Hallo! Wie geht es dir? We’re good, thanks for asking, and we’re in Berlin about to start our latest School for Creative Activism – This time we’re working on Advocacy Campaigns to Support Trans Activism in Europe, supported by Open Society Foundations.  We’ve got an incredible group of activists, artists and organizers who are taking part – so get ready to meet…

Diana Arce

Diana committed to working as an artist and researcher when her law professor intervened, encouraging her to pursue her love for the social sciences through art. She has a BA in Experimental Film and Cultural Studies from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts and an MA from the Institute for Art in Context at the University of Art, Berlin, Germany. In 2007, she developed Politaoke, a nonpartisan political speech karaoke bar which was one of the catalysts for the founding of Artist Without A Cause. After presenting the project at Tactical Technology’s Infoactivism Camp in 2013, with the encouragement and support of other participants, Diana announced plans for creating AWAC.

Eldrik Antoniadis
Senior Visual Designer
Audiotex SA

Eldrik is a Visual Artist and designer. Eldrik is a member of SYD (Greek transgender support association) and currently member of SYDs’ theatrical team. Eldrik works as a Senior Visual Designer in Audiotex SA (antenna TV channel group).

Jeff Deutch
Programme Researcher
Tactical Technical Collective

Jeff works as an applied researcher on projects relating to data and social exclusion. In addition to working with Tactical Tech, he is a co-founder of Artists Without A Cause. Previously, Jeff worked as a core-organiser with Milk Not Jails, a New York based nonprofit and grassroots campaign for criminal justice and agricultural reform; as a legal observer for the New York City chapter of the National Lawyers Guild Mass Defense Committee; and as a member of staff as the Rosenberg Fund for Children. He has also interned at the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services. Jeff holds a Master of Public Policy from the Hertie School of Governance (Berlin) and a BA in Critical Social Inquiry from Hampshire College (Amherst, MA).

Stein Wolff Frydenlund
Steering Committee Member

Stein Wolff Frydenlund, born in 1957 in Norway, joined the TGEU Steering Committee in 2014. Stein holds a Master’s degree in administration and organisation theory. In his professional life, he works as a lecturer in social sciences and the Norwegian language. As an activist, he was engaged in LGBT rights on a regional level for many years. He is also a member of the Amnesty International LGBTI network, both in Norway and at the international level. Today he is the head of the trans political committee of the Norwegian LGBT organisation – LLH.

Ani Giorgadze
Community Officer / Project Assistant
Women’s Initiatives Supporting Group

Ani currently lives in Tbilisi, Georgia and works there at Women’s Initiatives Supporting Group (feminist organization whose main target group includes lesbian and bisexual women, trans people and women representing other marginalized groups.) As the Community Officer Ani is responsible for WISG’s “LBT community empowerment program” and has a growing interest in working on trans issues. Their experience in advocacy work (political, as well as grass-root activism) comes mainly through WISG. Ani received their MA in Gender Studies from Central European University and BA in Sociology from Tbilisi State University and dedicated most of their academic work to LGBTQI issues. Ani was Intersectionality Co-ordinator of IGLYO in 2014 and a prep team member for Conference “Crossing Paths: Exploring Intersections within the Diversity of LGBTQ Communities”. Ani has attended various international trainings and conferences on LGBTQI rights, that have been inspiring and enlightening experiences for them but they are still aware of the need to expand their knowledge and engagement in certain areas.

Sasha Ichim
Capacity Building & Policy Intern

Sasha joined TGEU in September 2015 as an intern within our Capacity Building and Policy team, where he will be supporting our advocacy work for the European Parliament in coordination with our Senior Policy Officer and assisting our Capacity Building Officer in their work.

Sasha founded a community building program in Romania in 2013 which developed into a small grassroots organisation TRANSform and focuses primarily on addressing the needs of the transgender community. Sasha has organised the trans support group, translated the standards of care from WPATH, held meetings with members of police, doctors, psychologists, students and teenagers.

Amaranta Heredia Jaén
Creative Director, Activist and Researcher

Amaranta is a translator and anthropologist from Spain, and has been a LGTBQI+ activist for the last two years in Greece. Amaranta is particularly interested in sexual minorities and disability, both from an artistic and intellectual point of view, and wrote a Bachelor Thesis on “Sexual lifeways and (dis)ability from a queer/crip approach. Anthropological hints from a fieldwork in Greece.” Amaranta was the lead organizer of Thessaloniki’s Sexuality Festival, an independent event that attracted over 2,000 people. Amaranta has also been a script writer, drag model and the co-producer of a drag photography exhibition.

Joey Juschka

Joey Juschka is an author, living in Berlin, Germany. Besides writing, Joey also uses visual art, photography, performance and audio installation as an art form. Her work focuses on exploring options other than the binary gender system; she hopes to contribute to breaking down those boundaries. Some of her short stories have been published in anthologies; one of them won the audience choice award at the 2012 “open mike”, one of the most important literary competition for young German-speaking writers. Currently Joey is working on her first novel. www.joeyjuschka.com

Arian Kajtezovic

Arian Kajtezović was born in 1986 in Croatia, and holds a teaching degree in mathematics and physics, as well as a magisterial degree in computer science and mathematics. Arian spent many years of his life living in Canada and Bosnia and Herzegovina before moving back to Croatia in 2010, where he has been actively working on advancing trans-rights since 2011, being involved in the founding of Trans Aid in early 2012. He is currently one of three Co-chairs of Trans Aid. Arian has been on TGEU’s Steering Committee since 2013 and became the Secretary in 2014. He aspires to dedicate much of his life working to achieve and ensure the highest standards of human rights for persons of all gender identities and gender expressions.

Noah Keuzenkamp
Capacity Building Officer

Noah Keuzenkamp has been involved in trans and LGBT activism for the past five years in Europe and South Asia. Before joining TGEU, Noah was Project Manager at an LGBT organisation in the UK. He has also worked for ARC International in Geneva, for the feminist human rights organisation CREA in New Delhi, and for UNAIDS in Colombo. He has experience in advocacy, policy and capacity building work at UN, national and local levels, including on trans rights, sex workers’ rights, HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and decriminalisation of homosexuality. He has worked in schools and with young people to tackle transphobia and homophobia in education. Noah holds an MPhil in Politics & Education from the University of Cambridge.

Richard Köhler
Senior Policy Officer

Richard Köhler has been a trans activist within the European Transgender movement for more than a decade. As member of the steering committee of TGEU (2007-2010) he has continuously initiated change to develop the structure and policy of TGEU drawing from his wide experience in international project management and NGO consultancy. His special fields of interest are policy development and advocacy at the European level. He spoke as trans expert at the EU and Council of Europe on a number of occasions, such as the historic meeting of Human Rights Commissioner’s trans expert meeting in 2008. He has been a sought expert on trans equality in Europe by policy makers and trans activists alike. Richard is co-author of the Best Practice Catalogue Human Rights and Gender Identity and the toolkiet “Legal Gender Recognition in Euurope. He has been vital to the organization of European Transgender Councils and trainings for the trans community.

Krisztina Kolos Orban

Born in 1976 and based in Hungary, Krisztina joined TGEU’s Steering Committee as Treasurer in 2014. Krisztina has been active in the LGBT movement on the national level since 2005 before the founding of Transvanilla Transgender Association in 2011. Krisztina serves as one of the vice presidents of Transvanilla, the only active NGO focusing only on trans issues in Hungary.

Esra Özban
Festival/Project Coordinator
Pink Life LGBTT Organisation

Born in 1988, Ankara, Ezra has a BA degree from Economics from Bogazici University and MA degree in Film and Screen Studies from Goldsmiths, University of London. She is an LGBTQI rights activists and works for Pink Life LGBTT Solidarity Association since November 2015, especially in the field of Pink Life QueerFest. She is interested in documentary photography, video-activism and animation.

Marcus Pertel
Specialist in Transgender Issues
Estonian LGBT Association

Marcus graduated Estonian Academy of Arts 2005, MA. Marcus has worked in school as an art teacher for four years. Marcus is also a musician, whose main instrument is drums. Marcus has conducted events for trans community for two years, given advice, information and councelled them, conducted workshops for cisgender people and interferred to the writing media about trans/gender issues. In 2009 Marcus started the trans forum, which has now over 260 members in mailing list. Marcus is currently writing a book about the gender variability and working in Estonian LGBT Association.

Mina Tolu
Communications Officer

Mina has gained LGBTQ activism experience for the past 5 years through her work for We Are – the LGBTQI Youth & Student Organisation in Malta, and as a board member of IGLYO – the International LGBTQ Youth and Student Organisation. After completing her studies in communications she spent some time coordinating a national referendum campaign for an environmental NGO in Malta.

J. Vreer Verheke
Steering Committee Member

J. Vreer Verkerke (“vreer” roughly translates to “mixter”) is on board of TGEU’s Steering Committee since 2012. Nationally they started out helping a trans support group in the 1990s, founded a semi-support, semi-action group (Noodles) in 2001, co-founded Transgender Netwerk Nederland in the following years and were TNN’s first advocacy officer. In their daily work, they is doing (LGB)TI related human rights education and advocacy, among others through trainings and lectures. Since 2012, they focus strongly on depathologising trans* health care and forms part of GATE’s ICD expert working group. With Principle 17 (after the Yogyakarta principle on the right to health) they intervene in the Dutch trans* health politics in order to finally have respectful and quality trans* specific health care.