Here are the currently confirmed speakers – Frequent updates
Minister of Foreign Affairs (Belgium)
Since 2022, Hadja Lahbib serves as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium. Belgium has been a leader in the defence of the human rights of the LGBTIQ+ communities around the world. It was the second country, after The Netherlands, to introduce marriage equality. Prior to becoming a politician, Minister Lahbib was a journalist for the Belgian Radio-Television of the French Community (RTBF).
Transgender Europe – TGEU (EU)
Kyiv Pride (Ukraine)
Lenny Emson is a Ukrainian born LGBTQI human rights activist and a bigender individual. Lenny has over 20 years of experience in human rights for LGBTQI and served the LGBTQI movement as an activist, founder, and employee of several LGBTQ organisations. Lenny represented the international community in the ILGA World Trans Steering Committee, the Eurasian Key Populations Health Network’s “Global expert group on Transgender People and HIV/AIDS”, the TGEU Board, and the Grant Making Panel of the International Trans Fund. Lenny is an active Board Member of the European Pride Organisers Association.
University College London (UK)
Phillip Ayoub is a professor of International Relations in the Department of Political Science at University College London. He is the author of When States Come Out: Europe’s Sexual Minorities and the Politics of Visibility (Cambridge University Press, 2016) and his articles have appeared in the American Political Science Review, Comparative Political Studies, the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, the European Journal of International Relations, the European Journal of Political Research, Mobilization, the European Political Science Review, the Journal of Human Rights, Social Politics, Political Research Quarterly, and Social Movement Studies, among others. Further information can be found under www.phillipayoub.com.
Esther Martinez is the director and co-founder of RECLAIM, an NGO that supports European LGBTQI, rule of law, and anti-corruption activists. She has played a pivotal role in conducting the necessary legal research that supported Member States’ decision to actively engage in the Commission’s lawsuit against Hungary’s discriminatory gay propaganda law. Currently, Esther is providing valuable guidance to activists in Hungary on how to strategically utilize EU funding rules to restore rule of law in the country. She can be contacted at [email protected].
University of Verona (Italy)
Massimo Prearo is a political scientist and scientific coordinator of the research center PoliTeSse – Politics and Theories of Sexuality at the University of Verona (Italy). He has studied the so-called “anti-gender” movements in Italy, and in particular the intertwining between the religious and the political dimensions of the mobilization. His latest book: L’hypothèse néocatholique. Politiques, mouvements et mobilisations anti-genre en Italie (Éditions de l’ULB, 2023), will soon be available also in English.
Háttér Society (Hungary)
Dr. Eszter Polgári is a lawyer, holding an LLM and MA in Human Rights, and a PhD in law. She worked at the Central European University and has been involved as a human rights expert in various research and monitoring activities on LGBT rights, primarily within the EU and the Council of Europe. Her main research areas are the European Convention on Human Rights and the practice of the European Court of Human Rights, with special focus on the protection of LGBTQI rights. She is the director of the legal program at Háttér Society and is responsible for strategic litigation and international advocacy.
Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium)
David Paternotte is professor of sociology at the Université libre de Bruxelles. His research explores the relations between gender, sexuality and activism. For the last ten years, he has examined anti-gender campaigns in Europe and globally.
Tbilisi Pride (Georgia)
As a passionate advocate for LGBTQI rights and equality, Mariami Kvaratskhelia is recognized as a prominent leader in the community. She has been at the forefront of the movement as a co-founder and director of Tbilisi Pride, tirelessly campaigning and advocating for the rights of LGBTQI individuals in Georgia for eight years. Mariam has been one of the organizers of the annual Tbilisi Pride Week since 2019. Unfortunately, these events have been marred by violence on a number of occasions. Despite these challenges, Mariam’s steadfast determination remains unwavering as she continues to champion the cause of equality and social justice for all.
Civil Liberties (The Netherlands)
Israel Butler is Head of Narrative and Framing at the Civil Liberties Union for Europe where he trains and mentors campaigners and civil servants to develop winning messages that build support for progressive causes. Prior to this he led the advocacy teams at Liberties and the Open Society European Policy Institute and was speech writer to the director of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights. He has a PhD in international law and began his career as a lecturer. He has published two books, numerous policy papers, peer-reviewed articles and opinion pieces in EU-focused media outlets.
Justice for Prosperity (The Netherlands)
Lou is an experienced senior advisor and project lead with over 15 years in implementing strategies and measures to enhance intergovernmental cooperation on sensitive political matters. As a senior legal specialist and strategic advisor for the United Nations Organization for Migration, the Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe, and European Commission funded projects, she is an internationally recognized expert in the processing of personal data and use of technology in the area of counterterrorism and law enforcement.
VICE News (UK)
Ben Hunte is a Global Correspondent for VICE News, investigating stories about LGBTQ people, race, and inequality from across the world. Since joining VICE, he’s reported on LGBTQ people around the world, telling stories of on trans people in Ukraine during the Russian invasion as well as reporting on anti-LGBTQ issues within the British government. Previously, he was the BBC’s first LGBT Correspondent, reporting on stories surrounding sexuality and gender. In 2022, Ben was listed in Forbes 30 Under 30.
Warsaw Pride (Poland)
Julia Maciocha is the Chairwoman of Warsaw Pride & co-founder of Polish Prides Alliance – a collective of 35 pride events across Poland, European Prides Organizers Association Board member, 2022 European Leader of Obama Foundation. She firmly believes that lasting change can only be achieved through the collaborative efforts of diverse individuals and groups.
Adam Eli is a community organizer and writer based in New York City. His first book, The New Queer Conscience, was published in 2020 by Penguin Teen. He uses Judaism as the framework for his queer activism. Inspired by the Talmud’s “Kol Yisrael Arevim Zeh BaZeh / All of the people of Israel are responsible for each other,” he says, “Queer people anywhere are responsible for queer people everywhere.”
Monika Antanaitytė has 10 years of experience working with human rights organizations where she utilizes her legal capacities through a human values-oriented approach. Monika also has more than 4 years of working experience in the private sector, and she also actively engages in LGBTIQ human rights activism since 2019. At the Lithuanian Gay League, she contributes to strategizing and implementing a variety of LGBTIQ human rights advocacy efforts including but not limited to Baltic Pride, the largest LGBTIQ human rights festival in the Baltics.
Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium)
Rodrigo Cruz is a sociologist (Ph.D., Universidade NOVA de Lisboa) and researcher at the Atelier Genre(s) et Sexualité(s) (AGS) at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Belgium. His main research area is the sociology of social movements and collective action, particularly the LGBTQIA+ movements, their opponents, and allies. He is also interested in contemporary Brazilian politics, the sociology of gender and sexuality, and digital sociology (including online activism). He has previously worked as a journalist, collaborating with magazines on human rights and LGBTQIA+ issues in Brazil and France. In recent years, he has also worked with LGBTQIA+ civil society organizations in Brazil and Europe on topics such as LGBTQIA+ political participation and combating disinformation.
PINK Armenia (Armenia)
Karine Aghajanyan serves as the Chairperson of the Pink human rights defender NGO in Armenia. Alongside her professional expertise, she holds a Master’s degree in European Studies, specializing in human rights and democratization in the Caucasus. Karine has gained invaluable practical experience in promoting gender equality through community engagement, advocacy, and policy reform during her involvement with the Pink human rights defender NGO, Women’s Resource Center, and Women’s Support Center. She is a dedicated advocate for gender equality and boasts over 13 years of activism experience, specifically focusing on women’s and LGBT+ human rights.
Sebastjan Sitar is a sociologist and historian and has been employed at Legebitra, a Slovenian LGBTIQ+ NGO, since 2017. He started as a counsellor for community-based testing for HIV and other STIs. Since then, he has also worked in the field of chemsex and providing psycho-social support for people living with HIV in Slovenia. In December 2022, he was elected president of the association and took over leadership which includes new fields of work throughout LGBTIQ+ topics, including work with policymakers. He has been the editor-in-chief of GEJM magazine, the only print LGBTIQ+ magazine in Slovenia, since 2017.
Free University Brussels (Belgium)
Alexandra Ana is a doctor in political science and sociology, from Scuola Normale Superiore. Her thesis on comparative feminist movements and NGO-ization is currently under publication with Palgrave. She is now a Marie Sklodowska-Curie postdoctoral fellow at Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), working on resistance to anti-gender movements and politics, within a decolonial framework and from a comparative perspective. Her project – CORESIST, addresses the role of coalitions in strengthening and/or weakening the resistance to anti-gender politics, but also the challenges and tensions that permeate coalition-making.
Coming Out SP (Russia)
Denis Oleinik is a Community Services Manager and Career Advisor at LGBTQ+ Group ComingOUT, Russia. He has more than 10 years of experience in service non-profit organization in the direction of working with the community and the prevention of socially significant diseases, as well as more than 13 years of experience as a recruitment, adaptation and evaluation manager. For the last 5 years he has been promoting, developing and implementing the DE&I culture for large international companies in Russia, as well as advising a representative of the LGBTQ+ community on career issues.
Lex Q (Poland)
Wiktoria Magnuszewska is a human rights defender and a founder of LEX Q. She was awarded UWC Scholarship in 2018 and Sir Malcolm Grant UCL Scholarship for Leadership Potential in 2020. Recipient of Tadeusz Mazowiecki Award for her contributions towards civic society and the Future of Emerging Europe Award 2022. She is a member of the Consultative Council for All-Poland Women’s Strike and a member of the Advisory Committee for LGBTQ Schools Ranking. As a human rights advocate she has cooperated with the European Commission of Human Rights, OSCE or IPPF.
Vlad Levente Viski
Vlad Levente Viski is a feminist LGBT activist, executive director of MozaiQ LGBT Association. He is a PhD candidate in political science at the University of Bucharest focusing on anti-gender campaigns in Romania. He graduated from Central European University with a master’s in political science focusing on the LGBT movement after 2001 in Romania. He holds a bachelor’s in political science from California State University, Los Angeles. He published articles in them.us, The Advocate, Vice, Adevărul, CriticAtac, and Decât o Revistă.
Polish Prides Alliance (Poland)
Wiktoria Juchniewicz cooperates with organizations working for equality and inclusiveness – The Polish Society of Anti-Discrimination Law, Volunteers of Equality Foundation (Warsaw Pride), Polish Prides Alliance, The Other Space Foundation. She has been the coordinator of the anti-discrimination project at Lambda Warsaw Association, one of the longest-standing organizations supporting LGBTQIAP people in Poland. She is now actively involved with the Polish Prides Alliance.
We Are Fair (Czech Republic)
Filip Milde is Head of Social & Communications at We Are Fair Marriage Equality Initiative, Czech Republic Filip is a communication strategist. Since 2019, he has been advocating for LGBTQI+ rights and leads social media, communications and public relations. Filip is experienced in the private and NGO sector, actively working on social change through positive messaging, segmentation, and integrated innovative communication.
Budapest Pride (Hungary)
Viktória Radványi (she/her), President of Budapest Pride, is a 28 year old human rights defender from Hungary. She has made the Forbes 30/30 list and won the MTV EMA “Generation Change” award for Budapest Pride’s trailblazing work in standing up against the rising anti-LGBTQ politics in Hungary. Combining the power, creativity and social embeddedness of grassroot organizations and the resilience of well-established NGOs, Budapest Pride is a leading force in LGBTQ activism in Hungary. Mobilizing 35.000 people for the Budapest Pride March, working with 400 volunteers every year, creating petitions with over 100.000 signatures, making national and international headlines, Budapest Pride has become a power to reckon with.
AMBIS College (Czech Republic)
Marián Sekerák studied political science at Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica (Slovakia) and obtained his Ph.D. at Charles University (Czech Republic). He currently serves a lecturer at AMBIS College, Prague. His areas of specialization include political theory, the theory of democracy, Church-State relations, and higher education research. He authored two books focused on democratic theory (2013 in Slovak and 2021 in Czech).
Egerton Neto is a technology policy strategist specializing in the intersection of technology and diversity. He is a founding member of the International Panel on the Information Environment (IPIE), an institution established during his tenure as the Manager of the Programme on Democracy and Technology at the University of Oxford. Since he came out as a gay man in one of Brazil’s largest newspapers, he has emerged as a prominent advocate in the field of Diversity and Inclusion, having worked in various capacities within Brazil’s government, NGOs, and academia. He earned a Master of Public Policy from LSE and is an Aspen Institute New Voices Fellow.
Pia Micallef is a prolific activist in Malta, focusing mainly on women and lgbtiq+ rights. She currently sits on the Malta Consultative Council for Women’s Rights and is graduated in both Social Policy and Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Management. Currently, she serves as the Content and Advocacy Officer for Allied Rainbow Communities-ARC, the orchestrator of Malta Pride and this year, the EuroPride Valletta 2023. Pia’s influence stretches across borders, marked by her tenure as a European Parliament advisor, where she steered work on vital LGBTQ+ issues, her efforts fueled by personal experiences and an unshakeable belief in the power of visibility.
Justice for Prosperity (The Netherlands)
Jelle Postma is the founder and Executive Director of the Amsterdam based Justice for Prosperity Foundation where he stands up to anti-rights actors. They investigate, expose, and prevent subversive influence and provide training and operational support to Human Rights Defenders, (political/LGBTQI+) activists, and journalists. He is a former intelligence officer at the Dutch General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD), sr. program manager at the office of the National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism (NCTV), and senior diplomat for the United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism in New York. He is an expert in the fight against (digital) subversion and disinformation, extremism, and organized crime.
Yves Aerts Jacobs
Çavaria (BE) and ILGA-Europe
Since 2007, Yves Aerts Jacobs has worked as the Executive Director of çavaria, the LGBTI+ umbrella organisation in Flanders. The organisation fights for the well-being and rights of LGBTI people in all aspects of everyday life. As coordinator, Yves strategically leads an organisation composed of more than 30 staff members, about 130 member organisations and hundreds of volunteers. They are also instrumental in lobbying for LGBTI+ causes in Belgian politics. Yves Aerts Jacobs is co-chair of the board of ILGA-Europe and a (alternate) European representative to the ILGA World board.
Julia Kata (she/her)is a sychologist, doing a training to become a mediator. She has been working with the transgender and non-binary community for over a decade. In 2016-17 she was a member of the board of IGLYO. Co-author of scientific research, reports and educational brochures. Leading support group for the Polish community. She conducts trans rights and issues and inclusive language training for educational institutions, businesses, healthcare professionals and students. since February 2022 supports refugees using the services provided by the LGBTQIAP Refugee Center at the Lambda Warszawa Association as an Expert on trans and non-binary cases
Lambda Warszawa (Poland)
Miłosz Przepiórkowski (he/him) is Vice Head of the Board at Lambda Warszawa Association in Poland. He has been associated with the Lambda Warszawa Association since 2018. Co-creator of the Help Center for LGBTQIA+ refugees and advocate for people under the so-called Bi+ umbrella. Co-author of “Kropka nad Bi” (“Visi-Bi-Lity”), the first book in Central – Eastern Europe fully devoted to the Bi+ community. Graduate of the US Congress Office “Open World” program, a mentor appointed by the US Embassy in Warsaw. At Lambda Warszawa, he is responsible for corporate trainings, international projects, fundraising and PR activities.
Center for Sexology and Gender (Belgium)
Joz Motmans is a clinical psychologist and holds a Phd in Social Sciences. He co-founded the European Professional Association for Transgender Health, and is currently its past-President. He also founded the central information and expertise center on trans issues in Belgium (www.transgenderinfo.be). Currently, he coordinates the Centre for Sexology and Gender at Ghent University Hospital. His expertise includes LGBTIQ+ studies, new social movements, equality, emancipation, health, quality of life, and social attitude research (quantitative as well as qualitative methods). Joz published over 100 articles and book on gender and sexual minorities.
Open Society Foundations (Belgium)
Tinatin Tsertsvadze is a senior policy analyst working on the EU foreign policy at the Open Society Foundations. Tinatin is responsible for EU sanctions policies analyses and advocacy. She also has thematic expertise in EU’s human rights policies in external action and civil society space. Prior to joining Open Society, she worked for the International Partnership for Human Rights, focusing on Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia as an Advocacy Director and Gender Adviser for five years. She worked at FRIDE, a European think-tank based in Brussels and Madrid between 2010 – 2014, as Central Asia programme manager.
Sergiu works in the LGBTQ+ activism since 2018, when he became a member of the MozaiQ LGBT Association in Romania and is currently the Communications Director for the aforementioned. He worked with diverse vulnerable groups in many NGO settings, such as differently abled people (Fundacja Sprawni Inaczej in Poland), IV drug consumers (Romanian Anti-Aids Association), people living with HIV (Sens Pozitiv Association). He is currently involved voluntarily in HIV testing and prevention and D&I training for multiple organizations.
Lesben- und Schwulenverband (Germany)
Philipp Braun is a board member of the Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany (Lesben- und Schwulenverband in Deutschland – LSVD). Existing since 1990, LSVD is a civil rights organisation fighting discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity and has consultative status at the UN ECOSOC. From 2003 to 2007, Philipp was a board member of ILGA-Europe. From 2006 to 2008, he was Co-Secretary General of ILGA . On the board at LSVD, he is particularly responsible for the international work of the federation and was consulted on this field as an expert at the German Bundestag.
SOS Homophobie (France)
Joël Deumier is a campaigner for equality for LGBTI+ people. A lawyer by profession, Joël Deumier was president of SOS homophobie between 2017 and 2019, and since April 2023. SOS homophobie is a French national association fighting against LGBTIphobia and for equal rights. It helps and supports victims of LGBTIphobia, carries out educational and awareness-raising activities in schools and the workplace, and lobbies institutions for equal rights.
Forbidden Colours (Belgium)
Rémy Bonny is the executive director of Forbidden Colours. He is an expert in how ultraconservative and anti-democratic regimes use their fight against the human rights for the LGBTIQ+ communities in their international relations. He researched and exposed several anti-LGBTIQ+ initiatives by the Russian Federation, Hungary and other anti-democratic governments. In 2021, Bonny was the first international activist to reveal the news about the Hungarian anti-LGBTIQ+ law – which is a copy-paste of Russia’s 2013 anti-LGBTIQ+ propaganda law. Later, the efforts against this law by Forbidden Colours led to the largest lawsuit in the history of the EU.
Forbidden Colours (Belgium)
Vincent Reillon is the Outreach and Policy Officer of Forbidden Colours. He has developed his expertise on policy and EU affairs working for the European Parliament Research Service and the French Permanent representation to the EU. In 2019, he decided to turn his long term commitment towards the LGBTIQ+ communities his main focus, working as a writer and a consultant on inclusion of LGBTIQ+ people. Vincent has joined Forbidden Colours in September 2022, supporting the communication and strategic development of the organisation.