Formed in 2009, the Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN) is a regional trans-led network that is working towards the advancement of the rights of trans and gender diverse people in Asia and the Pacific through generation of research and evidence, legal, policy and programmatic advocacy, and public campaigning.
Regional Steering Committee and Thai Foundation board
APTN receives strategic supervision from the Regional Steering Committee and the Thai Foundation Board. The Regional Steering Committee is the body that establishes and oversees the vision, mission, and strategic objectives of APTN, ensuring that its activities and finances are managed in a responsible manner and in accordance with its strategic plan. The Steering Committee members are representatives from the countries that APTN works in and provide important partnerships and insight into the particular country’s trans and gender diverse communities.
The Thai Foundation board oversees the finances and assets of the Foundation. The board is responsible for presenting activity reports, financial reports, balance sheets and income and expenditure accounts to the Ministry of Interior as required by law. With assistance from the Secretariat, the Thai Foundation Board oversees all work permits and work visas for non-Thai staff.
Hua as people know her, is an experienced transgender activist and a transgender woman. She has worked with organisations and groups of all sizes – from local non-profit organisations to international organisations and networks. Particularly, she has been involved in the establishment of several transgender organisations – locally, nationally in Thailand, and internationally.
This includes being the first transgender program supervisor of Sisters, a program under supervision of Population Services International (PSI Thailand), a founding member of the Thai Transgender Alliance (Thai TGA), and the first coordinator of the Asia-Pacific Transgender Network (APTN). Hua has also done advocacy for organisations targeting women, LGBT, and other marginalised communities in Thailand
Mitch Yusof has over 20 years of social service volunteer experience and 9 years of social service working experience in HIV prevention, care & support with trans communities. In 2014, he co-founded SEED, the first trans-led community based non-profit organisation in Malaysia. Working closely with the transgender community in addressing their issues, needs and concerns by providing capacity and skills building and information, advocate on the diverse spectrum under the transgender community and increasing awareness of challenges faced by the communities. Under his tenure as Executive Director, SEED won the Human Rights Award 2016 in recognition of the community’s dedication and perseverance in the fight for Human Rights and Justice – awarded by SUARAM, an NGO established to monitor and advocate for the respect of human rights in Malaysia
Phylesha is a champion for the rights of sexual minority groups within the Pacific and Fakafifine of Niuean decent. She is also a volunteer for the Pacific Sexual Diversity Network (PSDN) and was instrumental in the set up of its secretariat, Phylesha previously has a background in the HIV/AIDS sector in regional, national and international roles, which is still an extension of her current advocacy and work. She is currently pursuing a diploma in child protection studies and completing her license in real estate sales.
A Sri Lankan national, Chamindra is a political analyst, educator and international consultant, with experience in political lobbying, public policy, gender justice advocacy, academic research and university teaching. Her discipline is International Relations, and her work has appeared in international peer-reviewed publications and in media outlets in several countries. Her first book, Decolonising Peacebuilding: Managing Conflict from Northern Ireland to Sri Lanka and Beyond, was published in autumn 2018. She is an advisor to the Community Welfare Development Fund, based in Colombo, and a board member of Venasa, Sri Lanka’s first intersectionally-inclusive grassroots trans equality network. In May 2018, she was invited to deliver Sri Lanka’s Inaugural Annual Pride Speech, organized by a collective of Sri Lankan gender and social justice organizations. In 2017-2018, she held elected office as an Executive Committee member and the LGBT+ Officer of the Labour Party in Northern Ireland. Chamindra has previously held teaching and research appointments at INALCO Paris, Université Paris 13, Université Lille 1, Utrecht University and Queen’s University Belfast. She is also a Research Affiliate at the Centre for Gender, Feminisms and Sexualities at University College Dublin
Doy is a Thai transgender woman activist, who has over 15 year experience in trans advocacy. After her university graduation, Doy joined M Plus organisation in Chiang Mai as Transgender woman activists, focusing on health and sexual health, HIV and AIDS. Currently she hold the position of the Director of SISTERS Foundation in Pattaya, which is the only transgender community-led organisation in Thailand working on transgender health and other issues. Doy aims to see a better quality of life of transgender women in all aspects including employment equality, gender equality, the pride and self-esteem of being transgender persons.
The APTN Secretariat, comprising Programmes, Human Rights and Advocacy, Communications, and Finance teams, is based in Bangkok and carries out the administrative and programme implementation of APTN. The responsibilities of the secretariat include programme development, implementation and monitoring, liaison with community members, partners and other stakeholders to build and foster partnerships, conference and workshop planning, publications, partner relationships and international relations, and facilitating collaboration between regional partners and international stakeholders.
Joe Wong oversees the institution and programme development of the network; resource mobilisation, communications and media, establishing partnership and collaboration with international, regional and national partners, and policy development. He has prior experience in working with NGOs, CBOs and UN agencies. He was previously a board member of APTN.
Joe is on a journey of discovery. He is a meditation practitioner and is starting his yoga teacher training. When not on land, Joe can be found deep in doing a conservation project, trying to perfect his side mount diving, or taking photos of small sea creatures. In his free time, he travels domestically to learn about locals’ initiative and their coping strategies in the pandemic.
Patcharin has experience working on Administration, Accounting and Finance with Non-Governmental Organizations for about 15 years.
She joined APTN in 2020 as the Finance and Administration Officer and she was promoted to be the Finance, Administration, and HR Manager in 2021. She is responsible for overseeing all human resource, administrative, and finance matters.
Patcharin loves watching movies and listening to music. She adores BBQ, Japanese food, and milk tea. In her spare time, she does meditative running, it helps her to be present with herself.
Madhura is a nonbinary person and queer feminist from India. They have over a decade of experience working with grassroots social justice and feminist movements across Asia. Their research focus has been gender, forced migration and the informal economy as well as the interplay between these issues.
Madhura brings their experiences and expertise in movement building to their role in APTN. They firmly believe that a community-led regional transfeminist movement can challenge the growing authoritarianism and fundamentalism to create a better world for all.
Madhura loves cats, reading, taking photos and trying new cuisines. In their spare time you’ll find them cuddling with their cats and a book or coaxing cats on the streets for a photo or ten.
Jas is a trans woman from Europe, and she was born into a Vietnamese family of refugees. She worked mostly in the tech-space (gaming, telecommunications, or advertising) in the past, then shifted her interest to non-profit, social change, diversity & inclusion in the last four years for good.
She initially joined APTN as a Communications Officer and helped to launch the current APTN website. Now her role is Knowledge Management and Operations Officer, helping to improve the team’s operations, processes, and systems in a sustainable way. She’s passionate about helping underserved trans communities, providing the best strategies and tools to do better their work, and increasing their impact and funding.
Jas is a feminist, a hyperglot, and a health nerd. She likes to cook fusion Italian food. In her free time, she either meditates, reads personal development books, or trades crypto assets on decentralised exchanges. She’s also interested in alternative funding for NGOs like Cryptocurrencies, DAOs and Quadratic funding.
Cole Young is a transgender man from the United States who is passionate about LGBT rights, social justice, and international service-learning. Cole is currently Senior Program Officer, focusing on health, wellbeing, and human rights interventions and research. He interned with APTN during his Fulbright Grant in Thailand, and later joined as Health Program Officer in 2019. Cole has primarily worked on the Trans Health and Rights Module, Community Based Monitoring, and COVID-19 Community Support Fund projects.
Cole has a Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies and Social Work from the University of Missouri. He is also the founder of The Center Project Clothing Closet which provides free, gender-affirming clothing to queer and transgender people across Missouri and the midwest.
In his free time, you can catch Cole playing drums, practicing yoga, and attempting to befriend all the cats.
Suwimol was born and grow up in Thailand, she had experience working in accounting and finance for more than 8 years with an international non-governmental organisation and an international school. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting. She had joined APTN in 2021 as Accounting and Finance Officer to support the staff for payment processing, financial report, and auditing.
She has an interest to work in NGOs. The human rights and advocacy work in APTN inspired her to join the organisation to learn more about transgender issues.
She loves movies, particularly action and comedy movies. Cooking is also one of her passion.
Chongon (Bay) is born and raised in Thailand and has been dedicating herself to helping people in need for more than 15 years working with different non-profit organizations, where she learned a lot from them. She joined APTN in September 2021 as the Admin and HR Officer. She believes that difference is the beauty of the universe. She believes in the diversity of people: “we are all equal.”
Bay loves being in a serene and peaceful place. She always spends her holidays practicing meditation and yoga.
Nhuun is a Thai trans woman and an advocate with an academic background in International Human Rights Law. She had experiences working with local and regional organisations on trans rights in the context of several countries in Asia, engaging with international advocacy spaces such as United Nation bodies.
In her APTN role, she hopes to bring the voices and reality of trans people in the Asia Pacific Region to international advocacy spaces, challenging the cis and western-centric norms of trans rights in the global space.
Nhuun is obsessed with rom-com movies from the 90s and preppy aesthetics. She also loves cafe hopping and is interested in sustainable fashion.
Erik is a creative strategist, writer and a multimedia producer arranging content strategy and production through different mediums—video, comics, visual arts, performing arts, native advertising, digital marketing, even guerrilla marketing. He is from Indonesia. Prior to APTN, he worked in multiple industries; media industry, advertising and entrepreneurial development.
He loves cooking, gaming and hiking. If you’re seeking a hiking buddy, Erik will be always up for it.
Marli is passionate about health and gender equity. It is with deep gratitude that her work has led to many friendships all over the world. Marli has an MPH in behavioral health. Previous to rejoining APTN, she worked at an international grantmaking foundation in New York.
Marli is excited to be working alongside the most brilliant and passionate leaders doing rights work and looks forward to supporting local and regional organisations to grow and make a global impact.
Marli likes trying new things including lots of different arts and crafts activities. She is currently trying her hands at pottery!