The Queer Stagiaires enjoyed the fruits of their efforts on Wedneday 10 May, attending their self-organised seminar and discussion on LGBTQ equality in a context of shrinking civil society space in Europe.
Over 20 trainees from the Council, Commission and Parliament were in attendance.
They heard from Daina Ruduša, advocacy and programmes officer in ILGA-Europe.
She presented the question of Pride parades and LGBTQ+ visibility, placing it in the context of a shrinking civil society space in Europe, and questioning the limitations of its assembly.
Bringing her audience through the origins and purposes of Pride, she addressed questions on corporate involvement in Pride parades, issues arising from heightened security measures and the importance of visibility amongst rising populist trends.
Her discussion left food for thought, and- in between mouthfuls of snacks- trainees came together to discuss her raised points.
The event wrapped up with trainees debating topics together as raised from the seminar, as well as interacting with one another from the perspective of legislative rights and social responses to LGBTQ+ visibility in their respective member states.
Queer Stagiaires are moving from strength to strength, as the coming month promises a fantastic follow up of events.
Most notably, they will be marching at Brussels Pride on Saturday 20 May, taking inspiration from the previous batch of inter-institutional LGBTQ+ trainees who were the first group to march in the parade representing the EU institutions.
Egalité – LGBTI Staff of the EU institutions, Queer Stagiaires and Stand up for Europe Bruxelles will march together under the name “Europe – United in Diversity”.
Queer Stagiaires encourages all trainees to join them in promoting as visible a representation at the parade as possible.
Full details on the group’s involvement, how to get involved and where to find them at the parade can be found here.
Furthermore, to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, the Equal Opportunities Office of the General Secretariat of the Council of the EU have also organised an event ‘Identity and Authenticity in the Workplace’ on 17 May 2017.
This event, will bring contributions from high level speakers Silvan Agius, Director for Human Rights and Integration at the Maltese Ministry for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties. He contributed to the Gender Identity, Gender Expression & Sex Characteristics Act making Malta become the best country in the world regarding LGBTI rights. Julia Ehrt, Executive Director of Transgender Europe will make the case for LGBTI equality and bringing their impressive expertise on trans activism to the room.
All trainees and staff from the other European Institutions are welcome to attend.
Should you be interested to attend, you can send a confirmation email with your name, surname, nationality, ID and date of birth to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, on May 23rd, the EEAS will be holding a Lunch & Learn session on LGBT Issues and the EU’s External Policy, with an address by speaker Ms Victoria Correa, Human Rights Officer for LGBTI at the EEAS.
Check out further details including how to register here.