EL*C is launching a call for tenders for services related to the Research on social media companies and online hate speech against lesbians*.

We are looking for:

  • Demonstrated experience with investigation, data and information collection and analysis within the field of applied research and/or investigative journalism; 
  • Demonstrated experience in deploying and utilising various investigative and data collection tools and methods; 
  • Demonstrated experience in analysing the policies and practices that relate to social media; 
  • Demonstrated intersectional feminist background;
  • Good understanding of current and past struggles of LBTI women and non-binary persons;
  • Strong organisational, interpersonal, and project management skills;
  • Sense of initiative and ability to be self-supporting, including ability to deliver under pressure and within tight deadlines;
  • Excellent knowledge and command of the English language;
  • Good knowledge of other EU languages is a strong asset;

 

In order to apply please submit via email at procurement@lesbiangenius.org by 15 August 2024 at 23:59 CET with the following documents:

➡ CV of the consultant detailing past and current professional experience
➡ The Technical proposal
➡ The Provider, shall also send a quote (Pro Forma invoice) and including:

  • the Service Provider’s name and address;
  • its VAT number;
  • the full list of services;
  • the fee per type of deliverables (in the local currency, tax exclusive);
  • the total amount per type of deliverables (in the local currency, tax exclusive);
  • the total amount, tax exclusive, the applicable VAT rate, the amount of VAT and the amount VAT inclusive
  • the budget should include all costs related to this consultancy, including for example travel costs.

 

All documents shall be submitted in English, failure to do so will result in the exclusion of the tender. If any of the documents listed above are missing, EL*C reserve the right to reject the tender.

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DOWLOAD THE CALL FOR TENDER: Call for tenders – Social media & online hate speeches against lesbians

DOWLOAD THE TEMPLATE FOR THE TECHNICAL PROPOSAL: Technical-Proposal-Template_SOCIAL-MEDIA_hate_speech_lesbians

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Deadline: All documents should be submitted via e-mail to the following email addresses: procurement@lesbiangenius.org by 15 August 2024 at 23:59 CET.

Join us for a training module on media strategies and public visibility, designed to amplify the communication skills within the lesbian movement. In a media landscape where voices can shape futures, traditional communication models — shaped by colonial, patriarchal, and capitalist structures — often fail to capture the essence and needs of lesbian-centric and feminist organizations. These approaches overlook the depth and authenticity that our lesbian genius brings to the table. 

During this module, Oana Dorobantu will apply a decolonial feminist approach to dismantle the patriarchal biases in current communication strategies. By reimagining public relations tools through a lesbian feminist lens, we transform these tools from mechanisms of domination into instruments of empowerment and solidarity, amplifying voices that have been historically sidelined. Inspired by the transformative journeys of fairy tale characters who overcome obstacles to rewrite their destinies, this training module empowers participants to redefine engagement and influence. Learn how to build and change narratives that challenge inequities, ensuring every word we share contributes to the movement for lesbian visibility and rights. 

 

REGISTER NOW

 

This training is structured across two sessions: the first session will be conducted on 18th July, and the subsequent session on 25th July.

Oana Dorobanțu (they/she) is a seasoned communicator with 15 years of experience across public relations, social media, journalism, and feminist organizing, enriched by a deep commitment to decolonial anti-racist education. At EL*C, Oana has excelled as the Media Manager, social media fairy, lesbian-genius illustrator and ad-hoc graphic designer, consistently amplifying and celebrating lesbian voices through innovative and impactful media strategies.

 

Admittance open to EL*C member organizations and member individuals.

Secure your spot: REGISTER NOW!

 

This training module will later be available as a recording for EL*C members. Become an EL*C member!

As summer heatwaves begin to grip Southern Europe in yet another climate crisis year, EL*C is outraged by the storm of lesbophobic comments engulfing the Spanish internet. This wave of hatred was directed at two football players, Jenni Hermoso and Misa Rodriguez, after they posted a vacation photo together during Pride Month.  

Jenni Hermoso and Misa Rodriguez have won the World Cup, the National League, and numerous matches in recent months. Yet, lesbophobic critics responded with absurd calls to “take the scissors out of the locker room” and “shut down” the Women’s National Football Team. Lesbophobia is evident when, despite their incredible achievements, two women going on holiday together triggers such extreme and hateful reactions, including calls to dismantle the national team. 

Jenni Hermoso stands proudly as a lesbian, while Misa Rodriguez’s personal life is not known. Whether they are a couple or not is irrelevant; lesbophobia is intolerable. These attacks are a stark reminder of why Pride Month is not just a celebration, but a fierce fight for our rights. 

Let’s be reminded that Pride began with the Stonewall riots, sparked by the defiant cry of an unnamed butch lesbian who, while enduring police violence, shouted at lesbians, gay men and trans persons inside the Stonewall Inn, “Why don’t you do something?” Many witnesses credit this call to action as that which ignited the resistance that changed the course of LGBTQ+ history. It was lesbian courage, and the courage of countless others, that laid the foundation for the freedoms we continue to fight for today. 

Yet, lesbians remain largely invisible in the broader struggle for LGBTQ+ rights. Our histories are erased, our contributions to social justice movements ignored. We must recognize and amplify the voices of lesbian activists who have led the charge in this battle for decades. 

The lesbophobic attacks on Hermoso and Rodriguez during Pride Month are a painful reminder of the systemic and institutional discrimination we face. This vile behavior is a glaring symptom of the entrenched heteronormativity and patriarchy that continues to poison the world of sports. Jenni Hermoso was the lesbian who was sexually assaulted live on TV by Luis Rubiales, the president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation, in 2023, sparking an international conversation on sexual harassment in women’s sports and resulting in Rubiales’ resignation after much protest. 

To add insult to injury, lesbophobic comments targeting Jenni and Misa remain unmoderated on social media, while just this week Instagram/Meta unjustly deleted EL*C’s post celebrating Dyke Marches for “inappropriate language.” This blatant hypocrisy reveals the dangers of rapidly advancing technology without any regard towards hate-based biases that stifle our voices and perpetuate discrimination. 

EL*C stands in fierce solidarity with Hermoso and Rodriguez, and every person who has been subjected to lesbophobic violence. We call on the sports community and social media companies to take immediate, concrete actions to eradicate lesbophobia and ensure a safe, inclusive environment for all. We demand accountability. We demand a world where every lesbian can live openly and authentically without fear of hatred or violence.  

In light of the upcoming official visit of Argentine President Javier Milei to Germany, EL*C has signed an open letter initiated by CELS – Center for Legal and Social Studies, seeking to highlight the increasingly precarious state of women’s and LGBTIQ rights in Argentina and urges the German government to respond accordingly.

Over recent months, Argentina has witnessed a disturbing decline in the rights and safety of women and LGBTIQ individuals. A notable and tragic example is the recent lesbophobic attack which resulted in the death of three lesbians and the severe injury of the fourth. The increasingly deteriorating situation for women’s and LGBTIQ rights under Javier Milei’s rule requires the urgent action and support for feminist and lesbian organizations, collectives and individuals.

Germany’s Feminist Foreign Policy Guidelines, adopted in 2023, emphasize that gender equality and women’s rights should be central to the country’s external relations. These guidelines represent a commitment to actively promoting and protecting feminist values on a global scale. As President Milei prepares for his visit, it is imperative that Germany upholds these principles by addressing the deteriorating situation in Argentina.

EL*C calls upon other organizations, both within Germany and internationally, to join in signing this open letter.

Read Letter: CELS Letter to the German Foreign Affairs Office

Sign here.

The rich lesbian history of the island of Lesbos dates to ancient times, when the famous lesbian poet Sappho was born in Eresos. Her presence still lingers in the air, the sea, and the statues that watch over the Aegean Sea in Skala.

In the first half of the 20th century, Italian lesbian poet, writer and feminist Lina Poletti sailed to Lesbos with a group of lesbians, embarking on a journey of self-discovery. Their experiences, detailed in Poletti’s diaries, are beautifully chronicled by Shelby Wynn Schwartz in her book “After Sappho.”

Fast forward to the 1970s, when lesbians from around the world began visiting Skala Eresou, creating a vibrant community that not only engaged respectfully with locals but also boosted the local economy. Many of these lesbians have now made Skala their permanent home.

Photographer, writer, filmmaker and proud “double lesbian” (a lesbian from Lesbos) Tzeli Hadjidimitriou is one of the members of the Skala Eresou lesbian community and an active member of EL*C.Tzeli has documented the lesbian history of Skala Eresou in her documentary film Lesvia, which chronicles 40+ years of love, community, conflict, and what it means to feel accepted.

Lesvia is currently making the rounds on the festival circuit. Here’s where you can see it next:

  • June 19, 20 MakeDox, Skopje
  • June 19-29 – Frameline, San Francisco
  • June 23 EuroPride, Thessaloniki
  • June 24-30 – Zinegoak Film Festival, Bilbao
  • June 27-30 – Fairy Tales Presentation Society, Calgary
  • Aug 1-5 – Gaze LGBTQIA Film Festival, Dublin
  • August 1-8 – Lemesos International Documentary Festival, Lismassol
  • Aug 30 – Sep 6 Queer Film Festival, Utrecht
  • Sep 11-22 – Vancouver Queer Film Festival
  • Sep 20-22 – Some Prefer Cake Film Festival, Bologna
  • Sep 20-28 – Queer Lisboa: Lisbon Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
  • Sep 25 – Oct 12 – Vues d’en face: Grenoble International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, Grenoble
  • Oct 22-27 Pornfilmfestival, Berlin
  • Oct 24 – Nov 3 – Windsor International Film Festival, Ontario

More festivals and dates are announced as they are confirmed – follow Lesvia on Facebook and Instagram to find out more.

If you’re dreaming of visiting the Skala Eresou, don’t miss these fantastic festivals organized by EL*C member organizations:

Monday, Georgia’s authoritarian parliamentary majority proposed a new legislative package titled “On Family Values and Protection of Minors” in an unprecedented attack on LGBTIQ persons. Concretely, if adopted, this legislative arsenal would ban the so-called “promotion” of LGBTIQ existence in the media, education at all levels, and public gatherings. This would not only mean that public gatherings centering LGBTIQ issues would be made illegal but also that sharing one’s (own) LGBTIQ identity, informing on LGBTIQ subjects, or even providing the opportunity for young persons to find that information would be punishable by a fine and even imprisonment for repeat offenders. Practicing gender reassignment surgeries and medical care would be punishable by up to 4 years in prison. Even labor laws would be impacted, with the interdiction for public services workers to merely acknowledge gender identities diverging from biological sex. Strikingly, the proposition consistently lumps trans identity and sexual orientation with incest. 

“The 19 laws initiated by Georgian Dream will effectively establish a fascist legal regime against queer persons. These laws are worse than the homophobic and fascist policies that began in Russia and Hungary. They will introduce censorship to restrict anyone who teaches modern gender theories, talks about these theories, and defines their own political and civil ideas.” 

– Mari Kurtanidze, EL*C Board Member and Georgian lesbian activist 

In addition to all of this, the law package includes a new holiday to be established on May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia-Lesphobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia, as the day of “Sanctity of the Family and Respect for Parents”. 

As a reminder, the ruling Georgian Dream party has been leveraging lesbo/homo/bi/transphobic strategies as part of its electoral mobilization efforts leading up to the elections planned for October. At the end of May, the adoption of the draconian “Law on the Transparency of Foreign Influences” ignited a harshly repressed wave of protests and demonstrations. Georgian Dream’s agenda has been made evident in the organization of public debates and the promotion of anti-LGBT legislation exacerbating aggression and distress within the queer community.  

EL*C calls upon the European Union, the Council of Europe, and international actors to take immediate and decisive action to ensure the protection and respect of human rights in Georgia. It is imperative that these bodies exert their influence to prevent the passage of this repressive legislation and to support the LGBTIQ community, ensuring that fundamental freedoms and human dignity are upheld for all. 

  

The recent EU election have revealed a troubling shift in the political landscape, with the far-right making significant advances. This development poses a serious threat to the core values of European democracy: equality, freedom, and justice.

This is not a time for despair. Lesbians, we must take this as a call to action. Our unique perspectives, resilience, and unyielding spirit, which make up our lesbian genius, are necessary in this fight. We must harness every skill, every ounce of creativity and strength, to ensure that fascism does not take root and spread its hateful ideology.

EL*C envisions a European Union that is feminist, anti-racist, trans-inclusive and anti-ableist. A Europe that is safe for migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. Additionally, we want representatives committed to climate friendliness and sustainability, ensuring a healthy planet for future generations. We fight for a lesbian Europe, one where our rights and freedoms are not just protected but celebrated.

Read more in EL*C’s Lesbian Manifesto.

We must rise together in solidarity. We can and will push back against growing menace of the far-right. We must work tirelessly within our communities and between them in solidarity, through every available channel to resist and dismantle these oppressive forces. The struggle for a just and democratic Europe is far from over, and our determination to achieve it remains rooted in our lesbian genius.

Lesbians stand firm, speak out, and fight with all our might against fascism.

 

In solidarity and strength,
the EL*C

The Strategy includes a clearly intersectional approach that explicitly includes discriminations based on sex and gender and SOGIESC grounds, especially LBTI women. It also contains a commitment to leave no one behind and to achieve a gender-equal Europe for everyone. Crucially, the Strategy specifically identifies anti-gender and so-called “gender-critical” narratives as being used as tools to promote a broader agenda of opposing gender equality and women’s rights, while justifying “discriminatory practices and policies against individuals who challenge traditional gender roles and norms”. 

For this reason, the Strategy adopts an intersectional approach in policies combating against violence against women and in data collection, while specific actions on LBTI women include the promotion of access to justice, actions concerning socio-economic rights and cooperation with relevant sectors and organisations to remove discrimination, sexism and gender stereotypes. The Strategy also specifically addresses the needs of GBTI men for the first time.

ILGA-Europe and EL*C, as the INGO Conference Representative to the Gender Equality Commission and an Observer of the Gender Equality Commission, respectively, worked collaboratively to achieve a strong, LGBTI-inclusive Strategy.  The work done together with Member States and the Council of Europe representatives has led to a Strategy that commits the Council of Europe to address gender equality together with the equality for LGBTI persons and other persons subject to multiple marginalisation. In the current socio-political context and with the rise of far-right and anti-gender narratives, it is key that these commitments are implemented. We will continue working with the Council of Europe and Member States to ensure this implementation in the next years. 

 

Read more about the Council of Europe Gender Equality Strategy here.

The L-Health project is an initiative aimed at addressing the long-standing health inequities faced by lesbians in Europe. This ambitious project not only seeks to generate novel knowledge on the health needs and status of lesbians, but also aims to improve clinical practice through targeted training of healthcare professionals.  

L-Health is a collaborative effort to improve lesbian wellbeing and clinical practice for lesbians by identifying major health inequities and training healthcare professionals. The project is coordinated by the Institut Universitari d’Investigació en Atenció Primària (IDIAP Jordi Gol), with partners including the Institut d’Investigació Biomedica de Girona, SIDA STUDI, EL*C – EuroCentralAsian Lesbian* Community, and the Agencia de Salut Publica de Barcelona. 

Understanding the Context 

Lesbians have historically been overlooked in healthcare research and practice. The heteronormative and androcentric biases prevalent in scientific research have often rendered lesbian health issues invisible, leading to a significant data gap. Lesbians face lesbophobia, defined as the intersection between sexism and heteronormativity, which profoundly impacts their access to and quality of healthcare. The L-Health project seeks to rectify this by centering its research and interventions on the unique health needs of lesbians, thereby challenging and transforming existing healthcare paradigms and improving lesbian wellbeing. 

The team behind L-Health has identified the following obstacles and biases faced by lesbians in healthcare: 

  1. Lack of Knowledge and Training Among Healthcare Professionals: Many professionals lack adequate training on lesbians’ health needs, leading to prejudiced and heteronormative attitudes. 
  1. Invisibility and Marginalization: Lesbians often experience invisibility in healthcare settings due to insufficient research and data specific to their health issues. 
  1. Lesbophobia: Lesbophobia, combining sexism and heteronormativity, significantly impacts lesbians’ access to quality healthcare. 
  1. Negative Experiences and Distrust: Negative healthcare experiences lead many lesbians to distrust and underutilize healthcare services. 
  1. Structural Barriers and Inequities: Structural stigma and discrimination result in worse health outcomes and significant health inequalities for lesbians. 

 

Objectives and Methodology 

L-Health aims to improve clinical practice for lesbians through a comprehensive approach that includes: 

  1. Identifying Health Inequities: The project will pinpoint major health disparities experienced by lesbians in primary healthcare settings. 
  1. Assessing Healthcare Professionals: It will explore the knowledge gaps and attitudes of healthcare providers towards lesbian patients. 
  1. Training Interventions: A core component involves designing and implementing training programs to improve healthcare professionals’ competence in addressing lesbian health needs. 

To achieve these goals, L-Health has will establish the first lesbian e-cohort in Europe. This cohort, developed in collaboration with international and local lesbian organizations, will utilize respondent-driven sampling to ensure broad participation. By comparing health data from this cohort with that of the general population in Catalonia, the project will provide a clearer picture of the specific health challenges faced by lesbians. 

Addressing the Data Gap 

One of the critical contributions of L-Health is its potential to fill the significant data gap regarding lesbian health. Previous European initiatives, such as the “Open Doors” and “Health4LGBTI” projects, have laid the groundwork by raising awareness about LGBTI health inequalities and providing tools for healthcare professionals. However, these efforts have often treated the LGBTI community as a monolith, neglecting the distinct needs of lesbians. L-Health builds on these foundations by focusing exclusively on lesbians, thereby generating specific, actionable insights. 

Intersectional Approach 

L-Health employs a feminist and intersectional framework, recognizing that health inequities are compounded by various axes of discrimination, including gender identity, sexual orientation, age, migrant status, functional diversity, and socioeconomic level. This approach ensures that the project’s findings and interventions are nuanced and inclusive, addressing the diverse realities of lesbians’ lives. 

Training and Knowledge Transfer 

A significant innovation of L-Health is its commitment to translating research into practice. The project will develop training programs for healthcare professionals, which will be piloted and evaluated for effectiveness. These programs aim to equip providers with the skills needed to offer respectful and competent care to lesbian patients. Additionally, the project will disseminate its findings through publications, conferences, and social media campaigns, ensuring widespread impact and awareness. 

Long-term Impact and Sustainability 

L-Health is designed with sustainability in mind. The creation of the lesbian e-cohort is a lasting resource that can support ongoing and future research into various health issues affecting lesbians. The training materials developed will be accessible to healthcare professionals across Europe, fostering a long-term improvement in healthcare practices. Furthermore, the project’s alignment with the European LGBTIQ Strategy and its intersectional focus ensure that it will contribute to broader efforts to combat discrimination and promote equality. 

The L-Health project is significant step forward in the realm of public health and lesbian wellbeing. By focusing specifically on lesbian health, it addresses a critical gap in both research and practice. The project’s intersectional approach, combined with its robust methodology and commitment to knowledge transfer, positions it to make a profound and lasting impact on the health and well-being of lesbians across Europe. Through L-Health, we move closer to a future where all lesbians can access high-quality, equitable healthcare. 

 

It is with anger, sadness, and great disappointment that we must share with you the decision to cancel the upcoming EL*C Conference, initially scheduled on 7-11 October 2024 in Kazakhstan. Together with our partners and local hosts of the conference – Feminita, the EL*C has concluded that an international event of the scale and visibility of our biennial conference would be counterproductive, be it during or in the aftermath of the event.

Indeed, while the colonial influence of russia still touches the region, making Kazakhstani officials suggest colonial anti-LGBT amendments to laws, the international institutions, diplomatic missions, and donors withdrew their support to the event instead of voicing an unequivocal and reinvigorated commitment to the human rights of lesbians and the protection of lesbian human rights defenders.

A pivotal indicator of the international community’s attitude was the last-minute cancellation by the United Nations in Almaty of the long-confirmed use of the UN premises as a venue for the conference. This climate of uncertainty is naturally prompting diverse and diverging responses within the local communities. As an international stakeholder and co-organizer, EL*C must consider all concerns when defining its actions and strategic objectives.

 

Against this backdrop, with a heavy heart but with the best interest of our community and members in mind, we have determined that the organization of the EL*C biennial conference in its intended scope, format, and purpose, could no longer be ensured.

 

We will however not allow for the manipulation and disinformation to prevail, we will never allow our rights and our movements to be labelled as “LGBTI propaganda” or “foreign agents”. We will set the narrative straight (or rather lesbian), and we will keep fighting for justice and freedom, for our right to exist in peace, to be visible and heard, and for solidarity across the borders!

 

EL*C, and the lesbian movement it represents, are not one to shy away from adversity, and we will always be where we are most needed alongside our lesbian sisters and siblings. With this in mind, and in response to the challenging situation, we are exploring various strategies to engage with the local community and act as a meaningful lever and amplifier for our members in Kazakhstan and the Central Asian region, ranging from participating in peaceful protest and public dialogue, advocating in international fora, as well as joining the local activities and local gatherings. In particular, Feminta will organise The Lesbian Quryltai on the dates originally intended for the EL*C conference. Communications on the latter will be received directly from Feminita.

 

At the same time, strong in the knowledge that the EL*C conference is a unique and needed space for mobilizing, connecting and building our movement in solidarity, with courage, love, rage and resilience against patriarchal systems of oppression, we are working on identifying a suitable location to host the next EL*C conference in 2025. 

 

We will communicate the dates and place of the next EL*C conference as soon as possible. Please note that we will keep your pre-registration and/or scholarship application for the next EL*C conference, and we will contact you soon to confirm your interest.