This special section builds on concepts, theories and practice discussed during the one-day conference ‘SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) Rights in Latin America: Lessons from the Global South’, held at the University of Bath in September 2018. Drawing on Connell's (2014) scholarship on southern feminisms and activism that challenged the established theoretical, conceptual and activist norms historically emanating from the global North, the conference explored lessons emerging from Latin America in relation to LGBTQIA+ rights claiming. The region's surprise emergence as a global leader in securing widespread legal change since the late 2000s contrasts significantly with other global South contexts, such as Africa and the Caribbean, that were seen as the locus of international backlash during that same period (Wintemute, 2017). To what extent can Latin American initiatives present a model for progress in other global South contexts? What legal, political and activist discourses and practices emerge from the region that suggest a break with conventional northern thinking? This special section takes a decolonial and interdisciplinary approach to examine this growing scholarship around LGBTIQA+ rights advance.