Melanie Nathan: “The time is now to end the criminalization and demonization of human sexuality and gender identity, to end prejudice and discrimination against LGBTQI people around the world!”
MELANIE’S BLOG HAS BEEN AWARDED THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR LGBTQI JOURNALISTS (NGLJA) EXCELLENCE IN BLOGGING AWARD FOR 2019.
Melanie Nathan, is an award winning human rights advocate, speaker and the publisher of this blog. She holds a BA LL.B (equivalent to a JD) degree from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa (WITS). She practiced law in South Africa, before immigrating to the U.S.A..
She speaks and writes on issues impacting LGBTQI communities around the world, with a focus on the U.S.A. and Africa. She is also a country conditions expert witness for LGBTQI asylum seekers from 14 African countries, reporting and testifying in the U.S. and global courts.
Melanie has keynoted and appeared on Pride main stages around the world to include 2022 at San Francisco Pride Main stage where she presented a VIDEO greeting from refugees and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Here is a link to one minute of her introductory speech HERE
And the Video greeting HERE.
Melanie’s advocacy work has included the issues of so called ‘corrective’ rape of lesbians in South Africa, immigration rights for bi-national same-sex couples in the U.S., humanitarian aid and advocacy for LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees. She has provided testimony to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on the issue of same-sex bi-national partners and immigration reform, as well as testified in the California Assembly and Senate. She provides expert Country Conditions Reports for LGBTI asylum seekers in the USA and UK, and consults and speaks around the world on the issue of homophobia in African countries.
In 2011 Melanie was grand marshal and keynote speaker for Cape Town Pride. She was named in “100 Women We Love” by Go Magazine in 2012. That year she received The Fair Housing of Marin Hero Award. In 2014 she was honored for her global advocacy work by the San Francisco Pride Board as a Community Grand Marshal for San Francisco Pride 2014, under the theme, COLOR OUR WORLD WITH PRIDE, where she also appeared on the main stage to speak about criminalization of homosexuality and LGBTI people around the world and in Africa.
At WEHO PRIDE, Melanie received the inaugural L-Project Womans Freedom Festival Award 2022 in recognition of her work on behalf of LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers. The Women’s Freedom Award was established in 2022 to “recognize Heroines in our community” who are fighting for freedom and equality. Article here.
She was elected to the Board of Directors for San Francisco Pride, and served from 2015 through 2017. In January 2016 she received The Marin County Human Rights Commission’s Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award for outstanding effort and advocacy in the furtherance of human rights.
Melanie served on the organizing committee for the 2021 UNHCR-UN IE SOGI Global Roundtable on Protection and Solutions for LGBTQI+ People in Forced Displacement and led a thematic working table at the Conference on June 09, 2021 on Reception and Self-disclosure of LGBTQI+ Displaced and Stateless People, providing written recommendations to UNHCR, Civil Societies, NGOs, Governments, Ministries, and Contractors as presented at the Closing Plenary on June 29, 2021.
On August 20, 2021, she presented the keynote closing address to The International Human Rights Conference: Summit on LGBTQI Refugees and Asylum Seekers, Copenhagen 2021 WORLD PRIDE, Malmö, Sweden.
Melanie has also been a contributor to Huffington Post Gay Voices, The Advocate, SDGLN, MS Magazine, LGBTQ Nation and other online publications. She has been quoted often in the press and her work has been picked up by many publications around the world. Her work has been quoted and/or she has been interviewed by Agence Francais, MSNBC- Joy Reid – I AM JOY, VICE, BBC, NBC-OUT, Harpers, Longreads, San Francisco Chronicle, Marin IJ, San Jose Mercury News, NPR, New York Times, Washington Blade, Los Angeles Blade, The Guardian, SF Weekly, Bay Area Reporter, PE Herald, SA TV – Carte Blanche and others.
She is a former Marin County Human Rights Commissioner and has served on several boards, to include Vice President of San Francisco pride, VP of Fair Housing of Marin. She is an open lesbian and the proud mom of two daughters.
Advocacy highlights include: The introduction by Senator Dianne Feinstein, of a rare private bill into Congress (2009), on behalf of a lesbian mom, an advocacy client, about to be deported. In South Africa she obtained a last minute stay of execution for two young men, about to be hanged. She also co-led an effort at the South African Parliament to bring about reform through the establishment of a government and civil society partnership on the issue of so called “corrective rape” of lesbians. She successfully established several safe-shelter funds for LGBTI people escaping persecution.
This blog, O-Blog-Dee-O-Blog-Da started out as a platform to showcase the equality and human rights advocacy work of Melanie. In addition to reporting related news and stories, O-Blog-Dee-O-Blog-Da, serves as a platform for Nathan and her guests to highlight their work in a world where gay, lesbian, transgender, queer, intersex, and gender-free people are the subjects of persecution and discrimination.
Over time it has developed into a renowned blog, on subjects including U.S. politics, equality related issues, the impact of homophobia and transphobia – especially state sanctioned homophobia, the decriminalization of homosexuality, LGBTQI asylum, sexuality violence and all human rights issues, around the globe, with a special focus on Africa.
Updated: Melanie appears in the award winning documentary film UNSETTLED, together with LGBTQI refugees and asylum seekers, showcasing some of her work with African Human Rights Coalition. The picture below shows Melanie receiving the OUTFEST 2019 Grand jury award for Best Feature Documentary Award on behalf of Filmmaker Tom Shepard and the production team of UNSETTLED in Los Angles, July, 2019. The film will be shown on PBS in Spring 2020, and the entire will continue to be screened at other festival and community related venues.
Copyright Melanie Nathan 2011-2019
Featured speaker at USA Premier of “Stilettos for Shanghai” a benefit for Chechnya.
Featured Speaker at Pink Triangle 2017 with Elected San Francisco and California Officials
2017 Activism and
Leading San Francisco Pride Parade 2017 in SF Pride Board Resistance Contingent.
Melanie Nathan- o-blog-dee-o-blog-da- 2010-2018© – all rights reserved.
The contents hereof cannot be reproduced without the express written permission of the author.