WASHINGTON, D.C.—On Friday, May 17, 2019, the Embassy of Australia will host a panel discussion in recognition of International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) exploring the theme of LGBTI inclusivity and activism in sport. The panel discussion begins at 11am ET and will bring together representatives from diplomatic missions, the U.S. Government, and civil society organizations. The event will also be streamed online via the Australian Embassy Facebook Page.

The discussion will encompass the theme’s broad reaching issues including challenges and barriers to LGBTI participation in sport, homophobia on and off the field, the gender pay gap, legal frameworks, discrimination in accessing elite sporting platforms, the passage of the Equality Act through the US Congress, and the broadening of LGBTI rights.

The panel discussion will be moderated by Erika Moritsugu, Vice President of Government Affairs and Community Engagement for the Anti-Defamation League, and feature speakers Ashland Johnson ESQ, President and Founder of The Inclusion Playbook; Amazin LeThi, Athlete Ally, Vietnam Relief Services Ambassador, and Founder of the Amazin LêThi Foundation; and Joanna Lohman, former professional soccer player and sports diplomat.

Background: Australia has an enduring commitment to human rights internationally. Australia was one of the eight countries that drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and we have been a leading proponent of its consistent and comprehensive implementation. Australia’s inaugural membership of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) (2018-2020) reflects our commitment to the principles of the UDHR and to the ongoing promotion and protection of human rights for all.

A core objective guiding our term on the HRC is the promotion of equal human rights for LGBTI people. Some of the human rights violations committed against LGBTI persons that attract the most attention globally concern sports and elite athletes. As Australia is a strong advocate for LGBTI human rights and a nation internationally recognised for its sporting prowess, the Embassy of Australia is proud to offer a platform for this important discussion on LGBTI inclusivity and activism in sport.


  • Ambassador Katrina Cooper, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Australia
  • Ashland Johnson ESQ, President & Founder of The Inclusion Playbook
  • Amazin LeThi, Athlete Ally, Vietnam Relief Services Ambassador, and Founder of the Amazin LeThi Foundation
  • Joanna Lohman, former professional soccer player and sports diplomat
  • Erika Moritsugu, VP Government Affairs and Community Engagement, Anti-Defamation League

WHAT: Embassy of Australia-hosted panel discussion on LGBTI inclusivity and activism in sport.
WHEN: Friday, May 17
11am – 1pm ET
Panel discussion from 11am-12pm ET
WHERE: Embassy of Australia
1601 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036
– Press interested in attending should please RSVP to Amanda Crane at Amanda.Crane@dfat.gov.au
– Amazin LeThi, Athlete Ally, Vietnam Relief Services Ambassador, and Founder of the Amazin LeThi Foundation will be available for interview on May 16 and 17.

Event will also be streamed online via the Australia Consulate and Embassy Facebook Page 

Amazin LêThi is a Vietnamese activist and thought leader and from her personal journey of homelessness and passion for sports founded the Amazin LêThi Foundation. She is also a former competitive bodybuilder, entertainment executive, Vietnam’s leading health and fitness expert and first internationally published fitness author. During the Obama administration, Amazin organized the first ‘Spirit Day’ collaboration with GLAAD and White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders ‘Act to Change’ in October 2016 and her story was part of the first public White House Initiative ‘Act to Change’ an awareness campaign that addresses bullying within the Asian American community. In 2012, she became the global ambassador for Vietnam Relief Services, and in 2014 the first Asian global ambassador for Athlete Ally. In 2016, GLAAD named Amazin one of only seven Asian LGBTQ activists accelerating equality globally and in 2018 named one of four Asian LGBTQ athletes accelerating sports equality by the American National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance along with becoming the first openly out Asian athlete to appear in the Stonewall UK ‘Rainbow Laces Campaign’. In 2019, she was listed in the Australian Pride Power List and for the second year listed in the Human Rights Campaign Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month Honours list. She is a board advisor for S.A.F.E: Safe Asylum & Finding Empowerment – A New York organization for LGBTQ immigrant and asylum seekers, the world’s first Vagina Museum, Queer Britain Museum, Interim Spaces and the LGBTQ + Venue Forum – Night Czar (Advisory Group) Mayor of London.

Photo Credit: Amazin LeThi