APCOM, one of Asia Pacific’s leading HIV and LGBTI+ community networks based in Bangkok, recently hosted its annual HERO Awards ceremony at the Pullman King Power hotel in Bangkok, Thailand. The HERO Awards is an annual gala event which acknowledges outstanding HIV and LGBTQI+ advocates and allies from across Asia and the Pacific. The awards also raise money for the HIV prevention and human rights work of APCOM.
The award ceremony brought together celebrities, special guests, community representatives and advocates from across the region and high profile members of Bangkok’s diplomatic, corporate and entertainment field to pay tribute to the extraordinary contributions of individuals and organisations who have improved the lives of LGBTQI+ people and people affected by HIV throughout the Asia Pacific region. The glamorous evening featured a speech from APCOM Executive Director Midnight Poonkasetwattana; famous stage show artists and live entertainment with music by LGBTQI+ performers; drag performances; a fashion show and charity auction; and the awards ceremony itself.
Awards were given to individuals and organisations who created a positive impact for the LGBTQI+ community in Asian countries, the Pacific region and/or broadly across the continent. The following list contain details of the awards presented and followed by the winning nominee:
- Business Ally: Private sector allies that strive to break down barriers for members of the LGBTI+ community through recognition initiatives and substantive policy.
- Winner: KPMG/ Zainab Patel (India)
- Community Ally HERO: An individual or a commercial organization whose efforts have had significant benefits to LGBTI people and/or people affected by HIV.
- Winner: Jyoti Dhawale (India)
- Community HERO: An LGBTI person who has improved the lives of LGBTI people in any capacity.
- Winner: Hiker Chiu (Taiwan)
- Community Organisation HERO: A community or non-profit organisation which has worked to improve the health and/or rights of LGBTI people and/or people affected by HIV.
- Winner: Tonga Leitis’ Association (Tonga)
- Covid-19 HERO: A community or non-profit organisation which has worked during the pandemic to ensure access to health services and/or rights of LGBTI people and/or people affected by HIV.
- Winner: Jaringan Indonesia Positif (Indonesia)
- Health & Wellbeing HERO: An individual working in the fields of healthcare, medicine or research whose work has improved the health and wellbeing of LGBTI people and/or people affected by HIV.
- Winner: Lionel Rogers (Fiji)
- HIV HERO: This award recognizes the work of a person with HIV who has improved the lives of people with HIV.
- Winner: Sriyal Nilanka (Sri Lanka)
- Social Justice HERO: Those working in the fields of politics, the law, advocacy or human rights whose work has advanced the human and/or civil rights of LGBTI people and/or people affected by HIV.
- Winner: Kittinun Daramadhaj (Thailand)
- Transgender HERO: This award recognizes the work of a transgender person who has improved the lives of transgender people in any capacity.
- Winner: Nayyab Ali (Pakistan)
- Young Achiever HERO: The work of an LGBTI person or person with HIV under 30 years of age who has improved the lives of LGBTI people or people with HIV in any capacity.
- Winner: AungPhyu Htut (Myanmar)