LGBTQ+ Rights – Global Feminisms Project

LGBTQ+ Rights

Ngāhuia te Awekotuku :

Ngāhuia te Awekotuku

Ngāhuia te Awekotuku (Te Arawa, Tūhoe, Waikato, Ngapuhi iwi) was a leader of the women’s liberation movement in New Zealand in the 1970s. As a student, she was a member of the Ngā Tamatoa Māori activist group at the University of Auckland. As a Māori lesbian, Ngāhuia was at the forefront of a call to focus on reaching Māori and Pacific women, as well as lesbian rights. 

In 1972, she was famously denied a visa to visit the United States on the basis of her sexuality. She was the first Māori woman to gain a doctorate from an Aotearoa/NZ university.  

At the outset, women’s liberation groups adopted an all-inclusive ‘sisterhood is powerful’ approach. But it wasn’t long before differing perspectives on a range of issues led to disagreements. Many Māori women saw women’s liberation as a Pākehā concept with little relevance for them. They argued that Māori women’s rights were intertwined with the revival of Māori culture and the assertion of land rights. By 1973, separate Māori and lesbian groups had started to form and as the decade progressed ideological differences divided the movement further.  

Te Awekotuku has worked across the heritage, culture and academic sectors as a curator, lecturer, governor, researcher, and activist. Her areas of research interest include gender issues, culture and heritage, ritual and performance. She has been curator of ethnology at the Waikato Museum; senior lecturer in art history at Auckland University, and professor of Māori Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. She was Professor of Research and Development at Waikato University, and has researched and written extensively about the traditional and contemporary practices of tā moko (tattoo) in New Zealand, as well as Māori practices and traditions around death. She has served on many government boards in the arts and heritage sector. Ngāhuia is an Emeritus Professor of the University of Waikato, the first Māori female Emeritus in Aotearoa. She remains a leading feminist writer, lesbian rights activist, and advocate for Māori issues. She has published short fiction, poetry, and significant nonfiction. She continues to work and curate in the gallery sector. She is also an active practitioner of traditional chant and ceremony. In 2022, she presented the 3 episode video documentary Waharoa: Art of the Pacific that focuses on Māori and Pasifika art in New Zealand.   

In recognition of her services to Māori culture, Ngāhuia was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2010. In 2016 she was made the inaugural Mareikura or Matriarch of the Pae Akoranga Wahine/Women's Studies Association of Aotearoa/New Zealand. In 2017 she was made a Fellow of the Auckland War Memorial Museum, and she also received the Pou Aronui Supreme Award from the Royal Society of New Zealand for outstanding service to the arts and humanities. Currently, she is one of three inaugural Ruānuku, or Esteemed Scholarly Elders, of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, the National Centre for Māori Research Excellence. 

Keywords: academia and women's studies, indigenous issues, LGBTQ+ rights

Media: Transcript, YouTube Video

Alice Biagi :

Alice Biagi

Alice Biagi was born in Modena in 1984. She received her Laurea Triennale in Communication Science at the Alma Mater Studiorum Bologna. She currently works as the school and training coordinator at Cassero, and is also a swim instructor. She has been an activist at Cassero LGBTI center since 2007.

Keywords: LGBTQ+ rights, community activism

Media: Transcript (Italian, English), YouTube Video (Italian, English)

Giulia Blasi :

Giulia Blasi

Giulia Blasi, born in Pordenone in 1972, is a writer and a feminist activist. She is the author of several novels and short stories, including Manuale per ragazze rivoluzionarie - Perché il femminismo ci rende felici (2018), Rivoluzione Z - Diventare adulti migliori con il femminismo (2020), and Brutta - Storia di un corpo come tanti, all published by Rizzoli. She is the creator of the #quellavoltache campaign, a hashtag used in Italy at the end of 2017 to open a conversation on sexual harassment and abuse. She lives in Rome. 

Keywords: media, community activism, intersectionality, LGBTQ+ rights, art/writing as activism

Media: Transcript (English), YouTube Video (English)

Laura Castro :

Laura Castro

Laura Castro, born in December 1981 in Rio de Janeiro, is an actress, playwright, singer, cultural producer, and political activist for LGBT families. She is the author of a number of stories and plays, including the 2013 play "To our Children," about a lesbian woman telling her mother that she is going to have a baby.
Keywords: LGBTQ rights, reform of domestic/family roles, art as activism
Media: Transcript (Portuguese, English), Video, YouTube Video (Portuguese, English Subtitles), Name Pronunciation Audio


Carla Catena :

Carla Catena

Carla Catena was born in Ancona in 1963. She graduated in literature from the University of Bologna and works  as a marketing project manager. She is active with the Lesbian Association Bologna. 

Keywords: community activism, LGBTQ+ rights, politics and the law

Media: Transcript (Italian, English), YouTube Video (Italian, English Subtitles)

Elisa Coco :

Elisa Coco

Elisa Coco was born in Catania, Sicily in the late 1970s. She graduated in communication science from the University of Bologna. She helped create and works for a marketing and communication agency  called “Comunicattive” focusing on  gender-related communication. They deal with themes like violence against women, and lesbian and queer activism.

Keywords: feminist conferences, LGBTQ+ rights, community activism

Media: Transcripts (Italian, English), YouTube Video (Italian, English Subtitles)

Cathy Cohen : 1962-

Cathy Cohen


Cathy Cohen, born in 1962, is the former co-chair and a founding board member of the Audrey Lorde Project in New York. She served on the board of Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press, and the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at CUNY. Cohen was a founding member of Black AIDS Mobilization (BAM) and a core organizer of the International Conference, Black Nations Queer Nations. Cohen has also served as an active member in many organizations, such as the Black Radical Congress, African-American Women in Defense of Ourselves, and the United Coalition Against Racism.
Keywords: LGBTQ rights, intersectionality
Media: Transcript (English), VideoBibliographyYouTube VideoName Pronunciation Audio

Valentina Coletta :

Valentina Coletta

Valentina Coletta was born in Campania, a region of Naples in 1985. She identifies as trans and intersex. She graduated with a degree in psychology from a university in Rome. She works with the Transsexual Identity Movement (MIT) to fight for transgender rights, including with migrants. 

Keywords: gender and health, LGBTQ+ rights, reform of domestic/family roles, politics and the law

Media: Transcript (Italian, English), YouTube Video (Italian, English Subtitles)

Elisa Dal Molin :

Elisa Dal Molin

Elisa Dal Molin was born in Feltre, in the province of Belluno, in 1975. She obtained a four-year degree in oriental languages and literature (Chinese). She has worked for many years as the regional representative  for Famiglie Arcobaleno. Since the fall of 2018, she has worked as the Secretary of the Famiglie Arcobaleno (national directive).

Keywords: politics and the law, LGBTQ+ rights, community activism, reform of domestic/family roles

Media: Transcript (Italian, English), YouTube Video (Italian, English Subtitles)


Anna Gruszczynska :

Anna Gruszczynska

Anna Gruszczynska was born in 1978. She studied English and Spanish Philology at the University of Wroclaw and at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow. In 2001, Gruszczynska started a chapter of The Campaign against Homophobia. She has organized marches and campaigns calling for gay and lesbian rights in Poland. Gruszczynska is firmly committed to fighting homophobia and regularly publishes articles about the topic in feminist magazines.
Keywords: LGBTQ rightsintersectionality
Media: Transcript (EnglishPolish), Video (EnglishPolish), BibliographyEnglish YouTube Video, Name Pronunciation Audio

Barbara Hoyer :

Barbara Hoyer

Barbara Hoyer, born 1955, MA in German Studies and Geography (Magistra thesis on lesbian literature in the 1970s). After her studies, she worked in the women's bookstore Labrys in Berlin (1982-1989). From 1990-1998 was she part of the organisational team of BEGiNE -Treffpunkt und Kultur für Frauen e.V., responsible for event organisation, fundraising, and accounting. Since 1975 she has been active in the women's and lesbian movement, first in various women's groups (including LAZ -Lesbian Action Centre Berlin -around 1980), then in the above-mentioned women's projects). Since 2004 she has been project manager of the BEGiNE.

Keywords: media, academia and women's studies, community activism, art/writing as activism, LGBTQ rights

Media: Transcript (English, German), Video, YouTube Video (German, English), Name Pronunciation Audio

Holly Hughes : 1955-

Holly Hughes


Holly Hughes, born in 1955, is a performance artist. She became a member of the WOW cafe, a feminist collective and works on issues of sexuality, identity, personal narrative, and freedom of expression. She has performed across the USA, Canada, and Great Britain at venues ranging from cultural institutions to alternative spaces. At last contact, she was teaching at the University of Michigan.
Keywords: art/writing as activism, LGBTQ rights
Media: Transcript (English), VideoBibliographyYouTube VideoName Pronunciation Audio

Anita Lombardi :

Anita Lombardi

Anita Lombardi was born in Vittorio Veneto in 1988. She graduated from college with a degree in Philosophy and works as a freelancer. She works as the Secretary of the Board  of the Lesbian Association in Bologna. 

Keywords: LGBTQ+ rights, intersectionality

Media: Transcript (Italian, English), YouTube Video (Italian, English Subtitles)

Elisa Manici :

Elisa Manici

Elisa Manici was born in La Spezia in 1975. She received her master’s degree in journalism from the University of Bologna. She works as a penniless journalist and temporary librarian. She has been involved in various groups, including Leftist Youth, ArciLesbica, and Cassero. 

Keywords: LGBTQ+ rights, intersectionality, politics and the law

Media: Transcript (Italian, English), YouTube Video (Italian, English Subtitles)

Eva Maria :

Eva Maria

Born in 1949, Eva Maria grew up in Frankfurt on Main. After graduating from high school and apprenticing as a bank clerk, she left home in 1971. She was a university student in Marburg, until 1977 when she moved to Berlin. She was active in different gay and lesbian groups throughout this period, and collaboratively created the first Lesbian Week in Berlin in 1985. Eventually she was very much involved with BEGINE in Berlin.

Keywords: LGBTQ rights, art/writing as activism

Media: Transcript (English, German), Video, YouTube Video (German, English), Name Pronunciation Audio

Lia Migale :

Lia Migale

Lia Migale, writer and economist, was born in 1949 and lives in Rome, where she was a professor of Business Economics at the “La Sapienza” University in Rome until the 2014/2015 academic year. She was a consultant on issues of the economics of art and planning and business strategy for Italian and international organizations. She also worked as an economic editor in the national press for a long period and published various economic essays. Feminist since the 1970s, she was a member of the Board of Directors of the Casa internazionale delle Donne di Roma from 2014 to 2019. She has published several works on Italian feminism, including “Piccola storia del femminismo in Italia” (Empiria, Roma, 2016), and “Imprenditoria femminile e sviluppo economico”, (Nuova Italia Scientifica, Roma, 1996). She has also published novels, short stories, and other essays. With the novel L’innumerevole uno (Iacobelli Editore, Roma, 2018) she was the winner of the 2018 Capalbio Award. Her latest novel, “Incontri all’angolo di un mattinowas published in 2018 (La Lepre Edizioni Roma) and received one of the awards from L’IGUANA, Castello di Prata Sannita in  2019. 

Keywords: media, community activism, intersectionality, LGBTQ+ rights, art/writing as activism

Media: Transcript (Italian, English), YouTube Video (Italian, English Subtitles)

Katharina Oguntoye :

Katharina Oguntoye

Katharina Oguntoye is an Afro-German writer, historian, activist, and poet. She founded the nonprofit intercultural association Joliba in Germany and is perhaps best known for co-editing the book Farbe bekennen with May Ayim (then May Opitz) and Dagmar Schultz. The English translation of this book was entitled Showing Our Colors: Afro-German Women Speak Out. Oguntoye has played an important role in the Afro-German Movement. Born in Zwickau, East Germany, to a German mother and a Nigerian father, Katharina Oguntoye was raised in both Nigeria and Heidelberg, Germany. Growing up with her father and other African relatives allowed her to see her Blackness in a positive way and she missed that when she returned to Germany at the age of nine. That move back was hard and she often describes internalized racism. Within Showing Our Colors, Oguntoye features her own poetry, much of which focuses on her own understanding of Afro-Germanness, her Afro-German subjectivity, and the relationship between Afro-German women and white German feminism.
Media: Transcript (English, German), Video, YouTube Video (German, English), Name Pronunciation Audio
Antonia Peressoni :

Antonia Peressoni

Antonia Peressoni was born in San Daniele del Friuli in 1978. After graduating with a degree in Public Relations (advertising) she moved first to Piedmont and shortly after to Bologna. She works as the press office manager for a record company  and also freelances. With her arrival in the capital of Emilia Romagna, she dedicated herself to activism in the LGBTQ world, first as a volunteer for Pride in 2008, organized by the ArcigayCassero” and then within the Bologna Arcigay association. In 2012 she created Indie Pride, a live event with the intention of involving the musical world in saying NO to homophobia, bullying, and sexism. After four years Indie Pride became an independent organization sponsoring  its annual festival, and also satellite events like talks, workshops, meetings, and awareness campaigns. In recent years she has collaborated with national and international networks, like Eqauly and Keychange, which deal with gender equality and the gender gap within the music market.

Keywords: LGBTQ+ rights, politics and the law, art/writing as activism

Media: Transcript (Italian, English), YouTube Video (Italian, English Subtitles)

Bianca Maria Pomeranzi :

Bianca Maria Pomeranzi

Bianca Maria Pomeranzi was born in 1950 in Arezzo. She has been a part of the Roman Feminist Movement of Via Pompeo Magno since the mid-1970s. With the group Vivere Lesbica she organized the first Italian Lesbian Feminist Conference in 1981. As an expert on gender and development issues, she worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Development Cooperation. She served as an Expert on the Commission of the United Nations Convention for the Rights of Women, CEDAW. She is vice president of the Association for the Renewal of the Left and politically active in the Wednesday Feminist Group  and the Alma Sabatini Feminist Studies Center. 

Keywords: academia and women's studies, LGBTQ+ rights, politics and the law

Media: Transcript (Italian, English), YouTube Video (Italian, English Subtitles)

Camila Ranauro :

Camila Ranauro

Camilla Ranauro was born in 1994, and has been a LGBTI+ activist and feminist since the age of 17. She has been active in both collectives and formal associations. She is currently the vice president of Cassero LGBTI+ Center in Bologna, Italy. Her principal interests are education, political protest, and planning and preparation of European project proposals. 

Keywords: LGBTQ+ rights, intersectionality, politics and the law

Media: Transcript (Italian, English), YouTube Video (Italian, English Subtitles)

Valeria Roberti :

Valeria Roberti

Valeria Roberti was born in 1984 and has been an activist for the rights of LGBTQI+ people for years. She is the facilitator of the Centro Risorse LGBTI, an organization that promotes the full equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transexual, and intersex people. She works  to promote Education about  Differences with adolescents and teachers through non-formal education techniques and has collaborated with various organizations already active in this field. In 2017 she completed the course for professional development on “Gender Perspectives in Teaching  Pedagogy” at the University of Bologna. She is the coauthor of the book “Una scuola arcobaleno. Dati e strumenti contro l’omotransfobia in classe” published by Settenove Edizioni in 2021. 

Keywords: LGBTQ+ rights, politics and the law, education

Media: Transcript (Italian, English), YouTube Video (Italian, English Subtitles)

Maria de Fátima Lima Santos :

Maria de Fátima Lima Santos

Maria de Fátima Lima Santos, born in 1974, grew up in Aracaju in the northeast of Brazil. She is an anthropologist and an associate professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro where she teaches courses related to gender, health and community. Her scholarly and activist focus is on health care and understandings of health for the LGBT community.
Keywords: gender and health, LGBTQ rights, academia and women's studies
Media: Transcript (EnglishPortuguese), Video, YouTube Video (Portuguese, English Subtitles), Name Pronunciation Audio

Dagmar Schoenfisch :

Dagmar Schoenfisch

Dagmar Schoenfisch was born in Berlin in 1940. She worked as a nurse in East Berlin, and in August 1961 escaped to West Berlin, where she got her diploma at the Free University. She has a daughter and a son. She participated in the German Senate for Economics in 1978 and worked in women’s shelter activism. She was the founder of the first lesbian bar in Berlin (“Die Zwei”) in 1980-81, which she continued to operate until 2002.

Keywords: LGBTQ rights, academia and women's studies, art/writing as activism

Media: Transcript (English, German), Video, YouTube Video (German, English), Name Pronunciation Audio

Maria Amélia de Almeida Teles :

Maria Amélia de Almeida Teles

Maria Amélia de Almeida Teles, born in 1944, is a founding member of the União de Mulheres de São Paulo (São Paulo Women’s Union), a feminist NGO that focuses on the fight against domestic violence and on women’s empowerment and legal rights. A former member of the Communist Party of Brazil and, in the 1970s, a victim of torture by the military government that ruled Brazil from 1964-1985, Teles frequently lectures on feminism and human rights and has published widely on the history of feminism and women’s human rights in Brazil.
Keywords: gender-based violence, imprisonment, politics and the law, LGBTQ rights, racial identity
Media: Transcript (EnglishPortuguese), Video, YouTube Video (Portuguese, English Subtitles), Name Pronunciation Audio

Gahela Tseneg Cari Contreras :

Gahela Tseneg Cari Contreras

Gahela Tseneg Cari Contreras, born in the early 1990s, is a transgender woman who began participating in politics in 2015 in the National Youth Congress held in Huaraz. Gahela grew up in a rural area of ​​the Ica region. Her early life reflects much of the upheaval of Peru's recent history. Her mother was a peasant leader, native of Ayacucho, who was saved from forced sterilization ordered by the government of Alberto Fujimori. Her father was forced to flee Peru because of threats from terrorists, who besieged the work of union leaders. Both became immigrants, as did another 7 million Peruvians who mobilized internally for political or economic reasons. At age 27 she ran to become the first transgender woman in Peru’s Congress in the January 2020 elections, campaigning with what has been described as one of the most courageous and intersectional programs of the emerging and diverse Peruvian left. Although she did not win a seat, she has continued her political activism to transform issues of equity and discrimination among LGBTI individuals.

Keywords: community activism, LGBTQ+ rights, politics and the law

Media: Transcript (Spanish, English), Video, YouTube Video (Spanish, English Subtitles), Name Pronunciation Audio

Bozena Uminska :

Bozena Uminska

Bozena Uminska was born in 1948 and studied psychology, Polish philology, and philosophy at the University of Warsaw where she received a doctorate in 2001. She is the co-founder of the Polish Feminist Association and a translator of Maggie Humm's The Dictionary of Feminist Theory. In 2002, her book A Figure with Shadow: Jewish Women in Polish Literature from the End of the 19th Century to 1939 was among the top twenty nominated for Nike, the most prestigious literary award in Poland.
Keywords: LGBTQ rights
Media: Transcript (EnglishPolish), Video (EnglishPolish), BibliographyEnglish YouTube Video, Name Pronunciation Audio

Ruth Vanita :

Ruth Vanita

Ruth Vanita, born in 1955, is an author and professor at the University of Montana, where she teaches courses in the Humanities, Literature, and Women's Studies. She was formerly a reader in English at Miranda House and the English department, Delhi University. She is one of the founding co-editors of Manushi, India's first feminist journal.
Keywords: education, gender-based violence, LGBTQ rights, community activism, academia and women's studies
Media: Transcript (English), VideoBibliographyYouTube VideoName Pronunciation Audio

Wei Tingting :

Wei Tingting

Wei Tingting, born in 1988 in Guangxi, China, a Chinese LGBT and Feminist activist, majoring in sociology in college and graduate with an MA in anthropology from Wuhan University. She started to get involved in feminist and LGBT movement since she produced and staged Vagina Monologues in Wuhan in 2007. She is the co-founder of national bisexual network in China, founder of Guangzhou Gender and Sexuality Education Center, and on the committee/counselor of several LGBT and feminist organizations.She was co-listed as the “10 of the Most Inspiring Feminists of 2015” by MS Magazine in the US. She is also a psychology counselor, writer, documentary producer and director. The documentary We Are Here she produced was screened in many countries.
Media: Transcript (English, Mandarin), Video, YouTube Video (Mandarin, English Subtitles)
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