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TGEU Board Share About ILGA-Europe Conference and Their Vision as Newly Elected Governing Body

TGEU’s board members, DinahMiles and Mimi who were at ILGA-Europe’s Annual Conference, report on their journey and share their vision as newly elected governing body.

Creating an empowering space for trans participants at ILGA-Europe

We started the ILGA-Europe conference with a safe space for trans people where we had 30 minutes to connect with other trans participants. We briefly spoke about our wellbeing, expectations and wishes for the conference. It was clear to us all that these 30 minutes were too short to connect and share experiences, so we claimed an open-space slot during one of the other conference days.

At this open-space slot of around 90 minutes we gathered with around 40 trans people from all over Europe and Central Asia for trans participants of the conference to build their networks and learn from the experiences of other activists. After thinking about which issues we wanted to exchange on, we together chose 5 topics to work on in smaller groups. Towards the end of the open space each group pitched their discussion to the larger group.

Sharing new visions & direction for TGEU

During the conference we also had the opportunity to meet with some of our donors and funders. This gave us the opportunity to talk about our vision as the new board for the direction of TGEU.

“Intersectionality at core of our governing body”

We explained the experiences in intersectionality that many people on the new board bring to TGEU. Including trans migrants, refugees, sex workers, trans people living with HIV, and with a diversity of ethnic backgrounds. We also shared how we are exploring the ruptures in governance and management structures since we stepped into the organisation in July.

As reported on by several consultants who have worked with TGEU in the past few years, and as well in the Anti-Activity Report published in June, there are many conflicting and important issues such as racism, ableism and a lack of direction in intersectional governance.

This is what leads our new direction in governance, and our task and vision as a board to re-organise and dismantle the internalised and unintentional existing racist and colonial structures that exist within TGEU. They manifest themselves through management styles and invisible power structures within the organisation.

“Act for under-served trans communities”

The vision of TGEU’s board is to add on meaningful work for under-served trans communities to the work and projects which our organisation already carries out. This means extending our policy and community building work with trans sex workers, trans communities living with HIV-Aids-TB, Black, brown and of color trans communities, Roma trans communities, and we need to work harder on policies that deal with ableism and on centering our disabled trans community members.

“Making space for people from these communities to work with us”

We need to make space for people from these communities to work with us, while analysing all of our work through an intersectional lens in order to make it more meaningful and inclusive.  We also talked about the thoughts for our work in Central Asia where we are quite new, and where we need to work with a decolonized mindset. Meaning TGEU should be a tool to give local representatives the lead in their region to grow work for our communities. A wish that also comes to us clearly from our partners in the Global South.

“TGEU should be a tool to give local representatives the lead in their region”

We furthermore spoke on working in consortium style with sex workers’ unions and international networks such as ICRSE and NSWP.

We are pleased to learn that our vision, on keeping our work which has been done for years, plus adding new agendas to our work that include the most marginalized trans communities, is one that our donors share with us and continue to support.