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Graeme Reid

Independent Expert on sexual orientation and gender identity

In late 2023, the United Nations Human Rights Council appointed Mr. Graeme Reid as UN Independent Expert on Protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity for a three-year period starting on 1 November 2023. In this capacity, he assesses the implementation of international human rights law, raises awareness, engages in dialogue with all relevant stakeholders, and provides advisory services, technical assistance, capacity-building to help address violence and discrimination against persons on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Graeme Reid is a South African scholar, who has conducted research, taught and published extensively on gender, sexuality, LGBT issues, and HIV/AIDS. Reid attended the University of Witwatersrand where he received his bachelor's degree in literature and master's degree in anthropology. He also holds a PhD from the University of Amsterdam. He is currently a research scholar and lecturer at the Yale Jackson School of Global Affairs.

Before his appointment as Independent Expert, Reid acted as director for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Program at Human Rights Watch, an organization he joined in 2011. He has taught as a lecturer in Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies and Anthropology at Yale University and at the School of International Public Affairs at Columbia University. Reid is the founding director of the Gay and Lesbian Archives of South Africa, and previously worked as a researcher at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research. 

Reid's published monographs are: How to be a Real Gay. Gay Identities in Small-Town South Africa (2013) and Above the Skyline. Reverend Tsietsi Thandekiso and the founding of an African gay church (2010). He also co-directed the video documentary Dark and Lovely, Soft and Free (2000).