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Film: Behind the Numbers

In honour of International Pride Day, Just Peace in collaboration with Human Rights in the Picture and Hivos will be hosting a Just Peace Movie Night! We will be screening the documentary, “Behind the Numbers.”

This film, created by Human Rights in the Picture made with director Andy Funnell for Hivos, follows an intersex person from Zimbabwe, Ronie, a lesbian couple from Bangkok, Anticha and Build, and a trans person from the Netherlands, Laura. All experience daily obstacles and challenges in the heteronormative society in which they live.

Being Intersex in Zimbabwe - Ronie (they/them)

Growing up as an intersex person in Zimbabwe was anything but easy for Ronie. Throughout their life, Ronie has faced discrimination and exclusion: from school to medical care.

Especially on their school days, Ronie looks back with sadness. Nowhere were they safe. Nowhere could they be themselves. “The reason I changed schools so often is that I fled every time they found out who I really was,” they say. And that had many consequences: “If you don't have stability in your life, you no longer have confidence in yourself. I didn't even dare to raise my finger in class anymore.”

After many wanderings, Ronie decided to turn the pain into action. Now they dedicate themselves as an activist for the intersex community. “That has changed my life. I never knew I was so strong.”

A Seemingly Open Society - Anticha and Build

Thailand is known as an open society. But acceptance of gender and sexual diversity is not a given. Anticha and Build from Bangkok also face undercurrent discrimination. The couple would like to have children but starting a family is not easy for non-heterosexual couples in the country. “Violence is not just physical,” Anticha explains. “Young LGBTQ+ people face verbal violence and economic dependency in their families.”

Anticha and Build hope to inspire others to also dare to dream and explore possibilities off the beaten path. They married during Pride in Bangkok. And although their marriage does not have the same legal status as a heterosexual marriage, they noticed how important their move was to the community. “I never thought I would experience this in my life,” Build says. “The pictures of our marriage showed what is possible.”

Discrimation in the Workplace - Laura

You should be able to be yourself everywhere, including and especially at work. Laura's story shows how far-reaching the consequences of employment discrimination are. Laura is trans gender and her employer couldn't deal with that. She has since found her niche and looks back with us on a difficult period.

“What I went through, I wouldn't wish that on anyone,” Laura tells us. Still, she is positive. “The people who went through this process before me overcame problems that we as the current generation no longer have to deal with. And so that evolves. It hopefully gets easier and easier.”


The film was made for the Free to be Me program of Hivos, which works in 14 countries around the world to better the socioeconomic position of LGBTIQ+ persons. The program supports the communities to advocate for fair laws and regulations and work to influence public opinion.


The film was made in a climate-friendly way by using local film teams in Zimbabwe, Thailand and the Netherlands while also paying attention to the representation of queer creators in the teams. This innovative way of making has led to a layering in the film that leads to great accessibility to the stories in the different countries of the Free to be Me program.

The film sheds light on and hopes to raise awareness for the socioeconomic exclusion of LGBTIQ+ persons. In the Netherlands tolerance and acceptance of LGBTIQ+ rights is decreasing, as indicated by the countries drop on the Rainbow Map and Index. For these reason, we find the need to discuss the issue of socioeconomic inclusion of LGBTIQ+ persons more important than ever.

Just Peace Movie Nights are film screenings and discussions on important and current issues in the world of peace and justice.

Attendees are welcome to buy drinks from the bar throughout the event.

Film: Behind the Numbers
Wed 26/06
18:00 - 21:00
The Hague Humanity Hub, Den Haag

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