Moldova is one of the smallest countries of the former Soviet Union. But size doesn’t matter. Already for more than twenty years the Information Centre GENDERDOC-M has been promoting Rights for LGBT people in Chisinau, the capital of the Country.
Last week from the 15th-19th of May, the activists of GENDERDOC-M organized the 18th Moldova Pride Festival. Their motto was, I am ok! (“Sunt ok“).The extensive program focused on a number of themes: invisible teenagers, overcoming social prejudices, safer sex promotion, just to name some of them. (The detailed program you can find here: http://gdm.md/en/content/moldova-pride). They also offered the possibility for parents of LGBT people to get together. On Saturday parents and relatives of LGBT people from Moldova, Russia and Ukraine took part in a mini-workshop about mental traumas. Moldova was the first of the former Soviet Union countries to start working with parents. A recent interview with Elena Anmegikyan, the mother of the first Genderdoc-M CEO tells the story of how it was when she first got the news that her son was gay. Elena is also an active mother in the parents’ group by GENDERDOC-M. She also talks about how they work with parents in Moldova. This information can be found here:
(article and movie in Russian).
On Sunday the parents marched together with their children, human rights activists and engaged citizens in the solidarity march “I am ok!“. For the first time ever a Member of Parliament marched with them, and also ENP together with the parents form TERGO Ukraine, founding members of ENP.
21-22 March, 2019, Venice
The round-table conference on violence in the education sector was organized by the SOGIESC (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression and Sexual Characteristics) Unit of the CoE.
Olena Hloba from Ukraine and Louisa Grech from Malta were invited to bring their practices from their NGOs’ perspective to public authorities coming from 5 different countries, namely Italy, United Kingdom, Finland, Czech Republic and Lithuania.
After presenting ENP and sharing their practices, they were able to participate in a more pro-active part of the event in which future initiatives for cooperation amongst countries and Public/Civil Society entities were discussed.
Olena Globa, ENP – Ukraine, said, in her presentation, that her country is very homophobic and there is no legislation in favour of LGBTI+. Schools are told to ignore any complaints about homophonic bullying while families do not really accept their LGBTI+ children and tend to send them away from home. During professional training for teachers, it has become evident that there is an urgent and necessary need to conduct training in dealing with diversity issues. The international experience and positive peer pressure are important especially when meeting people who have gone through similar experiences.
Louisa Grech, ENP – Malta, spoke about the laws in Malta with regards to LGBTI+. She also spoke about the relationship with the Church. In Education, there are specific documents targeting bullying and LGBTI+ issues. ·Schools have personal and social development sessions with all school children from the age of 6, tackling issues like diversity and inclusion.· She pointed out that schools still face many challenges but there is evidence of much goodwill and commitment on the part of teachers. ·She presented some of the working tools that are being used in schools.
This was a brain-storming session to understand how the CoE could help other countries with resources and support to raise awareness and to deal with issues related to LGBTI+ in schools. This project is intended to continue to expand and gain momentum over the coming years.
The European Network of Parents of LGBTI+ persons congratulates the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau on the inauguration of the LGTBI Centre of Barcelona this month.
May the Centre serve as a bridge for exchange, discussion and support towards more acceptance for the LGBTI community in Barcelona.
With the same voice we strongly condemn the recent attack on its headquarters when a group of people broke glass windows and wrote threatening graffiti including LGBT-phobic content.
According to the Barcelona City Council and the Platform of LGTBI Entities of Catalonia, the attack on the Centre in Barcelona happened only a week after the inauguration of this new centre (27 Jan 2019).
We stand in solidarity with our fellow members of the LGBTI+ community and shout out for justice in favour of equality for all.
European Network of Parents of LGBTI+ Persons
AGEDO / Napoli Pride 14 July 2018
AMPGYL / Madrid Pride July 2018
DRACHMA / Malta Pride 15 September 2018
LISTAG / Banned Istanbul Pride 1 July 2018
P R E S S S T A T E M E N T
Re: Romanian Constitutional Referendum, 2018
The European Network of Parents of LGBTI+ Persons (ENP) is saddened and appalled by the recent events taking place in Romania, regarding the push to outlaw same-sex marriage.
The proponents of the referendum being held on October 7th are aiming to keep a portion of the population as second-class citizens, which goes contrary to EU’s policy on equality. It is a planned attack on love, by those who still hold the thought that love has a gender, which it obviously doesn’t.
At present, the Romanian Constitution defines the family as the free-willed marriage “between spouses”but the initiative’s promoters want to amend it to state that a family is the union between a man and a woman, so as to make same-sex marriages unconstitutional in Romania. Therefore some questions arise: Will this be a strategy adopted by other European States? Is the European Union going to just watch states dismantle their own equality legislation and do nothing? What collective measures are being taken to redress this dangerous path, if other countries choose to do the same in future?
ENP stands in support of all Romanian LGBTI+ people, their parents and families in protest of this senseless referendum and holds to account, those public officers who are shying away from their responsibility to safeguard equality for all.
In February 2017, while parents met in Malta for ENP’s launch assembly, we found an opportunity to ask a few parents some common questions. The different responses illustrate the challenging reality parents found themselves in and testify to the joys stemming from acceptance. Overcoming the initial hurdles, these parents show us that unconditional love is the key to building strong family relationships. Parents are activists in their own right, simply by being themselves and telling their story.
These brief interviews have different parents answering one common question. These different questions will help you browse easily depending on your interest and concern. They may be used and shared for the purpose of shedding light on a family reality which sadly, only few people dare talk about or share openly. But we at ENP are determined to change all that!
Wishing you all a wonderful International Family Equality Day!
“There are insecure family environments as there are insecure countries for the former we want to be an example, for the latter we want to unite our efforts and give them strength” – Margarida Lima de Faria, President of Amplos
“Through unconditional love of our LGBT children we find ourselves immersed in a world that initially may seem daunting and frightening. However with the right support, courage and strength we have the opportunity to go far beyond our own reality and partake in and embrace what has the potential of being a very beautiful reality” – Joseph Peregin, Chair of ENP
“This conference is so necessary and important, because it’s the first time that LGBTIQ+ parents come together with ‘their’ parents. A re-connection, it is like to pile up the pieces of an broken puzzle. And we are bridge-builders to the society at large. So, let’s go ahead to change the laws and the social climate, we are ALL family.” – Björn Sieverding, Secretary of NELFA
“In Portugal, there’s a big gap between our advanced legislation and the social climax. We need strong public policies to overcome this and to move forward in the direction of Full equality for LGBTI people and their Families” – Nuno Pinto, President of ILGA Portugal
“When we are strong LGBTI communities, when we make space for the many different voices in the community, we are also stronger to burst some bubbles in society to reach out to allies and create strong voices for LGBTI rights” – Katrin Hugendubel, Advocacy Director of ILGA-Europe
“As a Parents’ Network, in defence of ALL our children, we can infiltrate all pockets of society and religious settings where we can speak out and share our stories. This helps to influence public opinion in a style and manner that is more acceptable. It disarms the opposition too.” – Joseanne Peregin, Board Member of ENP
“LGBTI FAMILIES ARE FAMILIES LIKE OTHERS BUT NOT AS OTHERS” – Dominique Boren, President of NELFA
“Families Europe works to represent the voice of all families at EU level. Families in their diversity is representing the reality of society in the EU today” – Paola Panzeri, Senior Policy and Advocacy Officer COFACE
“Knowledge is the key to change the world” – Camilla Gisslow, Member of ENP from Sweden
“Eu amo o meu filho, por isso estou aqui, e luto todos os dias pela sua felicidade” – “I love my son, so I’m here, and I fight every day for his happiness” – Cristina Cardosa, Member of Amplos
“My gender is not defined by my genitals” – Isaac Rodrigues, Board Member of rede ex aequo from Portugal
“O direito a ser, na identidade, expressão e corporalidade“ – “the right to be: in identity, expression and corporealy” – Daniela Filipe Bento, Board Member of ILGA Portugal
“LGBTQI parents are not European citizens as others because they can’t move all over Europe without loosing rights and protection for their KIDS and themselves, they are second class EU citizens” – Giuseppina La Delfa, Member of Associazione Famiglie Arcobaleno
“I have a quotation from my teammate Züleyha Baransel from Listag (Families and friends of LGBTI+ in Turkey):
Even if the things we thought I knew about my child have changed, her smell never changed. I smell my child like I did when s/he was born” – A.Unal from LISTAG
“In a current European context where we are once again hearing expressions like “we and the other”, where human rights are constantly under threat, it is important to ensure that civil movements unite to win and regain rights. Throughout this process, and peaceful resistance are indispensable” – Ana Aresta, Vice-President of ILGA Portugal
“Rainbow families want to be able to move freely within Europe and preserve their rights. Don’t treat us like second class citizens.” – Eleni Maravelia, Member of FLG Famílies LGTBI
“Polish rainbow families are fighting for their rights and recognition. Thanks to the conference we are more empowered and hopeful” – Joanna Śmiecińska, Member of Tęczowe Rodziny from Poland
“Politicians are always saying ‘society isn’t ready’. The reality of our society is that rainbow families exist in Croatia, they were here before, new families will be here in the future, and we need protection and support now, and let’s work on this together” – Daniel Martinovic, Coordinator of Dugine obitelji from Croatia
“Talking about my family experience in daily life, walking through visibility and daring” – Ana Paula Góis
“A normative family or person is somehow an artificial narrative, because under the surface, society has always been diverse” – Ricardo Fuertes, Advisor to the Lisbon City Councillor for Education and Social Rights
In March 2018, the statutory Annual General Meeting of European Network of Parents of LGBTI+ will take place in Lisbon, Portugal to coincide with NELFA’s conference which will help us enhance visibility and collaboration.
Dear European parents of LGBTI+ persons,
What appeared to be just a dream has now become an actual reality. Yes, ENP has been formally registered for one year now and we continue to bring European parents of LGBTI+ people together, to support one another and to grow as one movement.
We invite you to join us at the upcoming International Event being held in Lisbon, Portugal from Thursday 15th – Sunday 18th March 2018.
ENP and NELFA CONFERENCE
On the 16th ENP will hold a Conference together with NELFA who are LGBTI+ families. AMPLOS and ILGA-Portugal will be the host organizations. The Conference goal is to maximize collaboration and networking most fruitfully. This will also enhance visibility and create a platform for journalists and political and civil society leaders.
We will be under one roof from different corners of Europe: forming one movement, one voice, with one clear message – SPEAK OUT: LGBTI & FAMILY RIGHTS.
ENP GENERAL ASSEMBLY
On the 17th ENP will hold its first General Assembly in which you will discuss its mission and strategic plans after electing the new Board.
Don’t miss this opportunity to meet the people that matter in helping to bring about the necessary social change towards full inclusion, affirmation and dignity of LGBTI+ persons and their families, in Europe. Be on the right side of history and support ENP in its endeavours to be a voice for those who fear to use theirs; to show solidarity with those who are suffering stigma and social exclusion in their country. Let’s be ambassadors of a growing number of Parents who are propelling into a European movement, together as parents ‘coming out’ as one voice.
We welcome you into the ENP team with open arms.
Be very welcome in Lisbon
Margarida Lima de Faria
o.b.o ENP Board
March 15th – 18h 00m-20h 30m Session in Parliament (reserved)
March 16th – 9h 30m – 18h 30m – Conference (at ISEG)(public)
10h00 Opening Session:
Maria Manuel Leitão Marques, Minister of the Presidency and of Administrative Modernisation
Manuel Mira Godinho, President of ISEG
Nuno Pinto, President of ILGA Portugal
Margarida Faria, President of AMPLOS
Joseph Peregin, Chair of ENP
Guiseppina La Delfa, Vice President of NELFA
Video message from Terry Reintke, Co-Chair of the EP LGBT Intergroup
Video message from Jonas Gunnarsson, Rapporteur for the CoE PACE on “Private and family life: achieving equality regardless of sexual orientation”
Round-table: The role of European Networks in promoting LGBTI equality
Moderation by Jorge Gato, Researcher at FCPEUP
Paola Panzeri, Senior Policy and Advocacy officer COFACE
Joseanne Peregin, Board Member of ENP
Katrin Hugendubel, Advocacy Director of ILGA-Europe
Dominique Boren, President of NELFA
Trans and Non-Binary Identities in Childhood and Youth
Moderation by Carla Moleiro, Researcher at ISCTE-IUL
Camilla Gisslow, Member of ENP (Sweden)
Cristina Cardoso, Member of AMPLOS
Aslan Unal, Member of LISTAG (Turkey)
Isaac Rodrigues, Board member of rede ex-aequo
Dani Bento, Board Member of ILGA Portugal
Parenting realities: the persistent issues in various European contexts
Moderation by Paulo Trigo Pereira, Member of the Portuguese Parliament
Bjorn Sieverding, Secretary of NELFA
Ana Aresta, Vice-President of ILGA Portugal
Daniel Martinovic, Coordinator of Dugine obitelji (Croatia)
Joanna Smiecinska, Member of TRiP (Poland)
Eleni Maravelia, Member of FLG (Spain)
Carlos Duarte, Vice-President of the Commission for Citizenship and Equality
Ricardo Fuertes, Advisor to the Lisbon City Councillor for Education and Social Rights
19h 30m – Reception in City Hall (public)
March 17th – 9h00- 12h30m – ENP – General Assembly ENP (only for ENP members) at ISEG
14h 30m – ENP Plenary + Workshops (open to all ENP participants) at ISEG
18h – 10h- 13h – Visit to the Museum of Freedom and Resistance (public – inscriptions) + lecture – The Prossecution of LGBT persons during the Portuguese dictatorship by São José Almeida.
V Dinastia Guest House – http://www.vdinastia.pt
In Ljubljana, we attended a safe space meeting of parents of LGBTs, a long interview with one of the main local daily newspapers and finally we were guest speakers at a rather unique cultural Centre frequented by artists, progressive option setters & members of the LGBT community etc
The site that advertised our event
The following is a translation of the event description
In a conversation with Joseanne and Joseph Peregin, we will touch on the topic of faith and the rights of LGBT people.
Joseanne and Joseph Peregin come from Malta, where they are founder members of the Drachma Group for parents of LGBT persons, the European Network of Parents of LGBT People and the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics.
They are also active in the Christian Life Community in Malta.
In a conversation led by Dr. Roman Kuhar, they share their experience of activism for the rights of LGBT people as Catholic parents of a gay son.