IGLYO memories 2004-2008
During the Lisbon conference the following board members were elected: Jasna Magic (Slovenia), Kaspar Zalatis (Latvia), Bogdan Stefanov (Bulgaria), Ruth Baldacchino (Malta), Jelena Celebic (Serbia) and Tadgh O’Brien. Tadgh O’Brien resigned from the board in February and Kaspar Zalatis left the organisation during the spring of this year. Björn van Roozendaal (Netherlands) and Olga Chajdas (Poland) were invited to join the board. In August Björn formally overtook the role of treasurer to the organisation.
In 2004, the organisation was faced with tackling various financial difficulties from the past. No administrative funding was available, meaning only one formal board meeting was able to take place. Other meetings were scheduled around events throughout the year and board started to actively use online services to communicate. Moreover, the new board was faced with a financial shortage of over €5.000. The board chose to prioritize solving the financial difficulties before the organising of activities, and started a fundraising campaign to solve the financial debts.
Following the study session that IGLYO organised, contacts with different funders were re-established to discuss IGLYO’s financial situation whilst trying to raise more funds for the coming working year. The majority of the existing debts were made-up of unpaid membership fees to the European Youth Forum. To address these debts, a fundraising campaign was initiated, which ran successfully until 2005.
During the August board meeting it was decided to move the office to the COC Netherlands, as Ruth Baldacchino whom had been taking care of the office since December was leaving Malta. Björn van Roozendaal would take care of the office in years to come.
Twentieth Anniversary and the Second Women’s Conference
In this year, a study session entitled ‘Media Works: LGBT youth representation in the Media’ took place at the European Youth Centre in Strasbourg. During this event, practical guidance was given to participants to help them develop skills to deal with the media in their home countries. Researcher Judit Takacs from Hungary joined the preparatory team and would later become an important ally to IGLYO. At the end of the study session participants organized a public demonstration in the centre of Strasbourg aiming to support the ‘Brazilian resolution on sexual orientation and gender identity,’ which at that time was being debated in the United Nation’s Commission on Human Rights.
The 21st IGLYO conference entitled LGBT Youth Inc: Past, Present and Future of LGBT Youth Organisations was organised in Sofia, Bulgaria. The conference in and of itself was groundbreaking since it took place in a Balkan country. In terms of content, the event dealt with discussing how the LGBTQ youth movement could be further strengthened. Various participants from the Middle-East were present at this event where the organisation celebrated its 20th anniversary. On this occasion, former board members Suzy Byrne and Dennis van der Veur gave an account of the history of the organisation during a presentation. Byrne described the organisation as a ‘peer led’ group of young people responding to the needs of LGBTQ youth and students, which during its establishment in the mid 1980s was ‘neither popular nor fashionable.’ Council of Europe (CoE) representative Yael O’Hana spoke on behalf of the Youth Directorate and gave an overview on the development of the partnership between the CoE and IGLYO. She described the ‘vibrant’ reality that IGLYO had brought to European Youth work, sometimes shocking other youth organisations by bringing in drag shows, safe-sex workshops, and new learning dimensions.
In 2004 the Second Women’s Conference entitled …and a body of our own: identity, body image and gender/sexuality took place in Opatija, Croatia. Almost 30 young LBTQ women gathered to explore the theoretical background of women participants in relation to the concepts of identity, body image, and sexuality/gender. The conference dealt with a wide range of issues concerning female identities seen through the lens of tradition, religion, (dis)ability, pop-culture, media.
In December, IGLYO attended the conference Mainstreaming of sexual orientation Issues organised by the Dutch presidency to the EU. This helped IGLYO in strengthening contacts with other groups as well as with policy makers.
In this year Iain Gill resigns from the board. Olga Chajdas and Bogdan Stefan no longer actively engage with work on the board.
The fundraising campaign to raise money in order to pay back the debts to the European Youth Forum continued in this year. Contributions from the Norwegian youth council, the Dutch youth council, COC Netherlands, and a private funder were received. By the end of the year the debts were paid off and IGLYO was again able to participate in all European Youth Forum activities. Additionally, IGLYO continued to invest in strengthening relationships with funders. By the end of 2005, IGLYO submitted a funding proposal to the European Commission aiming to receive administrative funding for 2006. During this year an agreement is made with the COC Netherlands to look after the organisation’s book keeping.
At the Krakow conference a General Meeting was organised. IGLYO presented its activity plans for the coming years and committed itself to the development of a long term organisational strategy, involving member organisations in the creation of its initiatives. Following the need to fully reflect the membership’s diversity, the organisation officially changed its name to International Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer Youth and Student organisation.
The outgoing board created a hand over manual for incoming board members that provided an in-depth description of the organisation as well as breakdowns of their specific roles.
IGLYO participated in the European Youth Forum’s Council of Members meetings. The participation opened doors to mainstreaming LGBTQ issues within European youth policies. IGLYO managed to strengthen relations with the Cypriot Youth Council, the Federation of Young European Greens, and the Organising Bureau for European Student Unions. During the second meeting that year, IGLYO asked National Youth Councils to explicitly include sexual minority issues in their All Different All Equal programs, which many of them would eventually agree to.
In its narrative report, the board documented a campaign to re-establish contact with members. No updated list of memberships was available until then, and many member organisations did not pay their membership fees. Attempting to increase membership involvement strengthened IGLYO’s communication with member organisations. IGLYO began sending out a weekly e-mail bulletin to member organisations informing them about relevant LGBTQ & youth policy developments.
Board members participated in various external events aiming to raise the profile of the organisation. Five IGLYO delegates participated in the Lesbian Lives Conference in Dublin, which is a follow-up activity of IGLYO’s Second Women’s Conference. The academic conference focused on empowering experience for women. IGLYO also participated in the Queer Easter Camp, organised by the Young European Socialists (ECOSY), which helped IGLYO in strengthening the relationship with this political youth group.
During the ILGA-Europe conference Monitoring human rights violations in Krakow, IGLYO wanted to participate in a pride march. This march however was cancelled last minute due to safety issues – right wing groups threatened the march. While no violence occurred, a number of conference participants were bombarded with eggs in the streets.
Later that year IGLYO further strengthened its relation with ILGA-Europe when board member Ruth Baldacchino was elected reserve board member with both ILGA and ILGA-Europe.
IGLYO was invited to present LGBT related concerns about HIV/AIDS prevention during a meeting of the PACE (Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe) sub-committee on Social Affairs. Maxence De Barros shared grass-root strategies in terms of transmission risks and prevention measures. During his contribution, Maxence demonstrated how dental damns (female condoms) can be used – many committee members responded with laughter. The majority of Parliamentarians had never seen a dental damn before. The presentation was very well received.
In September, IGLYO participated in the Council of Europe Conference for Ministers for Youth, organised by the Hungarian government. Board member Björn van Roozendaal facilitated a workshop on gender-based violence. IGLYO was able exchange dialogue with Ministers and other youth organisations.
Jasna Magic joined the preparatory team on a study session All Different All Equal, building on the legacy of the racism and anti-Semitism focused youth campaign that was organised in the 1990s. Lobbying for a follow-up campaign had already started and the organizers recommended that the campaign be broadened to include other forms of discrimination. This type of inclusiveness also helped strengthen relations with the youth organisations Minorities of Europe and Young Women from Minorities, both of which had been established after the first All Different All Equal campaign. Jasna Magic later would join the board of Young Women from Minorities.
During a second symposium on the All Different All Equal campaign IGLYO met unexpected resistance from Council of Europe Secretary General Terry Davis. When IGLYO asked him about his perspective on the outcome of the session, in which conference participants agreed to give a significant place to sexual minorities’ issues in the campaign, he declared that such issues could be brought forward to the European Court of Human Rights instead, but should not be focus of the campaign. This answer evoked strong resistance both amongst youth organisations as well as within the Council of Europe’s administration. Soon Terry Davis’ resistance would disappear.
Understanding(s) of Gender
The 22st IGLYO conference entitled Economics of Gender: Belonging to and Seeking Understanding(s) of Gender was held in Krakow, Poland. The conference broadly discussed Queer issues – this let to a name change in IGLYO. Queer was officially added to the acronym. The conference was organised with support of the Lambda Krakow branch, which organised a guided tour through the Jewish quarter in Krakow. During the conference, protests by homophobic groups took place outside of the hostel. Members of European Parliament were warned and Dutch socialist member Emine Bozkurt offered to create a video-link between her office and the conference venue to safeguard the safety of participants. Due to technical challenges this eventually could not happen, and thankfully no incidents took place at the venue.
The organisation held a study session entitled Bullying and Isolation in Education in Strasbourg, France. Focusing on positive and negative examples of addressing LGBTQ youth related concerns in educational settings, the most significant conclusion of the event was the apparent distinction between West European and Southern/Eastern European organisations. Southern/Eastern European organisations were hardly familiar with educational settings, whereas many organisations from Western Europe had a long experience with them. The study session was attended by two experts: Robbert Mizzi from Queer Peace International (Canada) and Birgit Hardt (ILGA-Europe). One of the conclusions of this study session was the need for evidence-based problem analysis of LGBTQ youth in Europe. This would later lead to the Social Exclusion research publication.
During the General Meeting in Krakow, Beverley Craig (UK) chairperson to the board, Darren Vella (Malta) secretary to the board, Fabio Saccá (Italy), Maxence De Barros (France), and Björn van Roozendaal were elected board members. In the summer of 2006, Maxence resigned from the board for personal reasons and was shortly after replaced by Bruno Selun (France), who arrived from partner organisation OBESSU.
Regained Support from the European Commission
After many years, IGLYO received administrative funding from the European Commission’s Youth in Action program. This helped IGLYO to involve more board members, setup regular meetings, and increase membership involvement lead to an increased productivity within the organisation. The board also started to organize board meetings in different countries, aiming to better understand local realities. During the 2006 board meetings, IGLYO was able to strengthen the contacts with member organisations in Amsterdam, Rome, Reims, and London. IGLYO also aimed to strengthen its work by setting-up ‘steering teams’ in thematic areas, but only the Communication team was successful in becoming self-sufficient . The HIV/AIDS/Trans/ Women’s issues’ teams were not successful due to limited organisational capacities.
In February, IGLYO launched a new website. The website was developed by an international team of experts and allowed IGLYO to better share information with members and other stakeholders. The new infrastructure was used to provide Member Organisations with resources for the All Different All Equal campaign. Following the new website, IGLYO changed its weekly update email into a monthly “bulletin” providing a professional digital report.
IGLYO also increased its participation in the European Youth Forum. It contributed to the development of a policy paper on Diversity, where the issue of multiple discrimination was explored in depth for the first time. At a Council of Members the organisation launched an ‘extraordinary resolution against homophobia,’ following an outcry of homophobic events in Europe during the spring of that year. The resolution received extensive media coverage. Following its success and the wish to have a clear commitment from the European Youth Forum and its member organisations, IGLYO proposed a European Youth Forum Resolution to an ‘integrated approach against homophobia,’ which was unanimously adopted by the General Assembly. Considering the membership of the Youth Forum, which also included conservative and religious based groups, the unanimous adoption of the resolution was remarkable.
The second edition of the Council of Europe All Different All Equal campaign was launched this year. Initially, IGLYO had to struggle for discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation and gender identity to be included within the frame of the Campaign. It was met with resistance from the Council of Europe. IGLYO participated in various coordination meetings, providing input on how youth organisations can best include LGBT issues. IGLYO also made available its expertise to various National Committees. Problems were experienced in Moldova and Poland where national authorities threatened to exclude LGBT issues. The campaign appeared to be a good vehicle to address this. IGLYO worked towards the full inclusion of LGBT issues in the campaign with member organisations, other youth organisations, and National Youth Councils. Within the framework of the campaign IGLYO distributed postcards and posters to raise awareness to the situation of LGBT young people.
Poland appeared to be an ongoing concern to IGLYO. Polish Minister of Education refused a Council of Europe educational manual that promoted homosexuality. This manual entitled ‘Compass’ was a tool for Human Rights education for Young People and it included one activity on sexuality. IGLYO, in cooperation with Polish member organisations, strongly protested against the action and mobilized political support against it happening. The Council of Europe later would strongly condemn the move by the Polish Minister.
IGLYO was present at a high level youth event organised by the Austrian presidency, and at a Social Exclusion summit, organised by the Finish EU presidency.
IGLYO heavily criticized the Roadmap to Gender Equality which the European Commission had developed in an attempt to mainstream gender policies. The paper excluded ‘gender identity’ completely, something IGLYO claimed was unacceptable.
Various other youth organisations invited IGLYO to contribute expertise to their projects. IGLYO was present at various Queer camps, a conference with various Green Youth parties, the Moldovan Gay Pride, the Young European Socialists’ Queer Easter, the IUSY (International Union of Social Youth) Summer Camp and the European Scout Meeting Roverway. IGLYO also presented its work in a meeting with political youth organisations facilitated by the European Youth Forum. At most occasions IGLYO presented its newly published research, which was instrumental in building new partnerships.
The European Student Union (ESIB) invited IGLYO to its Student Convention on the Lisbon Agenda, where IGLYO liaised with the organisation and its membership. IGLYO also attended the Moscow Pride to monitor whether local authorities would protect this event in line with internationally recognized human rights standards. The pride was met with great resistance and violence that year. Additionally, IGLYO participated in Global Conferences organised by the Swedish National Youth Council as well as the Greek National Youth Council, and in a Study Session on Violence organised by Young Women From Minorities.
Despite attempts to strengthen cooperation with ILGA, IGLYO reported to be disappointed about not having been in attendance at the ILGA world conference. It had not been assigned any type of scholarship to participate. Remarkably, many other young people during the event called for increased focus on young people’s issues, which in the months to follow opened a new opportunity for strengthening the cooperation with ILGA.
Social Exclusion Publication
During the spring of 2006, the joint research publication by ILGA-Europe and IGLYO Social Exclusion of LGBTQ young people in Europe was published. Ph.D researcher Judit Takács, ILGA-Europe EU policy officer Evelyne Paradis, and IGLYO board member Björn van Roozendaal jointly coordinated the project. ILGA-Europe contributed with its knowledge of policy making, and IGLYO offered its huge network of young people. The researcher was selected out of a group of 70 research applicants. The study provided an overview of existing research demonstrating how LGBTQ young people are socially excluded from society, but also collected examples of 754 young LGBTQ respondents from 37 different countries. To increase the response rate a questionnaire had been translated into 18 different languages.
The report stated the following: “Young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people across Europe face discrimination and exclusion in their everyday life. They experience estrangement from family, bullying and marginalization at school, which can lead to such problems as underachievement and school drop-out, low self-esteem and mental ill-health. These in turn have a negative impact on the capacity of young LGBT people to manage the transition from school to work and to become confident and independent adults who can contribute to society.” The 1000 available copies were soon disseminated and a second print was produced, demonstrating the timeliness of this research.
During a hearing organised in the European Parliament entitled Social Exclusion of LGBT young people in Europe, the research was presented. The meeting was hosted by Dutch MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld and attended by various other MEP’s, as well as representatives of youth and social organisations. Additionally, Bettina Schwarzmayr (Vice-President of the European Youth Forum) and the research coordinators addressed the participants.
The research was presented on numerous occasions throughout Europe. References to the research were made, amongst others, in various publications of the European Commission, the Council of Europe and the Office for Democratization and Human Rights of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
On the occasion of IDAHO, IGLYO was invited to attend a lunch event with Commissioners Spidla and Frattini in the European Parliament. IGLYO handed over the resolution that was earlier signed by many members of the European Youth Forum to Commissioner Frattini. Both the Social Exclusion publication as well as the resolution were used as lobby tools to emphasize the need for a horizontal EU anti-discrimination directive.
The 23nd IGLYO conference Beyond Coming Out: Discussing Mental Health Issues Among LGBT Youth and Communities was held in Riga, Latvia. The conference was organised in cooperation with the national Latvian member organisation Mozaika, and it brought the first international LGBT activity to Riga. The conference dealt with mental health issues and stress-related disorders, such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and substance abuse. Representatives exchanged experiences in setting-up peer counseling activities and other projects. British Conservative Member of the European Parliament John Bowis addressed the event. His political background triggered a critical discussion about his parties’ involvement with LGBT issues.
During the Mister Gay Europe Elections, IGLYO organised a debate on Love and Struggle in Amsterdam. Different politicians debated with young people on gay rights in Europe. Amongst them were chairpersons of all political youth groups in the Netherlands, jointly calling for an improved protection of LGBT people in Europe.
In 2007, Bev Craig announces her preliminary departure from the board for personal reasons. She is replaced by Lucy Nowottnick (Germany). Björn van Roozendaal is appointed chairperson.
Board Visits Belarus
Board meetings this year strengthened contacts with member organisations. They took place in Brussels, Oslo, Malaga, and most remarkably also in Minsk, Belarus (Europe’s “last dictatorship”). In an attempt to support the local movements breaking through, five board members obtained visas to travel to Belarus. Only once were the board’s activities disrupted. Whilst Belarusian president Lukashenko was leaving a palace opposite of the board’s hotel, the board had opened a window to let fresh air into the warm meeting room. This drew the attention of the police, which knocked on the door where the board convened. After realizing there was no reason to fear, the police left when the window was closed again.
In an attempt to further strengthen the involvement of member organisations, IGLYO setup an extensive membership consultation program, which would lead to a strategic plan covering the years 2008-2010. Many member organisations reacted to the consultation. ILGA-Europe director Patricia Prendiville and consultant Laura Rawnsley provided in-depth consultation to structure this process. The strategic plan was adopted during the General Meeting of Members.
For the first time in many years, IGLYO managed to organize a General Meeting of Members. In cooperation with the Spanish member organisation COLEGA’s, this meeting took place in December, in Malaga, Spain. The meeting gave floor to the adoption of a strategic plan covering the period 2008-2010, which included an activity plan and a budget for the upcoming years. It also provided a place for extensive dialogue on the organisation’s ‘ethos.’ The GMM gave light to many productive discussions, but there were also some controversies around subjects such as the importance of heteronormativity in IGLYO’s work, and the identity and scope of the organisation. Member organisations passed a motion that actively opened up IGLYO to members beyond the pan-European region.
During the General Meeting of Members, British MEP Michael Cashman, also chair of the European Parliaments’ Intergroup of LGBT rights, spoke at the event. Also the Mayor of Malaga, remarkably one of the drafters of the Spanish constitution, Francisco de la Torre addressed the event.
IGLYO started to publish its quarterly IGLYO on…. The thematic magazine focused each quarter on a different issue, addressing religion, strategies and education, and reflections from experts, members organisations, and partner organisations.
In 2007, the All Different All Equal campaign, launched in 2006, comes to a successful end. Many National Youth Councils and member organisations used the campaign to address the issues of LGBT young people. The campaign was successful in highlighting issues that were of concern to IGLYO.
2007 was also the European year of equal opportunities for all, initiated by the European Union. European NGO’s used the year to highlight the need for a horizontal anti-discrimination directive, which would extend the protection against discrimination to grounds outside of employment. IGLYO joins the political campaign by continuously raising attention to the need of such a directive, providing practical examples of the discrimination that young LGBT people face in the European Union. IGLYO participated in various Ministerial events relating to the thematic year.
IGLYO continued to strengthen its relations with the European Youth Forum by nominating Björn van Roozendaal for a position in the Council of Europe Affairs Commission of the organisation, a body that advises on youth policy matters relating to the Council of Europe. Björn is elected but due to organisational changes in the European Youth Forum, the body ceases to exist one year later. Nevertheless IGLYO was able to provide thorough feedback during the evaluation of the All Different All Equal campaign through this participation.
Together with ILGA-Europe, IGLYO launched a motion for a declaration in the European Parliament, which needed to get 393 MEP’s to sign in order to get adopted. The declaration was supported by members of the EP Intergroup on LGBT issues. The paper focuses in particular on the need for increased attention to the issue of homophobic bullying and called for insistence on EU Member States to fight homophobia in education through campaigns in schools and the media, ‘supported by the necessary administrative and legislative means.’ Despite a written statement issued by London’s mayor Ken Livingstone and cross-party support, the motion only gets 239 signatures, herewith not being adopted. MEP’s can only sign such documents whilst entering the plenary meeting room in the European Parliament. Interestingly the motion triggered response from Conservatives in the European Parliament, who said that homophobic bullying needs to be challenged in schools, as well as in sports.
IGLYO attended numerous activities aiming to mainstream LGBT issues into European Youth work. The Italian EU presidency organised a Youth Summit in Rome, building on the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, where participants strongly called for the need to respect diversity. IGLYO also continued to strengthen its relation with European Socialists by providing contributions to the PES Winter University in the European Parliament as well as through presence at the annual Queer Easter meeting in Berlin. IGLYO was invited to attend one of largest gay prides in the world – Madrid pride. IGLYO’s representative is invited to join high-level politicians leading the pride through Madrid. The Council of Europe invited IGLYO to provide a trainer for the World Scouts Jamboree. IGLYO provided input on basic human rights concepts. Similar contributions are made at various events taking place in Europe that year.
IGLYO’s social exclusion publication continued provide the organisation with opportunities to address young LGBT people’s issues. The Norwegian ministry of youth invited IGLYO to present the outcomes, together with the Educational Guidelines IGLYO was about to publish, which later would help the Norwegian Ministry of Children and Education to start the work of a team to address LGBT bullying in schools. The research was also presented to the German Ministry responsible for youth, leading to the development of a similar research initiative on a German level. The social inclusion research was also presented at the annual Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, organised by the Democratization and Human Rights Office (ODIHR) of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
The organisation held a study session with OBESSU (Organising Bureau for European Student Unions) called Understanding, Developing and Implementing LGBT-inclusive policies in European Secondary Schools. The event aimed to establish a standard for school policies inclusive of LGBT people. It led to a joint publication ‘Guidelines for an LGBTQ-inclusive Education,’ which was published later that year. The publication was launched at the General Meeting of Members in Malaga.
A second study session that same year entitled Building Bridges to the Unknown took place in Budapest, Hungary. It dealt with issues of faith, belief, and dialogue. Religious and non-religious LGBTQ youth activists gathered to explore paths of dialogue and strategies to gain support from religious groups to enhance the position of LGBTQ young people. The study session was complemented by two experts, Chris Newlands from the European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups, and Chris Sidoti from the Geneva-based NGO International Service for Human Rights.
A planned conference Building effective strategies to combat homophobia was cancelled at a very late stage in the planning process. The partnering member organisation did not manage to obtain the necessary funding to realize this event – it was rescheduled for 2008. For the board, this was reason to remind member organisations about their responsibility in organising activities: the board faced ongoing struggles in obtaining funding and called on members to increasingly rally local political support for hosting conferences.
By the end of 2007, Darren Vella, Fabio Saccá and Björn van Roozendaal stepped back from the board, whilst Bruno Selun and Lucy Nowottnick remained and were joined by Claire Anderson (UK), Simon Maljevac (Slovenia), Nanna Moe (Denmark), Augustas Cicelis (Lithuania), and Ilke Jaspers (Belgium). After a short period, Ilke Jaspers resigns from the board.
Darren and Björn were appointed to newly created positions to advise the board. These positions were created in order to ensure a better handover after a board transition.
Opening of a Brussels Office
The organisation obtained increased funding with the European Commission in the form of a tri-annual contract. IGLYO also received a large amount of core funding over four years from the Dutch Ministry of Education and LGBT emancipation. Together with the existing funding coming from the Council of Europe, this funding secured sustainability for the organisation for the years to come.
In particular, the Dutch support allowed IGLYO to open an administrative secretariat in Brussels. IGLYO moved in with ILGA, gaining a spacious office. The board hired Virga Prasmickaite (Lithuania) as administrator in the autumn of this year, who would become responsible for the administration of the organisation. In December, an official opening party took place, in which various partner organisations were present. Before opening the office, IGLYO had to deal with extensive bureaucracy in Belgium, including challenges with the registration of the organisation and employment arrangements. IGLYO (aisbl) was officially recognized in January 2009, and it embodies the Dutch organisation IGLYO that was founded in 1986. The transfer of legal personality, funds, membership, and other belongings will take until 2012 to be fully complete.
Board Member Nanna Moe represented IGLYO at the ILGA world conference, which took place in Vienna, Austria, to promote the Amsterdam conference which would take place the following year. IGLYO was also present at the ECOSY summer camp in Carpentras (France), represented by former board member Björn van Roozendaal.
During the General Assembly of the European Youth Forum, IGLYO addressed the plenary criticizing the often politicized divides that were part of the organisation. The intervention was supported by various other youth organisations and welcomed with a warm applaude.
Enlightenment, Peers, and Strategies
The 25th IGLYO conference entitled Enlightenment – Including LGBT Youth in School was held in Oslo, Norway. The event was organised in close cooperation with partner organisation OBESSU and Norwegian member organisation Skeiv Ungdom as a follow-up to the 2007 study session on education. It gathered 30 participants over 4 days, during which participants planned their own training in small groups and went into Norwegian classrooms to address homosexuality with local young people.
In addition, IGLYO organised the conference Building and implementing Strategies in Combating Homophobia, in Turin, Italy. This conference had been postponed in 2007.
IGLYO also organised the conference Empower Thy Peers in Berlin, Germany. The conference was organised with member organisation LAMBDA and took place alongside Berlin pride week. The project focused on the development of sustainable projects to strengthen communities – it was developed around a model of simulation exercises. Participants identified an ongoing need to strengthen their national/local work around peer empowerment. The Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit acted as conference patron at the event.
In cooperation with ILGA-Europe, IGLYO executed a project on Intergenerational Dialogue. The AGE-project looked at issues that different generations of LGBT people deal with, and aimed at enhancing dialogue between generations to improve understanding of each other’s realities. One of the goals of this project was also to develop innovative ways to challenge the isolation which elderly LGBT people often experience. The project included two meetings in Berlin, Germany, and in Brussels, Belgium.