Staff

Toni Kruger-Ayebazibwe
Toni Kruger-AyebazibweExecutive Director

Based in Johannesburg.
Pronouns: She, hers
Toni Kruger Ayebazibwe was appointed Executive Director in December 2017.
Toni, based in our office in Johannesburg, South Africa, brings a range of expertise stretching from management to technology and design and theology. She has a long history of LGBTI activism, specifically in HIV prevention work, having worked in the design and management of HIV prevention and care programmes for LGBT people at OUT – LGBT Wellbeing. She has strong facilitation skills. In recent years she has worked mostly in the private sector in media and technology management, gaining a solid grounding in human resource management. She was an assistant pastor to the Rev Nokuthula Dhladhla of the House of Prayer and Worship, an independent African church in Soweto.
Toni has a BA degree in Communication Science, English and Philosophy, and an Honours degree in Philosophy. She has completed short courses in Intervention Mapping for AIDS Prevention (University of Maastricht) and Human Resource Management (University of Pretoria) and is currently completing her Master’s degree in Theology at St Augustine College, a private Catholic university in Johannesburg. She is a lay minister in the Anglican Church.

    Wendy Lissom-Bayemi
    Wendy Lissom-BayemiFinance and Administration Officer

    Based in Johannesburg.
    Pronouns: She, hers
    Wendy Lissom-Bayemi has been GIN’s Finance and Administration Officer since June 2017 appointed to take charge independently of GIN’s administrative and financial management. Wendy Lissom-Bayemi is a dedicated woman of faith, with a keen curiosity regarding the world and its diversity. She holds a BCom degree from the University of the North with a pending MBA from MANCOSA. She has nearly twenty years of financial management experience in a range of International non-governmental and parastatal organisations in South Africa managing accounting systems and administrative issues.

      Victoria Petitjean
      Victoria PetitjeanProgramme Manager

      Based in Paris.
      Pronouns: She, hers
      Victoria Petitjean, is one of GIN’s Programme Managers, since October 2016. She is Franco-British, holds a BSc in Economics and International Development from Bath University and a MPhil in International Relations from Oxford University, and has 7 years of experience in international policy (working at the European Commission, UNESCO and OECD) and human rights work (in South East Asia and East Africa, notably working in NGOs and for local political representatives). Previous to this position, she was Treasurer and Board member of the French LGBT organization, SOS homophobie, and interned at UNESCO, to work on the first UN report examining violence against LGBT youth in schools around the world. She and her partner live in Paris, France.

        Pierre Buckley
        Pierre BuckleyProgramme Manager

        Based in Johannesburg.
        Pronouns: He, his
        Pierre Trevor Buckley, our second Programme Manager, since January 2018, is a young gay man, a people person, rooted in his faith, an excellent relationship builder and skilled in programmatic work. He is completing a BA degree in Politics and Communication Sciences through the University of South Africa, and was a Mandela Washington Fellow in 2016, completing a Certificate in Civic Leadership through Duquesne University. He is also a licenced Lay Minister in the Anglican Church. He has worked for the Gay and Lesbian Network (GLN - a South African LGBTI organisation based in Pietermaritzburg) for the last three years, most recently as the Operational Manager and was previously on the GLN board. He is a person of colour, and a South African.

          NPC Directors

          Judith Kotze
          Judith Kotze
          Based in South Africa Faith tradition: Christian Pronouns: She, hers Rev Judith Kotzé qualified as one of the first Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) female ministers at Stellenbosch University (US) in 1995. She served the DRC from 1996 to 1999 in a multi-disciplinary ministry regarding sex work. Judith completed a Master’s degree in Missiology at the US in 2001, working on Interreligious Dialogue as a model for the Intra-faith Dialogue around sexual orientation.
            Phumzile Mabizela
            Phumzile Mabizela
            The Rev Phumzile Mabizela is the Executive Director of Inerela+, the International Network of Religious Leaders Living With or Personally Affected by HIV/AIDS.
              Sharon Cox
              Sharon Cox
              Based in South Africa Faith tradition: Christian Pronouns: She, hers Sharon Cox has been in the human rights sector for over 20 years. Sharon has been with Triangle Project, the oldest LGBTI human rights organisation in Africa, for the past 10 years as their Health and Support Services Manager. Sharon has a passion for what she does and is actively involved in the monitoring of hate crimes in the Western Cape and providing court preparation, support and counselling to survivors and families. Micah Project, a small Non-Profit organisation is also close to Sharon’s heart.

                Volunteers

                Volunteer Translators:

                Arabic – Maha Jouini
                French – Michael Cousin
                Russian – Tatjana Lehatkova

                We are still looking for Spanish, Chinese and Swahili translators. If you wish to volunteer, please contact us on info@gin-ssogie.org

                Thank you very much to all our volunteers!!

                Governance Board members

                Judith Kotze
                Judith KotzeBoard Co-Chair, Chair of HR Sub-committee

                Based in South Africa
                Faith tradition: Christian
                Pronouns: She, hers
                Rev Judith Kotzé qualified as one of the first Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) female ministers at Stellenbosch University (US) in 1995. She served the DRC from 1996 to 1999 in a multi-disciplinary ministry regarding sex work. Judith completed a Master’s degree in Missiology at the US in 2001, working on Interreligious Dialogue as a model for the Intra-faith Dialogue around sexual orientation.
                Judith did part-time research for Inclusive and Affirming Ministries (IAM) in 1996 and 1997, then joined the IAM Board until she was employed part-time at IAM in 2000. In 2008 she was appointed full-time as Senior Programme Manager and from 2011 to 2016 served as Director of IAM. In 2017 she was part-time Global Collaboration Manager for IAM, with special focus on the collaboration with the Global Interfaith Network and the World Council of Churches. IAM has been a founding member of the Global Interfaith Network for people of all sexes, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions (GIN) during her term as director and since June 2017, Judith serves as co-chair of the GIN Board. She also serves on the Reference Group on Human Sexuality (RGHS) of the World Council of Churches (WCC) since August 2014.
                Judith is passionate about theology and especially interested in the field of sexuality as it intersects with spirituality in the life journeys of people of faith, with special interest in the faith journeys of sexual minorities within their faith contexts in Africa. She is currently self-employed as Independent consultant / Facilitator / Spiritual guide. She developed her skills in facilitation through the More to Life (MtL) training program underpinned by the Kairos foundation. She became the first MtL senior trainer for South Africa in 2002 and facilitated trainings in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg until 2012. She has been a Kairos sponsor ever since her introduction to the program in June 1996.

                  Ymania Brown
                  Ymania BrownBoard Co-Chair, Treasurer, Chair of Finance Sub-committee, Representative for the Pacific

                  Based in Australia
                  Faith traditions: Jewish, Catholic, Buddhist, Samoan indigenous
                  Pronouns: She, hers
                  Bio: 10 years of experience in NGO’s, Ymania is now part of Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice (New York, International Advisory Board Member), ILGA (Geneva, Board Member, Treasurer, Alternate Co-Secretary General), the International Gay Lesbian Trans Bisexual and Intersex Association, the Samoa Fa’afafine Association (Samoa, Technical Advisor) and of course, GIN-SSOGIE (Johannesburg, Board member, Treasurer and Co-Chair). Ymania is Samoan by birth, and has Germanic, Scottish, Jewish and Samoan bloodlines. She was born and baptized Catholic, whilst also learning Jewish and Buddhist teachings when growing up.

                    Jacq Carver
                    Jacq CarverBoard Secretary, Representative for Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand

                    Based in The Netherlands
                    Faith tradition: Jewish
                    Pronouns: they, them, theirs.
                    I have been a queer rights activist since I came out in the late 1970’s and have participated in numerous protest and equal rights movements in the US, the UK and Europe, including Act Up in New York, anti- Clause 28 protests in London and Amsterdam, and same-sex marriage protests in the Netherlands.
                    I believe passionately in equal rights for people all sexes, genders, gender identities, and expressions and have, in one way or another, worked toward achieving equality and acceptance for several decades. I also believe that creating and maintaining Jewish spaces that welcome and embrace LGBTIQ+ people is tikkun olam - repairing the world; It is not enough to be a passive consumer of equal rights won by others but we all must do what we can to ensure that all people enjoy equality.
                    While marriage equality has been written into law in many countries, the changes have not yet brought about a concomitant change in peoples’ attitudes towards sexual and gender minorities: we can laud tolerance all we want but tolerance is wafer-thin and laws can always be repealed. We have to do more to ensure that the (sometimes grudging) acceptance of LGBTIQ+ people is not as fleeting as the life of a mayfly; continued action, education and effort is necessary in order to change ideas and attitudes. Just as every generation must find out the Torah for themselves, so every generation must work to preserve our hard-won rights.

                      Rowland Jide Macaulay
                      Rowland Jide MacaulayRepresentative for Africa

                      Based in the United Kingdom
                      Faith tradition: Christian
                      Pronouns: He, his
                      Bio: Jide is the founding Pastor and CEO of House of Rainbow CIC. British-Nigerian born in London, a Christian minister since 1998, a dynamic and an inspirational speaker, author, poet, pastor and preacher, HIV+ activist, holds a degree in Law, masters’ degree in Theology and Post-graduate certificate in Pastoral Theology. Jide focuses his ministry on inclusion and reconciliation of sexuality, spirituality and human rights. He writes for various Christian and secular Journals. He has authored several books, Poetry Inspired 2001 and Pocket Devotion for LGBT Christians 2005, he has won several awards including the 2003 and 2007 Black LGBT Community Award for "Man of the Year" for his work helping people of faith. Shortlisted for the National Diversity Awards 2014, in the category for Positive Role Model. He served from 2007 to 2013 as Executive Board member and Co-Chair of Pan Africa International Lesbians and Gay Association. He is currently Regional Africa Representative of the Global Interfaith Network, Board of Trustee at Kaleidoscope Trust UK, and a Trained Volunteer Champion at Africa Children's Charity.

                        Sanjay Sharma
                        Sanjay SharmaRepresentative for South and Central Asia

                        Based in Nepal
                        Faith tradition: Hindu
                        Pronouns: He, his
                        Bio: Sanjay Sharma is an LGBT rights activist from of Nepal. He has been involving in Nepal’s LGBT rights movement since 2003 through different projects on HIV/AIDS, human rights activism, constitutional campaigns, advocacy, capacity building, academic research, and others from grass root level. Sanjay is currently the Assistant Program Director of Blue Diamond Society (BDS), Nepal’s leading LGBT rights organization. BDS is one of Nepal’s largest non-governmental organizations with over 750 full-time staff, 53 offices, and an annual budget exceeding $1 million. Sanjay is also the founder vice president of the board of the Federation of Sexual and Gender Minorities Nepal, which is the network of all LGBTI rights organizations. Regionally He is Task force member of The South Asian Human Rights Association of Marginalised Sexualities and Genders (SAHRA) also Board Member of Global Interfaith Network representing South and Central Asia. His contributions to the LGBT movement in Nepal On 21 December 2007, the Supreme Court of Nepal issued a landmark verdict directing the government to enact laws enabling equal rights to LGBT citizens. Sanjay was involved in court pleadings on this case on behalf of LGBT people before the Supreme Court. He is working closely with interfaith network of Nepal on SOGI issues. He attend regional faith leaders dialogue at Bangladesh also involve in panel discussion. He was a member of the Country Coordination Mechanism of the Global Fund (CCM).. On 21 December 2007, the Supreme Court of Nepalissued a landmark verdict directing the government to enact laws enabling equal rights to LGBT citizens. Sanjay was involved in court pleadings on this case on behalf of LGBT people before the Supreme Court.

                          Tania Irias
                          Tania IriasRepresentative for Latin America

                          Based in Nicaragua
                          Faith tradition: Christian
                          Pronouns: She, hers
                          My name is Tania Lorena Irias Guerrero, I am Nicaraguan, I am 34 years old, I have 8 sisters and 3 brothers, I am a lesbian feminist activist, I have 2 children, I am a Computer Engineer by profession, for 8 years I have been organized working to procure a world more fair and inclusive with the LGBTI community, and I am currently part of the Artemisa Lesbian Feminist Group, this is a self-appointed space for lesbian women in order to promote respect for the rights of lesbian women.
                          I love to recognize myself as part of a movement of struggles and achievements, as the feminist movement is for me. I live in a country without guarantees or protection for the LGBTI community, where religious fundamentalism has become the effective weapon to disqualify our rights to exist in freedom and to live free of violence. Feminism has given me the tools and support to challenge fear and face fundamentalist arguments, thanks to my feminism I refuse to renounce my right to manifest my faith in God and establish a respectful relationship with the world.
                          I am part of the Feminist Movement of Nicaragua, a member of Global Interfaith Network and of the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics.

                            Sharon Cox
                            Sharon CoxAdditional South African Board member

                            Based in South Africa
                            Faith tradition: Christian
                            Pronouns: She, hers
                            Sharon Cox has been in the human rights sector for over 20 years. Sharon has been with Triangle Project, the oldest LGBTI human rights organisation in Africa, for the past 10 years as their Health and Support Services Manager. Sharon has a passion for what she does and is actively involved in the monitoring of hate crimes in the Western Cape and providing court preparation, support and counselling to survivors and families. Micah Project, a small Non-Profit organisation is also close to Sharon’s heart. Micah comprises a group of more radical activists who believe in justice, kindness and being humble whilst being unafraid to speak out. Micah also assists in direct and concrete ways in which other human rights organisations are not able to because of funding constrictions. Sharon was formerly the African Development staff member with Metropolitan Community Churches. She values interfaith work and regularly contributes to joint platforms between faiths. Sharon was a respondent in the case for marriage equality in South Africa, which was realised in 2006. Sharon holds a post graduate degree with majors in Criminology and Psychology and studied Theology through the Pacific School of Religion in Berkley California

                              Kakay PamaranRepresentative for East & South-East Asia

                              Based in the Philippines
                              Faith tradition: Christian
                              Pronouns: She, hers

                                Ian McKnightRepresentative for the Caribbean

                                Based in Jamaica
                                Faith tradition: Christian
                                Pronouns: He, his