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The current Board and Steering Committee of TGEU were elected at the 4th Transgender Council in Dublin. Board and Steering Committee serve for a two year term (2012-2014). For more information on their tasks please refer to our statutes.
Photo: Stein Wolff Frydenlund
As a national activist, working for the Polish Trans-Fuzja Foundation since 2008, I have been active on many levels, including fundraising, human rights advocacy and basic trans*sensitive trainings for various groups. My international activism began with the membership in ANSO's Board from 2010 until 2011. At that time, in September 2010 I have been also voted into the Steering Committee of Transgender Europe, during the 3rd Transgender Council in Malmo.
My current international expertise revolves around fundraising and Central-Eastern Europe support – along with Kristian Randjelovic, Richard Kohler and Kemal Ordek, we have been successfully widening TGEU's activities in the CEE and the Balkans, ensuring the ongoing support for local transgender communities, organizations and initiatives. But it does not end there. TGEU's current position – changing from a volunteer-based organization into a professionalized body is something I have been a part of for the last two years and would love to be able to move forward with the help of a newly elected Steering Committee.
Thanks to Maria Sundin, with whom I have been co-chairing since February 2012, and Kemal Ordek we were able to address sex work issues within TGEU – a subject that has been ignored and invisibilized more than enough in trans human rights activism.
Born in 1987, I'm more on the queer side of trans. Not choosing to identify with any gender, using they and vee as pronouns with a slightly feminized ft* expression.
My name is Kemal Ördek and I have been a trans* and sex workers’ rights activist for more than 5 years. I have been actively involved in several LGBT rights NGOs in Turkey, carrying out several programs on trans* and sex workers’ rights issues. I coordinated a national direct legal assistance program for trans* sex workers who are victims of discrimination, hate crimes and police violence between 2009 – 2012. I also carried out monitoring and reporting projects focusing on the human rights of trans* and sex workers in Turkey. Another focus of my work has included advocacy and lobbying for the inclusion of SOGI in legislations on violence against women, anti-discrimination, hate crimes and the new constitution.
I have been one of the Steering Committee Members of Transgender Europe since October 2011 and I I currently work for the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) as the policy officer, developing advocacy tools to increase the visibility of trans* sex workers’ issues and needs.
I run for the TGEU Steering Committee because I think it is important to have a voice from Turkey, being one of the countries where trans people face high level of atrocities. Apart from the issue of representation, I think my expertise on the issues of hate crimes, institutional violence and discrimination is important for the development of further policies and strategies for TGEU. Finally, being a trans* sex worker, I think it is important to continue the work of TGEU Sex Work Policy that I have been included in since October 2011.
It gets better, as well for trans people in Switzerland. I guess it’s safe to say that a great impact had my effort three years ago to create Transgender Network Switzerland. Since the beginning, I took care of it as co-president. A time that taught me a lot about lobbying, trans diversity, leading, networking, multilingual working. But now, as TGNS is running successfully and a great mind is ready to lead it, I see my home-work as done. It’s time for new challenges.
In my professional life, I work as a lawyer at University, writing my PhD in public health law. Having specified as well in trans rights, I got the opportunity not only to contribute to the Hammarberg report, but as well to cooperate with the steering committee and support TGEU with legal advice already.
Beside, I’m an elected member of the City of Zurich Parliament since 2004. Having started to transition in 2008, I had to make a public coming-out - a great lesson about dealing with the media in relation to trans issues.
It would be my pleasure to contribute to our common work with my experience in inter/national activism, my legal knowledge, my political background and my network among other trans-activists and our allies in Europe.
Arja Voipio 58 is a skilled lobbyist with broad understanding of trans issues. She is a seasoned speaker and writer. She has arranged various events. In her professional life she has experience in leading complex projects both at national and at EU level. Arja has experience in advocating legal change. She has an MSc(BA).
All TGEU member organisations in Finland support her candidacy. She would strengthen the lobbying power of TGEU. Her managerial skills would be welcome at a time when TGEU is reforming itself. She is first of all a team player.
Arja is currently the vice-chair of Trasek, a nationwide Finnish association advocating trans and inter rights. She is also the chair of the transgender policy working group of Seta, the national LGBTI federation and a member of the board of HeSeta, the biggest regional member association of Seta.
Arja thinks her skills could best be utilised in organisation development, policy and lobbying as well as in capacity building but she is open to other challenges as well. She tells the main motivation behind her candidacy is a strong urge to fight the injustices trans people face in Europa and elsewhere.
My name is Kristian Ranđelović, and I am coordinator of Trans Section in Gayten-LGBT. I am cooperating with the an unofficial Belgrade Gender Dysphoria Medical Team in order to provide help and support to other trans persons for over 15 years now. I have been systematically developing programs for trans individuals and organizations in ex Yugoslavia region. I have been invited and participated as an expert and lecturer in various meeting, seminar and conferences organized by other NGO and professional organizations. I have also participated in the creation of the first trans site (www.transserbia.org).
As a member of Steering Committee I am part of CEE working group and I also work on intersex issues. Through my work in Steering Committee I feel that I am part of a big trans family.
I think I am and can be very productive and helpful working in TGEU Steering Committee. I agree with mission of TGEU which I support and apply in my daily work- improving the living conditions of transgender people in Eastern part of Europe.
My contribution is and can be very practical. I am learning and I am willing to learn a lot more, develop my skills and share my experience and knowledge with others.
Laura Leprince is 46 years old, French trans activist who just joined TGEU steering committee in November 2011 and running for a new period in 2012-2013.
At the national level, she has been focused on advocacy within NGO like HES - LGBT group of "Parti Socialiste" - and currently as leader of ID Trans' which is a T experts group lobbying towards French authorities. Since the French Presidential election, she has been part of commission hearings at the Senate, the Parliament and the Ministry of Justice that ended up with the first inclusion of gender identity as ground of discrimination in French penal Law (July 31st 2012).
As a recap, her main achievements since 2007 :
- lobbying activities and projects on transgender rights since 2007 within LGBT socialist NGO HES, particularly involved in socialist parliamentary working group on trans issues since 2009 and in drafting law proposal on LGR in december 2011
- Contribution to the FRA report on Homophobia and Discrimination on Grounds of Sexual Orientation in the EU Member States (working group meeting in Copenhagen in May 2008)
- Focus on transgender families topics in 2008-2009 with on-line and printed publications, including one English translation - several public talks about it since then
- Transgender Youth survey done with HES and leMAG in 2009, translated in English for IGLYO
- Active participant of first TGEU capacity planning meeting in Budapest 2009.
- Map of Transphobia (testimonials and analysis) built on documentary fund from ILGA Europe, hosted by IDT (id-trans.org)
She will be enthusiastic to contribute her best to TGEU's outstanding work done so far, starting with a focus on higher visibility of TGEU in France - bringing new members and demonstrating that TGEU skills is instrumental in getting more political move for transgender rights and LGR at home. As an example, a communication campaign against French state and an announcement of new French transgender case proceedings before ECtHR will be kicked off at the TGEU council in Dublin.
I am J. Vreer Verkerke, where the J. is for my sort of female 'past' and Vreer for the current genderqueer-trans whatever present. I am from Amsterdam, the Netherlands (small self important country between UK and Germany). I am an ex MTF transsexual, a “transman born in the wrong body”, living as genderqueer educator and activist
As a seasoned trans activist with many years of work in self help, grass roots activism and NGO work on LGBT issues and trans/gender/queer interests. Some highlights:
– Several years of experience in social support for trans people
– Founder of the first genderqueer group in the Netherlands (Noodles, leading an underground existence these days)
– Co-organizer of the first world transgender conference on gender identity in Barcelona 2010
– Two and a half years work experience as policy and advocacy officer at Transgender
Network Netherlands where I co-wrote proposal for better gender recognition legislation, much like the Argentinian one (still waiting to be tabled in parliament)
– Active in trans* health care and human rights advocacy work since 2010
– Research assistance for Human Rights Watch report on the situation of trans in the Netherlands (“Controlling bodies, denying identities”)
– Coordinating FRA LGBT survey in the Netherlands
With my national and international experience I can help TGEU in getting in touch with the new emerging forms of trans, being more queer. I will help TGEU and its members convince our governmental partners that only a human rights based approach can do justice to our needs. Until all trans people are free, no trans person is really free. I'll help Europe to become more of a trans* paradise than it ever imagined and fight for trans acceptance by queering the world, one issue at a time. I dance the diplomatic political dance as well as more unruly political pogo. I make a difference.
A lutta continua!
¡L*s trans* unid*s jamas serán vencid*s!
Fight transphobia, not transgender!
I’m Nathan Gale, I’m 29 and live in Leith – the queer part of Edinburgh! I identify as non-binary and have recently started using gender neutral pro-nouns.
My professional experience of working for trans* equality and human rights comes from my role as development officer for the Scottish Transgender Alliance, where I have worked for nearly two years. A highlight of my post has been working to ensure Scotland’s same sex marriage legislation is as trans inclusive as it can be.
As a trans* and disabled activist I regularly use the arts to raise awareness of the issues affecting trans* people with intersectional identities and have been involved in political theatre for over a decade.
I’m delighted to have been welcomed on to the TGEU steering committee and am very much looking forward to getting to work. I hope to be able use my strategic vision to help towards increasing the capacity of TGEU to advance trans* rights in Europe. I think other steering committee members might get fed up of hearing me talk about the multiple discriminations affecting particular groups of trans* people, such as those who are D/deaf and disabled, migrant, or black and minority ethnic, but I will continue undeterred!
My name is Arian Kajtezović, born in 1986 in Zagreb, Croatia, where I lived until 1995. I spent my adolescence growing up in Canada, where, during my high school years, I got my first taste of activism when I formed a student group called “The Rainbow Club” which brought together students of various sexual orientations and gender identities for discussions, educational films, and other activities aimed at educating the student body about LGBT issues, as well as building alliances between LGBT and non-LGBT students. From then on I was hooked, knowing improving life for the LGBT community is where my heart is, and that this would be an ideal area to dedicate my life’s work to.
I moved to Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2004, and back to Croatia in late 2010. I attended a trans* support group in Zagreb, coordinated by Kristian Ranđelović from Belgrade, Serbia, and a trans* workshop organized in Rijeka one weekend in late 2011, again by Kristian and the Lesbian organization Rijeka (LORI). This workshop ignited a spark in me to fully devote myself to trans* activism, and in the months that followed, Trans Aid Croatia started developing and the organization was officially born in February, 2012, with a number of parents of various backgrounds. From that moment on, I’ve felt we’ve truly been a growing, close-knit family, taking care of each other and working on empowering the trans* community through a support system, various public events such as discussions, panels, workshops, etc., advocating for legal changes and adequate health care, and so on.
As an organization, we joined TGEU before the 4th TGEU Council in Dublin in 2012. Since then, I have only had positive interactions with other organizations and individuals from TGEU (including various Members, the Steering Committee and Staff). Thus, I view TGEU as my close, but extended family. It is my hope that all of us as members of this large family will continue to be supportive of each other, giving and receiving help, advice and support, sharing our views and ideas, and working together towards our goals. I believe my positivity and optimism, along with my passion, dedication and drive for accomplishing concrete tasks, step by step, will help push us forward in achieving our goals.
I am Maria Sundin, a Swedish transactivist and present Secretary and acting Co-chair of Transgender Europe. I selfidentify as a trans* woman. I had already been working in international trans* activism for a number of years when I was elected to the Executive Board of Transgender Europe at the 3rd European Transgender Coouncil 2010 in Malmö. I was also appointed by RFSL, the Swedish Federation for LGBTQ Rights to be in charge of the Swedish Organizing team for the Council.
I’m filing my candidacy for a second term with Transgender Europe, this time as one of TGEU:s two Co-chairs as well as a mmeber of the Steering Committee. To work with my present Co-chair Wiktor Dynarski has been a fantastic experience and together we have built a stong team leading the work of the Steering Committee and the Executive Board. And I hope we will be given the honour to serve another two year period as a team.
During the past two years Transgender Europe has seen an amazing development increasing our membership to more than 55 organisations in 32 countries and well over a hundred indvidual members. We finally succeded in securing a core-funding for TGEU which has enabled us to employ an Exective Director as well as much needed staff which was a development we could only hope for when we met for the first Steering Committee meeting in Malmö 2010.
Among the issues closest to my heart are human rights of all trans* and gender variant people including the right to health care, legal gender reconition, non-discrimination and the removal of trans* identities as psychiatric disorders as well as finally stopping the HIV/AIFS epidemic among our people.
I’m also a member of the Board of RFSL and of WPATH: Membership Committee and the MSMGF Transgender Reference Group. My candidacy for Co-chair is supported by RFSL, RFSL Malmö Transworking Group, Free Personality Expression Sweden and KIM.
For me being trans* means getting empowered and empowering others. When I came out as a trans* woman I was first a receiver of advice and a participant in events others organised but later I became a member of Lambda Berlin-Brandenburg's advisory board, a LGBT youth organisation, and a leader of a youth group for trans* people. I started to give workshops at trans* conferences in Berlin and Munich and writing a column for a German newspaper from a trans* perspective. Without those opportunities of proving myself I would not be who and where I am today.
Running for the steering committee of TGEU seems to be another such opportunity. If I would become a member of the steering committee I hope to gain insights into the workings of policy making on a European level and be part of an exchange between activists with different backgrounds. I see my contribution in my own experiences, especially those I made during my stays abroad in Sweden, India, and China, and in the knowledge I gained through studying, first, Asian Studies and, currently, history. The future challenges and possibilities of the trans* movement lie beyond national borders and cultural backgrounds.
picture: Anja Weber
as of May 2008:
picture: Anja Weber