Name, surname: Vladimir Simonko
Position: Co-founder and Executive Director
About the employee: I have a long experience and a strong background in working on LGBT* rights in Lithuania, acting as expert and trainer in various national and international projects and actively participating in human rights conferences. I was an organizer of the first Eastern European Conference of ILGA in Palanga in 1994 and the annual ILGA-Europe conference in Vilnius in 2007. I was also one of the main organizers of the first Baltic Pride that took place in Vilnius in 2010. Currently I serve as a member of the Lithuanian Human Rights Coalition and National Equality and Diversity Forum. I have also participated in National Working Groups on EU anti-discrimination policy and the European Year of Equal Opportunities for All (2007).
Name, surname: Eglė Kuktoraitė
Position: Communications Coordinator
About the employee: I got my bachelor’s degree in Lithuanian philology and promotion from Vilnius University in 2012. While studying a Master’s degree programme of American studies in University of Turin I realized that conscious society is a vital force in making political decisions and implementing the rights of LGBT people. Employment in LGL promises a chance to apply energy and excitement of writing to publicize LGL’s humane initiatives. Therefore, if my texts would encourage a single person to a positive change – my work will be worthwhile.
Name, surname: Virginija Prasmickaitė
Position: Project Coordinator
About the employee: My involvement with LGL has started way back in 2004 as a volunteer. In 2005 I joined the EQUAL project „Open and Safe at Work“ team. I was also involved in building cooperation between LGBTQ youth groups in the Baltics and Nordic countries. In the period of 2008 to 2013 my professional engagement with LGBTQ movement continued in Brussels, where I managed the office of the Internationl LGBTQ Youth and student Organisation (IGLYO). Since I spent a number of years outside Lithuania, I had a chance to observe the growth and changes in the LGBTQ community at home, increasing understanding and acceptance by the public too. Although the road to full equality is still long, I do believe, that everything will be alright one day. Social justice, ideas of equality and solidarity, respect to human dignity are what motivates me to act. I hold the degree in Law from Mykolas Romeris University and masters degree in Social Sciences (Social Entrepreneurship and Management programme) Roskilde University (Denmark) .
Name, surname: Odeta Makaveckaitė
About the employee: I got my degree in economics at Vilnius University and ever since I have been working in the fields of financial services and accountancy. I gained plenty of experience in various positions in large companies during my career. Being responsible of all financial documents and accounts I ensure that LGBT* rights activists at least don’t need to take care of that. It is my small contribution to the cause! In my free time I enjoy resting in the nature, I like accompanying hunters (though, I don’t use a gun). Also, I try to catch every opportunity to fly to European capitals – I adore travelling!
Name, surname: Tomas Vytautas Raskevičius
Position: Policy Coordinator (Human Rights)
About the employee: I graduated from the Institute of International Relations and Political Science (Vilnius University) in 2011. In summer 2012 I acquired master’s degree in Human Rights Law from Central European University (Budapest, Hungary). In the course of my studies, I have interned in the US Embassy Vilnius, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Hungarian LGBT organization Háttér and at the Brooklyn Community Pride Center (New York City, US). After graduation I was eager to work in the field of human rights, therefore I was very excited to join the LGL’s team in 2012. My duties entail management of organization’s correspondence, administration of the LGL’s social communication channels, as well as preparation of various application forms and reports. In addition to this, I am in charge of trans* issues within the organization’s activities, as well as human rights issues in relation to the United Nations and the Council of Europe human rights protection mechanisms. I persistently try to apply the quote by Harvey Milk, namely – “If I turned around every time somebody called me a faggot, I’d be walking backward – and I don’t want to walk backward.” – in my daily life. I cannot imagine independent Lithuania, where people are classified into “first-class” and “second-class” citizens. Therefore, I am very happy to be able to use my knowledge, determination and passion in pursuit that everyone of us feels like at home in our society.
Name, surname: Kamila Gasinska
Position: Volunteer Coordinator
About the employee: In 2014, I received a Master’s degree in Clinical, Intercultural and Gender Psychology, then finished my studies in Clinical Sexology. Through studying issues connected to LGBT themes, I realized the importance of educating society and promoting change in all facets in these fields. Later in 2014, I joined LGL, and since then have actively participated in the organization’s activities. I strongly believe that in order to establish equal rights, it’s important not only to educate society and change legal foundations, but also to develop and support the LGBT community. With this in mind, it gives me great pleasure to join the LGL team as Volunteer Coordinator.
Name, surname: Cintia Nogueira
About the intern: After completing a bachelor’s degree in international relations in Portugal at the University of Porto, I decided to have several experiences in different countries in order to understand the path I would like to follow. In France, at the Université Paris-Est Créteil, I started a master’s degree of international humanitarian action last year. I realized with time that my life would go through support and solidarity with those who suffer around the world. Aware of the difficulties and struggles that many people are experiencing daily, through this training, I intend to become professionalized in the world of humanitarian aid and to put myself side by side with those who fight for the human rights. It was also in France that I began to approach the LGBT community by working with human rights organizations through, for example, advocacy actions such as human rights classes that I had the opportunity to give in basic and high schools. As long as there are people who cannot have access to their rights and their freedom, as long as there is discrimination, prejudice and violence, people and organizations like LGL will be needed to give a voice to those who do not have it. That is the reason that brought me here: to know that LGL works daily to protect the LGBT community, to develop projects that involve and defend it. As an intern over the next few months, I want to take part in those projects and activities as well as to assist team members in all of their ways to continue this fight.