Rosanna Flamer-Caldera

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Rosanna Flamer-Caldera, 2007

Rosanna Flamer-Caldera (born March 16, 1956) is an internationally recognized LGBT rights activist based in Sri Lanka. She was the co-secretary general of ILGA (International Lesbian and Gay Association) until 2008 following her re-election at the Geneva world conference in 2006. She was first elected to the post in 2003 when she served two consecutive years in the position before being re-elected in 2006. She was the first female representative from Asia to be in the executive member list of ILGA.[1]

Within her country of origin Flamer-Caldera is a leading LGBT activist being the executive director of Equal Ground, the only mixed organization advocating for LGBTI rights in Sri Lanka, which was founded by her in 2004.[2] She is also a co-founder of the Sri Lankan LBT organization, Women’s Support Group, which was established in 1999 to provide support for lesbian, bisexual and transgender women. In addition she contributes as an NGO Advisor for Berlin based Hirschfeld Eddy Foundation[3] and Global Fund for Women based in USA.[4]

Personal life and early activism[edit]

Rosanna Flamer-Caldera was born in Sri Lanka on March 16, 1956 and is of partly Dutch descent. She grew up in Sri Lanka. Flamer-Caldera describes in an interview with The Huffington Post that after coming out she moved from Sri Lanka to San Francisco at the age of 18 and that in 1978, she attended her first gay pride parade, in which Harvey Milk was one of the main figures. Flamer-Caldera says in the same interview that when she came back to Sri Lanka, she used many of the things she had learned in San Francisco including candlelight vigils and demonstrations and gay pride celebrations.[5] During the 15 years she spent in the United States, she worked as a contact lens specialist, a travel agent and owned her own advertising company. Flamer-Caldera came back to Sri Lanka after several years spent in the US, to spend time with her parents. Back in Sri Lanka, she entered into a partnership with a top golfer and started a pro golf shop.[6] Ceylon Today identifies her as an environmental enthusiast who has an incredible love for wildlife. According to the paper, Rosanna ran a kid’s environment club and other events for protection of environment much before taking up LGBT activism.[7]


In 2005, Flamer-Caldera received the Utopia Award for LGBT rights activism which is Asia’s leading LGBTI human rights award.[8] She was also voted the Toronto Pride’s International Grand Marshal for 2007 for her contribution to the promotion of global human rights.[9]