ShoutOut’s Managing Director, Bella FitzPatrick, and ShoutOut’s Chairperson, Declan Meehan were both delighted to be able to attend ILGA Europe’s annual conference which was held in Brussels in late October.
Declan and Bella represented both ShoutOut and Cara Friend while at ILGA Europe. The theme was Politics For Change and focused on the importance of legislative progress for the LGBTQIA+ community across Europe and Central Asia. Bella writes about her experience at ILGA Europe here:
On the first day we were welcomed to Brussels by the lovely ILGA team and we were more than ready to dive in! It was great to meet all the bi+ activists at the space for bisexual people to meet each other before the conference kicked off.
The first meeting we went to was hosted by IGLYO where we met people doing similar work from all over Europe and Central Asia. We heard about IGLYO’s amazing work indexing the school environment in terms of LGBT inclusion which you can see here.
The next day at the opening panel, we were addressed by the VP of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans who spoke on the solidarity needed for LGBT rights from society at large, as everyone benefits from equality.
We were then treated to an amazing speech by Ireland’s very own Ailbhe Smyth as she spoke about recent journey towards equality which has taken place here in Ireland.
We attended a very interesting session hosted by GLSEN on research which has been conducted in countries throughout Europe detailing the climate in schools for LGBT students. This lead to a meeting with everyone who works in the area of schools. We met with people from Iceland, Italy, Germany, Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania and Denmark who do similar work to ShoutOut. We are now in touch and will be sharing knowledge and resources.
It was another fantastic year at ILGA, we learned a lot and met a lot of great people! Next year ILGA will be held in Prague and we hope to attend again!