100 Women We Love: Class Of 2018

Each one of these women, in her own unique way, is a role model who exemplifies the best of the LGBTQ community.

Ging Cristobal

Photo by Courtesy of Ging Cristobal

As the project coordinator for Asia and the Pacific at Outright Action International, the LGBTQ international human rights organization (formerly IGLHRC), Ging Cristobal’s work touches on domestic and family violence, police protocols, and anti-discrimination laws in countries in Asia. A graduate of the University of the Philippines, Ging Cristobal got more than a classroom-based education. There, “it is like a civic responsibility as a student to be involved in social awareness and being involved [in] development and change,” Cristobal says. In the 1990s, however, there were no LGBTQ groups that she knew of. “No printed materials, no positive images [in] media, so the need to be in one group was strong.” One night in 1996, Cristobal gathered with other women to watch and discuss the now-classic lesbian film The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love. “After hearing the experiences of lesbians in the room,” she says, “I never looked back.” She has devoted her life’s work to LGBTQ rights activism ever since, because “I believe everyone should be free and be able to reach one’s dreams.” Just being out is the first step in making change. “Laws do not change hearts and minds,” she says. “We, as LGBTQ persons, change hearts and minds through engaging and being part of the different communities in our society.” —SEJ

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