Jamra primary scholl for children affected by HIV/AIDS, drugs or poverty, Senegal (c) Nell Freeman/Alliance Participants in the Photovioce project, Ecuador © Marcela Nievas for the Alliance
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“I’ve always wanted to be a diva”: Kimirina celebrates Gay Pride in Ecuador


Amira Herdoiza, executive director of Kimirina, thanks Malva Malabar © Chela Photography for Kimirina

The Alliance’s Linking Organisation in Ecuador, Kimirina, held an innovative event in Quito on July 5th to mark Gay Pride Day.

With support from UNAIDS and Hivos, Kimirina hosted Malva Malabar in a one-person show entitled Feminist Monologues by a Diva. Kimirina didn’t just host the event though – in fact the star of the show, Malva Malabar, is actually the vice president of Kimirina’s board, Leon Sierra.

The show, written by Spanish ‘artivist’ Miss Shangay Lily, is described as a monologue on “the reality for gays, homosexuals and feminism in an elegant spectacle of intelligent, refined and hilarious satire.”

For Kimirina and everyone who participated it was an opportunity to hold an event in solidarity and in celebration with all gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender and intersex people. The show was also a way for Kimirina to give the spotlight to the LGBTI communities it works with and make a public statement about the range of approaches it uses.

Kimirina takes a human rights-based approach to working on health and sees this event as one way of promoting the representation and participation of all sectors of Ecuador’s population in the country’s political and social life. Or at the very least, as the diva herself says during the show, it makes people question mainstream ideas about gender: “People frequently feel disconcerted around me.  ‘Should I refer to you as a man or a woman?’ they ask me. And I answer:  Whatever makes you feel more uncomfortable, trying to make them confront their own prejudices even if only for five seconds."

Read more about our work in Ecuador.