Presented by ILGA-Europe, an umbrella organisation for over 600 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) organisations across 54 countries, The Frontline is a podcast about LGBTI activism and lives in Europe and Central Asia. Deep-diving and analysing from a unique and informed perspective, The Frontline aims to bring you to the core of queer activism and give you an understanding on the complexities of what's happening, why it's happening, the wins and the losses, the challenges and commonalities, and the extraordinary ways in which the work of those on the frontlines continues in a rapidly changing world.
Changing Leadership, Changing Times
In the almost 14 years since Evelyne Paradis became the Executive Director of ILGA-Europe it has grown to become the largest umbrella organisation for LGBTI activism in Europe and Central Asia, playing a key and essential role in resourcing and fostering the LGBTI movement, and influencing political systems towards ever greater consideration of LGBTI people’s equality, freedom and safety in decision making and legislation. The past two years in particular have been a time of unprecedented expansion for ILGA-Europe, both in terms of staff and funding, and in our capacity to support, represent and help build a strong and strategic LGBTI movement in the region.
In this episode of The Frontline, as Evelyne Paradis hands over the reins of leadership to our new Executive Director, Chaber, we sit down with them both to talk about how ILGA-Europe has evolved as an organisation alongside the LGBTI movement over the past decades, and what’s just around the corner, both for t
23/10/2023 • 28 minutes 6 seconds
The Evelyne Paradis Interviews: LGBTI Activism Now
For the past 18 years with ILGA-Europe, 15 of which she spent as the organisation’s Executive Director, Evelyne Paradis has worked closely alongside hundreds of LGBTI activists and organisations across Europe and Central Asia. As she gets ready to hand over the reins to our new Executive Director, in this episode of The Frontline, Evelyne talks about how the LGBTI movement in Europe and Central Asia has evolved over her time leading ILGA-Europe, and how ILGA-Europe’s work to build and enhance the movement has evolved and grown too.
What have been the rising priorities in queer activism, and how has ILGA-Europe been both supporting and helping lead the charge? What have been the pitfalls along the way and what are the challenges ahead? And as LGBTI communities and activists face growing opposition from powerful right wing forces across the region, how can the movement further harness is own power to push forward?
21/09/2023 • 27 minutes 11 seconds
LGBTI Rights and Politics Now, with Evelyne Paradis
This is the first of three interviews with ILGA-Europe’s Executive Director, Evelyne Paradis as she departs the organisation, after 18 years, nearly 14 of which she spent as its leader.
With a decade and half of experience leading Europe’s largest LGBTI umbrella organisation, which is a driving force for political, legal and social change in Europe and Central Asia, Evelyne has had a helicopter view of the growing place of LGBTI rights on political agendas and how all of this has filtered down in the everyday lives of LGBTI people across the regions.
In this episode, Evelyne talks about how politics have evolved over her time leading ILGA-Europe, which included the dawn and global spreading of social media, and how Europe’s political institutions have progressed to include LGBTI people across a broad range of portfolios and initiatives. Is the current EU political system working well to shore up and promote LGBTI equality, or are rainbow rights a v
31/08/2023 • 26 minutes 40 seconds
Behind the Rainbow Map: LGBTI Activism in the Lowest Ranking Countries
Every year since 2009, ILGA-Europe’s Rainbow Map has been ranking the 49 countries that make up Europe based on the legal and policy situations of LGBTI people. While during this time there has been much movement at the top of the map, with Spain, Finland, Greece and Moldova making big jumps this year, the countries at the bottom have largely been the same since the very first map, namely Russia, Armenia, Turkey, and at the very bottom Azerbaijan.
In this episode of The Frontline, we ask the question, if a country stays at the bottom of the Rainbow Map ranking, does it mean there's no queer activism happening there? In countries where advocacy is not possible, and where daily life for LGBTI people is often extremely challenging, what's happening in the work towards LGBTI rights and equality? And is this mostly invisible activism bringing about change for LGBTI people in the countries where it seems life is getting worse rather than better?
17/08/2023 • 34 minutes 29 seconds
The Rainbow Map - Behind the Rankings
Released every May since 2009, the ILGA-Europe Rainbow Map ranks the legal and policy situation for LGBTI people in all 49 European countries, on a scale between 0% (gross violations of human rights, discrimination) and 100% (respect of human rights, full equality).
This year there was much movement on the map, with Malta holding the top spot and several countries entering the top ten. All of this has been reported across the world, but what truths lie behind the Rainbow Map rankings? Malta has been number one for eight years now, but is it a utopia for LGBTI people, or are there issues in the country that might be pinkwashed by its Rainbow ranking? Are small movements up the chart really representative of what’s happening on the ground for LGBTI people? And what’s happening in the countries that used to be at the top but are now lagging very much behind?
In this episode of The Frontline, exploring the complexities behind the rankings in the
01/06/2023 • 48 minutes 39 seconds
Trans Inclusion in the Women's Movement
All too often we hearabout exclusionary forces, or the voices of forces who seek to exclude trans women from the women’s movement, but does this adequately represent the truth?
This episode focuses on the ways in which actors in the women’s movement are actively inclusive of trans women, questions the exclusionary narrative that dominates much of the media, and how this dominant narrative is both being driven by and playing into the hands of anti-democratic forces.
We ask what it means for feminism to be inclusive in practical terms and how does inclusiveness impact the work? We explore how inclusionary women’s rights organisations and
trans activists are responding to the efforts of exclusionary actors to narrow the frame for feminism, and the lessons learned so far.
With us to investigate the exclusionary narrative and look at it from the more prevalent inclusionary perspective, are Caroline Hickson, Regional Director of <a
30/03/2023 • 50 minutes 23 seconds
The World Cup Rainbow Divide
The big story at the beginning of the World Cup 2022 centred on FIFA banning all players on European teams from wearing the ‘One Love’ armband during matches, highlighting the dire human rights situation for LGBTI people in Qatar.
But what happens when divisions over LGBTI issues become the leading stories surrounding a major sporting event like the World Cup? Do these stories serve the LGBTI communities in countries where people are at risk? Do they serve the greater goals of the LGBTI movement for equality? Or is the focus on LGBTI people and LGBTI issues not creating a Rainbow Divide, in which the human rights of one group are separated from the human rights of all?
This episode of The Frontline will explore the complexities around singling out of LGBTI rights at the Qatar World Cup, when so many other human rights abuses are taking place in the country, if it further fuelled an ‘us and them’ human rights narrative, and what responsibility lie
08/12/2022 • 37 minutes 26 seconds
LGBTI Equality and Accession to The EU: Part One
-part episode we’re looking at the new wave of accession to the EU and what it will mean for LGBTI people. With the recent news that Ukraine and Moldova are now candidates to the EU, the topic of EU accession is on the radar again, while Western Balkan countries such as Serbia, North Macedonia and Montenegro have been going through the process for some years now, and Turkey not acceded since its application in 1987.
With the current state of LGBTI rights in Central Europe, highlighted most recently by the Serbian government’s anti-democratic instrumentalising of LGBTI people in an effort to try to stop EuroPride in Belgrade, how does this kind of backsliding play into the accession process? And what about countries like Ukraine, where LGBTI rights have barely been on the governmental agenda? What are the opportunities to be gained by candidacy for joining the EU?
To discuss these questions and more, we're joined by former member of European Pa
30/09/2022 • 33 minutes 41 seconds
LGBTI Equality and Accession to the EU: Part Two
In the second of our two-part episode, looking at the new wave of accession to the EU and what it will mean for LGBTI people, we're looking at how ILGA-Europe uses the accession process in our advocacy work in Brussels, and we talk about the Serbian government’s anti-democratic instrumentalising of LGBTI people in an effort to try to stop EuroPride in Belgrade this September, and what it means for LGBTI people in that candidate country.
We're joined by former member of European Parliament, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marije_CornelissenMarije Cornelissen , who has worked extensively on the accession process; Lenny Emson from K
30/09/2022 • 30 minutes 2 seconds
How Businesses Can Support LGBTI Equality
In this, the second episode of our new mini-series exploring the opportunities and challenges that come with businesses supporting LGBTI equality, we’re taking a closer look at how business can support LGBTI civil society. With us to talk about how to build partnerships with business in contexts and countries requiring different responses, from advocacy to campaigns, are Nancy Kelley, the Chief Executive of Stonewall, which has long experience working with private business both in the UK and internationally and Noah Kraljević, from the ILGA-Europe member organisation, <a href="https://voxfemin
22/04/2022 • 25 minutes 4 seconds
The Private Sector and LGBTI Equality: Mini-series Introduction
With the war in Ukraine and the Russian threat to democracy it has intensified, now more than ever we need to be working together across many alliances to ensure that equality and freedom are at the cornerstones of European society. Our new mini-series was recorded before the war began, but with it’s deep dive into how actors in the private sector, from big corporates to small and medium businesses, can work with LGBTI organisations to shape a better future for us all, we think it is more important than ever to have this discussion. From making the business case for engagement, to exploring the different ways businesses can work with LGBTI organisations, to a case study in how the coffee giant Starbucks successfully worked with a trans youth organisation to help shift attitudes, this is a series with learnings for both businesses who want to help shape a better world, and LGBTI organisations seeking to work with them. Listen to our introduction to learn more!
22/04/2022 • 6 minutes 21 seconds
Working Alongside Businesses to Shift Attitudes
In this, the third and final episode of our mini-series exploring the opportunities and challenges that come with businesses supporting LGBTI equality, we are looking at how companies can bring about positive change through representation in advertising, meaningful campaigns, and partnering with LGBTI organisations. We’re looking at this through the lens of one very successful partnership and campaign, between Mermaids, a UK organisation helping trans, nonbinary and gender diverse children, young people and their families, and the coffee giant, Starbucks. With me to talk about the #WhatsYourName campaign, and what it means in terms of opportunities for partnerships between LGBTI organisations and businesses, is Susie Green, the CEO of Mermaids.
Find out more about to work of Mermaids <a href="https://mermaidsuk.org.uk/" title="<span style="mso-bookmark:_Hlk96604731"><span lang="EN-AU" style="font-family:&a
22/04/2022 • 22 minutes 45 seconds
Making the Business Case for LGBTI Equality
This is the first episode of our new mini-series exploring the opportunities and challenges that come with businesses supporting LGBTI equality. Over the past few years, more and more companies have been engaging with LGBTI rights and equality, from putting inclusive employment policies in place, to celebrating Pride in their marketing campaigns, to speaking out in favour of laws that would support LGBTI equality. This provides some great opportunities for activist organisations, but it’s not all plain sailing.
Here we look at the rising opportunities and challenges for LGBTI organisations engaging with the private sector. At ILGA-Europe we’ve experienced these first-hand, as businesses have reached out to support our work with and on behalf of our member organisations, and with us to discuss these developments from the ILGA-Europe perspective is our Executive Director, Evelyne Paradis.
We're also joined by <a href="https://www.gaymechanger.co
22/04/2022 • 41 minutes 53 seconds
LGBTI People and the War in Ukraine
At ILGA-Europe we recognise that the war is not going to be a short-term situation for vulnerable people in Ukraine, Russia, neighbouring countries, and all countries in Europe and Central Asia that are and will be hosting displaced people. With our deep and nuanced knowledge of the human rights situation for LGBTI people across Europe and Central Asia, we know that there will be great complexity and particular vulnerabilities in the experience of LGBTI refugees, and of those LGBTI people who are either forced, or choose to remain in Ukraine and Russia.
In this episode we’re talking about how we at ILGA-Europe are responding to the war in Ukraine, and in particular the effects on LGBTI people, both in Ukraine and Russia, in neighbouring countries, and all host countries across Europe and Central Asia. With us to talk about the current situation, from ILGA-Europe’s perspective, combined with what we know from our member organisations in Ukraine, Russia and across
28/03/2022 • 22 minutes 35 seconds
Hope and the LGBTI Movement in 2021
In this episode of The Frontline, we are looking back at the year that was 2021, and what it meant for the LGBTI movement in Europe. It was a year of further lockdowns, of new strains of the COVID virus, and the uncertainty they have brought, and most of all, enormous reverberations of the unprecedented events of 2020 on people’s lives. At ILGA-Europe, when the pandemic first kicked in, our motto was ‘the work goes on’, and that work most certainly continued apace throughout 2021, with the growth of a perceived east-west divide in Europe over LGBTI rights, infringement procedures taken by the European Commission against Hungary and Poland because of their anti-LGBTI laws and programs, a sharp rise in the demonisation and isolation of trans people from the women’s movement, and an overall rise in authoritarian regimes seeking to instrumentalise LGBTI lives to limit the rights of others. So, it’s perhaps strange that our guest in this episode, ILGA-Europe's Executive Director, Evelyne
29/12/2021 • 35 minutes 43 seconds
Navigating Change as an LGBTI Activist
Since the beginning of 2020, we have been deeply reminded that change can come unexpectedly and can wreak havoc. We’ve also seen in stark ways how our ability to deal with change is so often framed by bigger structures of inequalities, and most of us have been left with more questions than we have answers.
This episode of The Frontline features an enlightening conversation about navigating change as an activist, between ILGA-Europe’s Executive Director Evelyne Paradis and Natia Gvianishvili, who has been actively engaged with local, regional and international LGBTI and feminist movements for over a decade now. Natia began her activist life in Georgia, and she currently resides in Sweden, where she works with the Swedish
Federation for LGBTQ Rights (RSFL).
Evelyne and Natia chat about how change affects activists and activism, and deliberately exploring our rel
16/11/2021 • 20 minutes 24 seconds
How LGBTI Activism Can Be Supported
One thing is always clear, no activist or activism organisation can work alone, and the work needs support. But where can that support be found, how can it be accessed, and when it comes through, how can you use it effectively? In this episode, we’re exploring what it means and what it takes to be supported during the highs and lows of everyday activism. We’ll be taking a look at how international and foreign support can be experienced by LGBTI activists in the movement, the difference it can make, and what it takes to get that support and make real use of it.
Joining us to chat about support and empowerment are Stefan Sparavalo from Da se Zna in Serbia and Marty Huber, from Queer Base in Austria.
22/10/2021 • 24 minutes 58 seconds
The LGBTI Activist Wellbeing Challenge
Wellbeing challenges have been affecting the work of the LGBTI movement for decades, but it is only recently that activists have begun talking about their wellbeing as an issue. While a number organisations and groups have already taken concrete steps to address wellbeing, there’s no golden rule on how to approach these challenges. In this episode we share what ILGA-Europe has been doing to support the wellbeing of the movement.
Joining us are David Kakhaberi, the executive director of Equality Movement in Georgia, and Eka Tseriteli, executive director of Women’s Initiatives Supporting Group, also in Georgia, to talk about the distinctive approaches they’ve used to tackle wellbeing issues for their teams.
For more about how we support the LGBTI movement in Europe and Central Asia
22/10/2021 • 24 minutes 56 seconds
Being an LGBTI Activist Today
What’s it like to be an LGBTI activist at this moment of enormous change for the world? What are the new challenges, and what’s the daily life of an LGBTI organisation like nowadays?
Joining us to talk about the reality of queer activism in the current context, the good sides and bad, are ILGA-Europe’s Programmes Director, Bjorn van Roozendaal; Ola Kaczorek, founding member of Love Does Not Exclude, the first organisation to demand marriage equality in Poland; Irena Cvetkovic, the Executive Director of <a href="http://coalition.org.mk/" title="<span style="font-size:14.0pt; font-family:&quot;Cambria&quot;,serif;mso-ascii-theme-font:major-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font: major-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Cambria;mso-bidi-theme-font:major-latin; border:none windowtext 1.0pt;mso-border-alt:none windowtext 0cm;padding:0cm; backgro
22/10/2021 • 32 minutes 9 seconds
Empowering LGBTI Activists in a Changing World: Introduction
To introduce our new series on empowering LGBTI activism, Bjorn Van Roozendaal from ILGA-Europe talks about the priorities of our work with activists in a world that’s going through enormous change, and what to expect as we explore the challenges are activists face in doing the work, and some of the key ways they are addressing those challenges.
22/10/2021 • 11 minutes 38 seconds
Queer and the Media: with BBC LGBT Correspondent, Ben Hunte
In 2019, the BBC appointed its first ever LGBT correspondent, Ben Hunte. Whenever an LGBT story breaks, he appears on the 6 or 10 o’clock news and across the BBC’s global websites. His first year on the job has been an unprecedented one, with the rise of anti-LGBT hatred in Europe, marked by stark developments in Poland and Hungary. In this episode of The Frontline, Ben sits down with us to talk about the relationship between the media and LGBTI issues, why some stories get all the attention to the detriment of others, the rise of anti-trans voices in newspapers and broadcasting, and ways we might get the real diversity of LGBTI stories picked up.
23/07/2021 • 21 minutes 56 seconds
Elif Shafak and the Power of Our Stories
In this episode we welcome the internationally acclaimed Turkish novelist, essayist, and advocate for women’s and LGBTI rights and freedom of expression, Elif Shafak. The author of 18 books of fiction and non-fiction, including The Bastard of Istanbul, Honour, and Three Daughters of Eve, Elif has come under fire from the Turkish authorities for writing about human rights abuses that its government denies. Her most recent novel, 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World, which tells the story of a sex worker in Istanbul, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2019. It sparked another investigation by Turkish prosecutors for addressing child abuse and sexual violence in her writing.
Elif joins ILGA-Europe’s Executive Director, Evelyne Paradis to talk about a widespread decline of democracy, the fight
29/06/2021 • 19 minutes 9 seconds
Mapping LGBTI Rights in Europe
In this episode we’re discussing the results of ILGA-Europe’s 12th Rainbow Europe Map, which was published on May 17, International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) 2021.
Every year, Rainbow Europe ranks all 49 European countries based on the laws and policies in each to ensure equal rights and protection for LGBTI people. Countries are ranked from zero percent to one hundred, with zero representing gross violations of human rights and discrimination and one-hundred representing full respect for human rights and equality.
The past 12 months have marked an unprecedented year in the map’s 12-year history, with almost no positive legislative change for LGBTI people in Europe. With us to discuss this disturbing stand-still, on both European and national levels, and the ways forward both at European and national levels, are ILGA-Europe’s Executive Director, Evelyne Paradis, our colleague, Bjorn Van Roozendaal, Alexa Moore from Transg
28/05/2021 • 43 minutes 37 seconds
Confronting LGBTIQ Youth Homelessness
In this episode of The Frontline, we looking at the rising issue of LGBTIQ youth homelessness in Europe. A new report from ILGA-Europe, in association with Cyndi Lauper’s LGBTIQ Youth Homelessness organisation True Colors United, and the Silberman Centre for Sexuality and Gender (SCSG) at Hunter College in New York, explores the experiences of LGBTIQ focused organisations in Europe working in with young people who have experienced homelessness. Over 60% of LGBTIQ organisations surveyed for the report said they had worked on the issue.
A comparative report from the European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless (FEANTSA), also finds that over 60% of homeless services organisations have dealt with young LGBTIQ people, but often without any training or support.
Our guests for this conversation about the rising issue of young LGBTI people being made homeless in Europe are author of the ILGA-Europ
10/05/2021 • 44 minutes 2 seconds
Rainbow Family Rights in Europe - Part 3: The Western Balkans
In the third part of our mini-series on rainbow family rights, during which we we’re looking at the issues affecting LGBTI partners, parents and their children across Europe, we are joined by Danijel Kalezić, president of the Governing Board of Queer Montenegro, which helped usher in legislation for civil unions for same-sex couples, which were signed into law last year, making Montenegro the second Western Balkans country, after Croatia, to do so. Danijel is with us to talk about the journey so far in Montenegro, and the state of play for same-sex partnership rights across the Western Balkans.
23/04/2021 • 31 minutes 27 seconds
Rainbow Family Rights in Europe - Part 4: At a Crossroads in Ukraine
Several pathways for partnership rights were part of the Ukraine took in EU-Ukraine Association agreement 2014-2016. Based on it the Ukrainian government developed a human rights strategy plan 2013-2019 which included specific commitments to LGBT rights, but many elements of this strategy were not implemented, and civil partnership was dropped from it. However, post-revolution and against the backdrop of Russia’s ongoing military intervention, it is a crossroads time for LGBTI and partnership rights in the country. In the fourth part of our mini-series on rainbow family rights, during which we we’re looking at the issues affecting LGBTI partners, parents and their children across Europe, we are joined by activists Olena Shevchenko, from the Kyiv-based organisation, Insight and Andriy Maymulakhin, from Nash Mir in the city of Luhansk, about the outlook for partnership rights in Ukraine.
23/04/2021 • 23 minutes 4 seconds
Rainbow Family Rights in Europe - Part 2: Baby Sara, Stateless Child
In the second part of our mini-series on rainbow family rights, during which we we’re looking at the issues affecting LGBTI partners, parents and their children across Europe, we meet Kalina and Jane, from Bulgaria and the UK respectively. Because their daughter Sara was born in Gibraltar, she cannot claim UK citizenship via Jane, so the couple applied to have her registered in Bulgaria. The Bulgarian authorities refused, therefore leaving Baby Sara stateless.
Kalina and Jane brought a case against the Bulgarian authorities to the EU Court of Justice, which was heard in March 2021. They join us to talk about their current situation, the case, and what it means to their family. We’re also joined by Arpi Avetisyan, Head of Litigation at ILGA-Europe, to talk about the wider implications of the case.
23/04/2021 • 20 minutes 28 seconds
Rainbow Family Rights in Europe - Part 5: The Rights of Trans Parents and their Children
In March 2021, Transgender Europe (TGEU) published the report, “Stuck on the swing: experiences of trans parents with freedom of movement in the EU”, in which 18 trans parents from across Europe shared their stories and thoughts. The report found that trans parents and their families face serious barriers when it comes to moving safely and freely across the European Union. In the fifth part of our mini-series on rainbow family rights, during which we we’re looking at the issues affecting LGBTI partners, parents and their children across Europe, we talk to Senior Policy Officer with TGEU, Richard Köhler, and Slovenian trans-activist, Lea Aymard, one of the parents featured in the report, about the current state of play and ways forward.
23/04/2021 • 25 minutes 35 seconds
Rainbow Family Rights in Europe - Part 1: The Coman Case Three Years On
In the first part of our mini-series on rainbow family rights, during which we we’re looking at the issues affecting LGBTI partners, parents and their children across Europe, we meet Adrian Coman from Romania. Three years ago, Adrian and his partner Clai were successful bringing their case to the Court of Justice of the European Union, which judged that same-sex spouses are fully recognised as spouses under the EU freedom of movement directive. As a result, Adrian and Clai, who is American, should have been granted a residence permit in Romania. To this day, the judgement has not been enacted by the Romanian state, and in December 2020, the couple took their case to the European Court of Human Rights to finally get their rights recognised. We’re also joined by Arpi Avetisyan, head of litigation at ILGA-Europe, to talk about the wider implications of the latest developments in the Coman case.
23/04/2021 • 23 minutes 40 seconds
Rainbow Family Rights in Europe - Part 6: The Future
In the sixth and final episode in our mini-series on rainbow family rights in 2021, during which we we’re looking at the issues affecting same-sex parents and their children across Europe, ILGA-Europe’s advocacy director, Katrin Hugendubel and Björn Sieverding from the Network of European LGBTIQ Families explore the issues coming down the line in terms of rainbow family rights, including direct child-parent recognition from birth, equal opportunities for children to find new parents by adoption or foster care, access to ART (including funding), and multi-parenting possibilities.
23/04/2021 • 29 minutes 33 seconds
LGBTI communities in Europe: Pushed to the brink
ILGA-Europe’s 10th Annual Review of the Human Rights Situation of LGBTI People in Europe and Central Asia, comes after a year of unprecedented change for the world, and a pandemic that had a noted effect on LGBTI people and communities. Reporting from country after country provides a glaring clarification that progress which has been taken for granted is not only increasingly fragile, but particularly vulnerable to exploitation by anti-human rights forces.
In this episode of The Frontline, we get an overview of the stark situation from ILGA-Europe’s Advocacy Director, Katrin Hugendubel. Executive Director of Transgender Europe (TGEU) talks to us about the significant growth of opposition towards trans rights across Europe; and Executive Director of ILGA-Portugal, and Marta Ramos tells us about the rise of the anti-gender movement in her country, and the ways in which LGBTI organisations have had to skew their work during the COVID-19 pandemic towards provision of basic necess
26/02/2021 • 37 minutes 54 seconds
2020: The EU and LGBTI Equality in an Extraordinary Year
In March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic went global, we worried that equality would slip off EU agendas as lockdowns and an unprecedented economic crisis took hold. In this episode of The Frontline, we look back at the extraordinary year that was 2020, and the engagement of the EU in LGBTI equality issues, exacerbated during the coronavirus crisis.
Our Executive and Advocacy Directors, Evelyne Paradis and Katrin Hugendubel look back on what surprisingly turned out to be a successful year for EU engagement. Activists from ILGA-Europe member organisations in Slovenia and Hungary talk about the rise of ultra-right populism in both EU countries, Hungary’s slew of anti-LGBTI laws as the virus raged on, and their respective responses to EU institutional engagement and how it can go forward.
Members of the EU Parliament’s LGBT Intergroup, MEP’s Terry Reintke (Greens/EFA, Germany) and Maria Walsh (EPP, Ireland) give an inside view on the year gone by, and reflect on a challe
28/12/2020 • 1 hour 9 minutes 16 seconds
Bulgaria and the Spread of European Anti-LGBTI Populism
“Attitudes towards LGBTI people are changing and changing fast,” says activist, Lilly Dragoeva from the Sofia-based Billitis Foundation, in this episode of The Frontline, which delves into the current situation in Bulgaria, a country we don’t often hear about as Poland and Hungary’s governmental persecution of LGBTI people grabs the headlines. There may not be LGBT-free zones in Bulgaria, but it’s a country with almost no protections for LGBTI people, a growing, so-called ‘anti-gender’ movement, a successful spreading of demonising fake news stories, and an alarming advance in societal rejection of LGBTI people.
Along with Lilly, we speak with activist Simeon Vasilev from GLAS Foundation about a growth in official anti-LGBTI hate speech and the role the EU can play, and with Dimithar Dimitrov from the Bulgarian city of Plovidiv, where in September there were organised attacks on young people who are perceived as LGBTI.
Some hope for Bulgarian LGBTI people com
07/12/2020 • 57 minutes 48 seconds
Countering the Rise of State LGBTphobia in Poland
In this episode of The Frontline we delve deep into the situation for LGBTI people in Poland and the work of activists amid the rise of official anti-LGBTI campaigning and the recent crackdown. We talk to Polish activist Slava Melnyk from KPH (Campaign Against Homophobia) about how the situation has come to a head in the aftermath of the re-election of far-right President, Andrzej Duda. David Socha, a young gay man living in the city of Pulawy, which has been designated one of Poland’s LGBT-free Zones, tells us about how this has affected his day-to-day life, and the ILGA-Europe advocacy team discuss the role of the EU institutions and external actors, and ways forward for the LGBTI movement in Poland. To access our timeline charting the rise of LGBT hate in Poland, visit this link: https://www.ilga-europe.org/sites/default/files/Poland-Anti-LGBT-Timeline.pdf