As of July 2023, there are thirty-three (33) representatives from twenty-one (21) projects around the world serving on the International Committee on LGBTQ+ History Months. Find them here.
Mamikon Hovsepyan, member, is an LGBT activist and a human rights defender living and working in Armenia. He started his activism in 2002 and founded Pink Armenia in 2007. He holds a degree in Sociology, and a master’s degree in Human Rights and Democratization. He specializes in health, human rights, and gender issues. Besides his main job at Pink Armenia, he is elected chairperson of Human Rights House Yerevan since 2018, as well as the co-secretary of ILGA-Europe’s executive board and fundraising coordinator of Eastern European Coalition for LGBT+ Equality. Mamikon is involved in several national working groups focused on HIV/AIDS response and he is elected as the president of the Community, Rights, Gender working group. In 2017 Mamikon received the Bob Hepple Equality Award in London for his work in advancing LGBT rights and equality in Armenia. In 2018 he received the Changemaker Award in Los Angeles and Soul of Stonewall in Berlin.
Ryan Silverio, they/them, founding member, is the Executive Director of ASEAN SOGIE Caucus (ASC), a regional LGBTIQ human rights organization that works in 11 countries in the Southeast Asian region. In 2021, Ryan co-organized the Southeast Asian Queer Cultural Festival (SEAQCF), an online festival for cultural activism and reclaiming queer cultural identities in the ASEAN region. Ryan has published research and opinion pieces on topics such as on youth participation in governance, child rights, and on queer activism. Ryan is passionate about contemplative practices, and creating spaces for unheard voices within social movements. Ryan holds degrees in International Studies and Human Rights.
Lini Zurlia, founding member, based in Jakarta, Indonesia, is the Advocacy Officer of ASEAN SOGIE Caucus. ASC’s efforts include archival work collecting and safeguarding the collective queer stories and, as of recently, promoting an LGBTIAQueerstory Month among member states.
Graham Willett, founding member, has been active in the LGBTQ community in Australia since 1979 and has served in leadership roles with the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives — newly minted as the Australian Queer Archives (AQuA) — since the 1990s. He is a historian who has written extensively on Australian queer history, including the ground-breaking 2000 book Living out Loud: A History of Gay and Lesbian Activism in Australia and most recently was lead researcher and author on AQuA’s commissioned report into A History of LGBTIQ Victoria in 100 Places and Objects. He participated in Victoria’s only Queer History Month and is one of a number of people keen to relaunch the project. He is series editor of Queer Oz Folk, which has been set up to publish Australian queer history.
Giuseppina Lettieri (she/her), founding member, has been involved in the Queer History Month Berlin effort since 2016 and has served as QHM Berlin coordinator since 2018. She works as a political educator, community organizer and activist in the field of queer empowerment, intersectionality and anti-discrimination for more than 10 years at the Archiv der Jugendkulturen in Berlin. She also gives talks on queer representation in subcultures, especially in DIY punk culture like the riot grrrl and queercore movement.
Meryem Benslimane, founding member, was an Equity Education Advisor in the Office of the Associate Provost for Equity and Academics at McGill University when in October 2018, she organized, in conjunction with student group Queer McGill and with the university’s Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies, the first Queer History Month at a Canadian university.
Alessio Ponzio, founding member, received his PhD in history and politics from the Universitá Roma Tre and his second PhD in women’s studies and history from the University of Michigan. Ponzio is the author of several articles and two books. He has held postdoctoral fellowships at the Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG-Mainz), at the Suzy Newhouse Center for the Humanities (Wellesley College) and at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He is Assistant Professor in Modern European History and History of Gender and Sexuality at the University of Saskatchewan (Canada) and Professor in the History of Homosexuality at the Università di Torino. Ponzio is a member of the Queer Caucus of the American Association of Italian Studies and cofounder of the LGBT+ History Month Italia organized for the first time in April 2022. After two years in the Italian team, Ponzio will join from July 2023 the 2SLGBTQ+ History Month Canada team, working with ICoHM member Meryem Benslimane.
Juan Carlos Gutiérrez Pérez, member, living in the United States since August 2022, was a teacher for 10 years at the Central University “Marta Abreu” of Las Villas, where he taught the subject “Sexuality and Gender” to pre-graduate and post-graduate students. He was a leader of the university’s Sexuality Line, researching and directing more than 20 theses about sexuality and gender. An activist in the LGBTQ+ community in Cuba since 2013, he worked with Youth Articulation for Social Equity and the Youth Network for Sexual Rights, two groups working for sexuality and social equality in Cuba. He is a member of the National Committee for LGBTQ+ History Month in Cuba.
Raúl Pérez Monzón, founding member, is an assistant professor of history at the University of Havana. He holds a BA and MA in history and international relations and is currently completing a Ph.D. in history. His areas of interest include gender and sexuality. He is an activist for LGBT+ rights in Cuba. In 2022, he founded LGBTQ+ History Month Cuba.
Keio Soomelt, member, is a co-founder and head organizer of the annual Festheart LGBT+ Film Festival in Estonia, which was founded in 2017 and has helped launch Nordic Rainbow History & Culture Month each October of the last few years. Keio is also conductor of the Estonian LGBT Choir “Vikerlased”.
Dr. Tuula Juvonen, founding member, is chair of the Friends of Queer History (Sateenkaarihistorian ystävät), a registered organisation to promote the preservation, study, and display of queer history in Finland, and to coordinate the annual Rainbow History Month in November. Juvonen works as a senior lecturer in Gender Studies at the Tampere University, Finland, and leads a research project funded by the Academy of Finland on Affective Activism: Sites of Queer and Trans World-Making (2021–2025). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kaura Raudaskoski (they/them), founding member, works as secretary and project coordinator in the Finnish association Friends of Queer History. Their work is to produce and promote association’s operations – preservation, study and display of queer history in Finland – and their own passion is to build bridge between older queer generations and younger generations, who are in desperate need of finding their histories and often are present in social media instead of associations or other organizations. Kaura is an art educator and philosopher by profession. They study and teach feminist pedagogy together as a duo with their colleague Jemina Lindholm, focusing especially in queer and crip intersections in museums.
John Samuel, member, he/they, since 2016 a volunteer documentarian of LGBTQ history at Wikimedia LGBT+, the global Wikimedia user group founded in 2012 engaged in LGBTQ outreach and community building and working to improve the quality and quantity of coverage of LGBTQ+ history and representation on Wikipedia, Wikidata, and all Wikis. In the spring of 2022, John sent out a query to French-language Wikimedian groups, several LGBTQ+ associations, and the primary LGBTQ archive in France, Collectif Archives LGBTQI+, about establishing an LGBTQ+ History Month France. In June, the Francophone Wikimedia LGBT group, including Les Sans Pages (For Those Without Pages, a Wikimedia group specifically targeting the gender gap on Wikipedia), embarked on making June in the French-speaking world an LGBTQ+ Pride *and* History Month, beginning with an effort on all Wiki platforms, particularly French language, of “queering Wikimedia.” John was born in India and lives in Lyon, France, where he/they is an associate professor at École Supérieure de Chimie Physique Électronique (CPE) de Lyon. John contributes to modeling and documenting LGBTI+ related topics on Wikidata, including pride parades, associations, choruses, libraries, archives, etc., with a focus this year on the first pride parades around the world.
Péter Hanzli, founding member, is a historian and reviewer. He graduated from Eötvös Lóránd University as a teacher of Geography and History, and Historian. He joined the Hungarian LGBTQI movement in 2002. He is a founding member of Szimpozion Association, between 2005 and 2010 an active member of the Getting to Know LGBT People school awareness raising program. Between 2007 and 2015 he worked as a journalist at several LGBTQI news outlets (Mások, Na végre!, Company, frissmeleg.hu). Between 2007 and 2016 he was one of the organizers of the Budapest Pride, for some time the spokesperson of the organization. He has been a volunteer of Háttér Society since 2009, a member of the organization since 2010, focusing most of his efforts on the Archive and library. Between 2011 and 2016 he was board member of Háttér Society. Since 2012, he is the organizer of the LGBT History Month, and since 2020 the program director for Háttér’s Archive and library. In his free time he sings in a choir.
Viktória Sulyok, member, has been working as an aromantic and asexual activist since 2016 and is one of the founders and board members of the Hungarian Asexual Community. Viktória volunteers in two awareness and sensitisation programmes: the Getting to know LGBT people programme and the Living Library in Schools project and regularly holds workshops on asexuality and aromanticism; and has been a volunteer with the Hungarian LGBT History Month for two years.
No current representative.
Chiara Beccalossi, founding member, is a historian and is employed as an Associate Professor at the University of Lincoln (UK). She was born in Italy and moved to the UK in 2003 to do an MSc and then a PhD in history. As a historian she studies how LGBTQ+ people have been medicalised and pathologised since the 19th century. She is the author of ‘Female Sexual Inversion: Same-sex desires in Italian and British Sexology ca 1870-1920’ (2012). She has been celebrating the LGBT History Month in the UK for a number of years and more recently has worked with a number of trans organisations in Italy. She co-founded the LGBT+ History Month Italia with Italian friends and LGBT+ activists in 2021. The first LGBT+ History Month Italia took place in April 2022.
Oscar-Silvi Bertolissi (they/them), founding member, is co-founder of LGBT+ History Month Italia. They were born in Italy and move to the UK in 2013 to grow their career as Art director working at big advertising agencies in central London. They’re the founder and Creative director of Queer Studio, a creative LGBT+ agency which produced the Italian and International Committee websites and branding logos.
Dewi Vrenegoor, member, works as a public program coordinator at IHLIA LGBTI Heritage, the LGBTQ+ archive and heritage institution based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. IHLIA is the initiator and instigator of the Dutch Queer History Month, which celebrated its inaugural edition in 2021. Coming from a Media Studies, Heritage Studies and Gender Studies background, Dewi organized various activities for the LGBTQ+ community in Amsterdam and is currently one of the organizers of the CinemAsia Film Festival in the Netherlands, a film festival with origins in the queer community and annual activities for the Dutch Asian queer community.
Clare O’Leary, member, is a lesbian feminist documentary filmmaker and health activist working in areas as diverse as sexual health and end-of-life hospice education. Clare is a Trustee of LAGANZ, Lesbian & Gay Archives of NZ, Te Pūranga Takatāpui o Aotearoa. She was in lesbian band Vibraslaps in the mid 80s and in 2009 was founding Content Director for NZONSCREEN, the largest online video archive of music video, film and television in NZ. She worked as the first women’s project officer at the NZ AIDS Foundation and has led campaigns on safer sex, harm reduction in the LGBT+ community, bringing equity diversity and inclusiveness into all her work. Her films have featured writers, artists and social issues, including films about decriminalisation of the sex industry in NZ. Her recent feature film, Geoff Dixon | Portraits of Us featured gay artists Geoff Dixon and his partner, Aboriginal artist Arone Meeks and premiered at the NZ International Film Festival.
Mary Ellen Campbell, founding member, has been active in human rights work for decades. In 2016, the Belfast City Council elected her as the first openly lesbian deputy mayor. She is the coordinator for the LGBT History Month Northern Ireland Heritage Project.
Joe Walsh, member, is currently working on the LGBTQIA+ Heritage Project with the Organisation HereNI in Belfast, Northern Ireland, with my esteemed colleague Mary Ellen Campbell. I was drawn to the project as it is helping to create and preserve our rich LGBTQIA+ heritage for future generations. I have been working with the LGBTQIA+ community since 2017 in various roles including hate crime advocacy and family support with The Rainbow Project Belfast. I am a qualified crystal & Reiki healer with a keen interest in promoting positive mental health.
Line Grønstad, member, is the leader of the Norwegian Queer Archive. Line did a masters on South African museums, and a PhD-thesis in Cultural Studies on name choices among Norwegian men in heterosexual relationships. Line has been engaged in the documentation of everyday life through tradition archives, and lately the digitization of tradition archives. Line is interested in the questions not asked, and how to facilitate possibilities to pose new questions to existing materials.
Runar Jordåen, member, is a historian and has written his PhD thesis on how homosexuality was understood in the fields of psychiatry and psychology in Norway from the late 19th century – 1960. He is currently working on two book projects, both to be published this spring. One is a collection of letters from Norway’s first self-identified homosexual, Ebbe Hertzberg (1847 -1912), the other is an anthology titled “Local Queer History”.
Andre Radulescu (they/them), member, is a LGBTQIA+ activist, educator and founder of Identity.Education. They focus their work around storytelling as an instrument of social change and fights for equal rights for the queer community, for visibility and recognition of the queer community as an integral part of all societies. Identity.Education has been organising LGBTQIA+ History Month in Timisoara (western part of Romania) since 2019.
Alex Zorilă, member, has been organizing the LGBTQIA+ History Month in Bucharest, Romania, since 2017, along with Bucharest Pride March, Bucharest Pride Week and Pride Park since 2021. In April 2023 Alex released a book called “Spații Aparte,” concentrating on LBTQIA+ women and their history, with 22 interviews with queer women and non-binary people, archive materials, and personal texts.
No current representative.
Bill Schiller, member, was born in 1943 in the Austrian-German district of Chicago, Illinois, USA, Bill received a degree in journalism from the University of Illinois and immediately joined the U.S. Peace Corps to work in the slum areas of Lima, Peru – but quitting in protest over U.S. government policies. After travelling around South America and Europe, he came to Sweden in 1970 – receiving humanitarian asylum as a war resister to the Vietnam War, and remaining active in the Swedish anti-war movement until the end of the war, and then becoming an LGBT activist. He later became a Swedish citizen and worked as a journalist/producer at Radio Sweden’s English-language section for years until retirement. Realizing that the LGBT activists in Sweden and internationally in the ILGA (International Lesbian and Gay Association, founded in 1978) were not interested in rainbow culture or history, he started Tupilak (for Nordic rainbow culture workers) in 1989 and two years later, the ILGCN (International Lesbian and Gay Cultural Network, for rainbow culture workers), with its Information Secretariat in Stockholm and other secretariats around the world. Tupilak and ILGCN both launched the Nordic Rainbow History & Culture Month in October 2016 and also launched the International Day of Rainbow Culture – August 9 – the birthday of one of the most famous cultural personalities in the Nordic region: Finnish/Swedish artist and (Mumintroll) author Tove Jansson – a Tupilak member and Tupilak-award winner.
Sarah Guarino Werner (she/her), member, is an art historian/curator working at Haninge konsthall, a municipality run art gallery in the suburbs of Stockholm, Sweden. She previously worked at Södertälje Art Gallery where she, together with the queer cultural association Tupilak, ran the festival Queer(in)g Södertälje in 2017 and the Nordic Rainbow History and Culture Month in 2018. Today she is the chair-woman of Tupilak. She recently received a small grant to write a book about Tupilak’s importance within Swedish LGBTQI+ history.
International Committee member from Uganda is anonymous at this time due to heightened attacks on LGBTQ+ Ugandans.
Lynne Nicholls, founding member, is the chair of the Board of Trustees of Schools OUT UK.
Sue Sanders, founding member, is Professor Emeritus of the Harvey Milk Institute and Chair of Schools OUT UK. Out Drama teacher. Co-founded LGBT History Month UK in 2005 with Paul Patrick under the auspices of Schools OUT UK; now known as LGBT+ History Month UK. Founder of The Classroom.org.uk and coiner of the concept of usualising. Published author and advisor to the criminal justice system and government on hate crime.
Rodney Wilson, founding member, first-generation college student and educator since 1990, was a secondary government and history teacher in Missouri when in 1994 he founded (then called) Lesbian and Gay History Month in the United States, the world’s first national LGBT History Month. He was the first out-gay public school teacher in Missouri to be granted tenure and he authored the first LGBT history published by the Missouri Historical Society. He has been profiled in dozens of books, magazines, and articles and he is the subject of a 2019 documentary-short: “Taboo Teaching: A Profile of Missouri Teacher Rodney Wilson.” He has been named an LGBTQ icon by the Huffington Post and by the LGBTQ History Month Icons Project. In 2020, he was named a Missouri Trailblazer by the Missouri State Museum as part of the Missouri Bicentennial 2021 commemoration. He holds graduate degrees in history and religion and teaches both at a community college in rural Missouri. His social media.
Norena Shopland, founding member, is a writer/historian specialising in the history of sexual orientation and gender identity. She is co-founder of Hanes LHDT+ Cymru / LGBTQ+ Research Group Wales, supported in part by Swansea University. She was commissioned by the Welsh government in 2021/22 & 2023 to deliver training on LGBTQ+ language and history to local libraries, museums, and archives of Wales based on her book A Practical Guide to Searching LGBTIA Historical Records (Routledge, 2020).
L. Balázs Szabó (he/him), founding member, has a bachelor’s degree in Library and Information Science but works at a software development company. He is a volunteer at Háttér Society’s Háttér Archive and Library, Hungary’s biggest LGBTQI archive. Being part of the team behind LGBT History Month Hungary, he is responsible for social media and web presence, helps broadcasting online events and organizing offline ones. He is also involved in several LGBTQ history research projects.
Dan Carroll (he/him), former member, Scotland, is the Marketing & Communications Officer for LGBT Youth Scotland, having joined the organisation in April 2022. His background is in Graphic Design and Visual Communication and he also holds an Honours degree in English Literature and Language. He uses these skills to help showcase the work of LGBT Youth Scotland and is passionate about telling the story of both the charities’ work and the young people that they work with. As this will be the first LGBT History Month that he is organising for Scotland, he is keen to work with the other committee members to help create what will be an exciting and informative project for 2023. (2022 bio)
Kate Drinane, founding member, is co-founder of Queer Culture Ireland. She organized OUTing the Past LGBTQ+ history festival with 39 events at 15 participating institutions across Ireland in March/April 2022, including at her workplace, the National Gallery of Ireland. (2022 bio)
Judith Finlay (she/her), founding member, has worked in arts and culture for 25 years, from the National Gallery of Ireland (NGI), to the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery and the National Museum of Ireland (NMI). She is currently managing a new museum project in Abu Dhabi. She co-curated ‘Rainbow Revolution at NMI in 2019 and co-founded Queer Culture Ireland with Kate Drinane (NGI). Her educational background includes Art History, English Literature, Archaeology, Zoology and Museum Studies. She is completing a PhD with Trinity College Dublin on ‘The Healing Museum: Using rights-based frameworks to transform museum practice’. (2022 bio)
Caitlin Logan, former founding member, Scotland, 2021-22 Caitlin Logan (she/her) was Communications Officer for LGBT Youth Scotland, which has coordinated LGBT History Month in Scotland since 2007 (two years after LGBT History Month was first celebrated in Scotland). In that position, Caitlin was responsible for coordinating History Month by developing and promoting the annual theme, encouraging community groups, organisations and individuals around the country to host events, listing those events on the lgbhistory.org.uk website and LGBT History Month Scotland social media channels, as well as commissioning blogs and other digital content around History Month. She held this position until March 2022. Committee member: 2021-22. (2022 bio)
Heidi Rohde Rafto, former founding member, Norway, was the Acting Academic Director of Skeivt arkiv / The Norwegian Queer Archive. (2022 bio)
Roger Smith (he/him), former founding member, has been a Trustee of the Lesbian and Gay Archives of New Zealand/Te Pūranga Takatāpui o Aotearoa since 2017. He has given public presentations on aspects of New Zealand LGBTIQ history in Melbourne, Australia (2005) and Wellington, New Zealand (2018 and 2019). Since 2017 he and his husband have led monthly LGBTIQ history walk tours in Wellington. He is an award-winning music producer and radio documentary feature maker, and is currently a PhD candidate researching German poetry. (2022 bio)
Doro Weber (she/her), former member, Scotland, is the Fundraising and Communications Manager at LGBT Youth Scotland, Scotland’s national youth work charity for LGBTI young people. She is passionate about using her fundraising, communications and creative skills to make life better for LGBTI young people in Scotland so that they can thrive and realise their full potential. Doro’s background is in events management and marketing and as part of her role at the charity, she oversees the planning and delivery of LGBT History Month in Scotland. The charity has been organising and co-ordinating LGBT History Month in Scotland for over a decade now and it takes place in February each year. (2022 bio)