development and project management. Over the past four years, she has worked closely and supported the Asia Pacific Transgender Network. Dr. Zaidi holds a Doctorate and Master’s degree in Demography and International Health from the Harvard School of Public Health. 


Zhan Chiam

Zhan Chiam is ILGA’s Gender Identity and Expression Programme Officer, where he works to support and strengthen the trans movement through ILGA’s membership base, trans-led organisations, and by utilising different UN mechanisms. Zhan grew up in Singapore and moved to Australia when he was 19. He has a background in queer grassroots activism and politics in both countries. At university, he majored in comparative religious studies and gender studies, and then qualified as a lawyer in order to work in human rights. Zhan has worked in Australia, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Pakistan, and Switzerland in legal, policy and advocacy roles, mainly in refugee law.