Speakers 2019

Rainbow over the storm: taking back Brazil’s democracy

Fabiano COntarato

Fabiano Contarato




Fabiano studied law at the University of Vila Velha. He is a professor as well as a former officer of Internal Affairs and the Director-General of the Department of Transportation in the state of Espírito Santo, and chief of police of the Traffic Police. in 2016. He was elected to the position of Senator representing the state of Espiritu Santo in August of 2018 with a high turnout.

Fábio Félix Silveira

State Deputy

Legislative Assembly of the Federal District


He is a social worker, LGBT activist and has a PhD in Political Science. He was president of the Council of the Rights of Children and Adolescents of the Federal District. He is founder and currently regional president of the Socialism and Freedom Party of the Federal District. He was also elected state deputy of the Federal District. It has promoted the defense of the rights of children and adolescents in the street situation or in the fulfillment of socio-educational measures.


Katia Cunha

Pernambuco State Legislator

Pernambuco Legislative Assembly


Kátia Cunha, a teacher from the state network, a feminist militant, an active participant in the union struggle and president of PSAR Igarassu. Defender of the public policies focused on an egalitarian education and teaching valorization. Katia wishes to construct a Collective Mandate entirely dedicated to the interests of the Pernambuco people.

Working with allied politicians in the Caribbean

Valerie woods

Valerie Woods


Senate of Belize


She studied Business Administration. She holds a Masters in Tourism Administration from George Washington University. She has 20 years of experience in the tourism area. She was the director of the Belize Tourism Board. In March 2016, she was appointed Senator, position in which she currently serves.

Aziza Lake


Senate of Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda

She was born in Graysfarm, Antigua and Barbuda. She studied Political Science and Network Engineering. She has worked as a producer in several state media, such as ABS. She was appointed senator for the first time in February 2017, and again in March 2018, a position in which she currently serves.

Fadia St Vil

Legal Advisor

Office of Citizen Protection


She is a lawyer and currently works as the legal advisor in the Office of Citizen Protections in Haiti.

Gloria Reyes


House of Representatives

Dominican Republic

She is a lawyer with a postgraduate education focusing on political science, a Masters in International Law and a Masters in Microfinance and Sustainable Development. She was the national Vice President for the youth wing of the Dominican Revolutionary Party from 2003-2009. Since 2014 she has formed part of the PRM Commission. She was elected as deputy in 2016.Es abogada con estudios de postgrado en Ciencias Políticas, Maestría en Derecho Internacional y Maestría en Micro Finanzas y Desarrollo Sostenible. Fue Vicepresidente Nacional de la Juventud Revolucionaria Dominicana entre 2009 y 2003. Hace parte de la Comisión Política del PRM desde 2014. Fue elegida como Diputada en 2016.

Meeting the needs of refugees and migrants in the region

Gloria Careaga


Fundación Arcoíris


She completed her undergraduate studies in Psychology at ITESO and Master’s Degree in Social Psychology at UNAM. She is co-founder of the University Program of Gender Studies of the UNAM (PUEG). Actively participates in the feminist movement and in the LGBTI movement. She was General Co-Secretary of ILGA from 2008 to 2014. She currently coordinates the Rainbow Foundation and is a member of the UN-Women Advisory Group. He is also a professor at the Faculty of Psychology of the UNAM.

Ricardo Lara

Insurance Commissioner

California Department of Insurance

United States of America

He obtained a degree in Spanish and Journalism with a specialization in Chicano Studies form LAUSD schools and is a lifelong resident of Southeast Lost Angeles. He made history being the first openly out LGBTQ person to be elected to a statewide office in California. He has previously served in multiple positions within California such as State Senate and Assembly.

juan carlos archila

Juan Archila


Fundación Censurados


He is the director of the Fundación Censurados, which works with migrantes population living with HIV, in areas of inclusion, productivity and development. He studied Social Commnunication.



Carlos romero

Carlos Romero

Secretario Ejecutivo

Red Nacional de Diversidad Sexual y VIH


He is the director of the Fundación Censurados, which works with migrantes population living with HIV, in areas of inclusion, productivity and development. He studied Social Commnunication.


Queer, black, and proud: making institutions listen

Leslie Herod

State Representative

Colorado General Assembly

United States of America

Representative Leslie Herod (HD-8) was elected in 2016 as the first LGBTQ African American in the General Assembly, while receiving the highest number of votes of any candidate running in a contested election. She serves as the Chair of the House Finance Committee, Vice Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, and Vice Chair of the Committee on Legal Services. Rep. Herod also chairs the Colorado Black Democratic Legislative Caucus and the Arts Caucus.

Tatiana Rentería 


Parish Council of Borbon


She is a teacher and politician of Ecuadorian origin, mother, lesbian, and commercial engineer by profession, who has worked in the Dominican political world. She has worked in the public administration of Santo Domingo and has been a representative of the citizenship by popular election at the Parish Council of Borbón. Her life story has led her to fight for family rights of LGBT people because she and her partner have the firm desire to be able to give to their son both of their last names, given that the rules of civil registration Santo Domingo indicate that late recognition in same sex couples is not accepted but only registration is allowed.

Erica Malunguinho da Silva

State Legislator

Legislative Assembly of Sao Paulo


Erica is an artistic activist, transactivist, and black activist, social activist, and educator. She worked as an educator, cultural agent, and in the training of managers and teachers. She is credited with the founding of the urban quilombo “Aparelha Luzia” which became a prominent center for black culture in Brazil. She holds a Masters in Aesthetics and History from the University of Sao Paulo. In October of 2018 she became one of the first trans people elected to the State Legislative Assembly in Brazil.

Narciso Torres

Technical Advisor

Organization CNOA


He is a social worker and afro LGBT leader. Currently, she works in the area of Gender Equity and Women’s Rights in the National Convergence of Afro-Colombian Organizations – CNOA, to make visible and promote the defense of the rights of afro LGBT people in Colombia.

Working with allied politicians in Central America

ivan chanis

Iván Chanis


Fundación Iguales


Focusing on law and political science, Ivan has a Master of Law from New York University. He has focused on international law, diplomacy, and international relations. Currently, he is the president of the Fundacion Iguales in Panama. In this role he has led strategic litigation projects and work from the recognition of same sex marriage.

Josué Godoy


Legislative Assembly of El Salvador

El Salvador

From a young age, she participated in movements and social organizations that defend democracy. He was the Municipal and Departmental Director of the nationalist republican youth of the ARENA party. He is a Deputy of the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador representing the department of Santa Ana. He serves as president of the Parliamentary Group of Youth of the Legislative Assembly.

Cinthia Bonilla

Genre and International Cooperation Technical Specialist



She has a degree in Business Administration as well as a Master’s in Gender Studies and Education with a postgraduate degree in Gender and the Prevention of Trafficking of Persons. She has worked on projects specific to gender for multiple organizations such as Vision Mundial, CARE Honduras, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, La Asociación Cooperativa Canadiense, Cooperacion Holandesa, and La Federación de Cooperativas Agropecuarias de Honduras. Currently she serves as an advisor for Gender and International Cooperation in the Office of Presidential Designate, or Vice President, Olga Alvarado.

LGBTI-friendly cities

Julie Lemieux


City of Très-Saint-Rédempteur


She was elected as councilor in 2013. In 2017 she was elected as Mayor of the City of Tres-Saint-Redempteur with a large proportion of the vote. She not just the first trans individual, but the first women to this elected office.

Rênya Medeiros


City of Passira


With a degree in Law and Social Sciences she has promoted and defended sexual diversity in her role as Secretary of Sexual Diversity at the CDE in Morena, Michocan. She currently serves as a Congresswomen and the Chair of the Commission on Youth and Sexual Diversity in the House of Representatives of Mexico.

Christopher Cabaldon


City of West Sacramento

United States of America

Filipino-American politician from California who serves as mayor of West Sacramento. He is the longest-serving mayor in the city’s history. He also represents the State of California on the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education as an appointee of California Governor Jerry Brown. He is a member of the Democratic Party and Vice President of the National Conference of Democratic Mayors. He is openly gay.

Juan Carlos Prieto

Sexual Diversity Director

Mayor of Bogota

He is a political scientist and reporter. Currently he is the Director of Sexual Diversity for the Department of Urban Planning of the City of Bogota.

Julian Bedoya

Julián Bedoya

City of Toro
Studied Medicine at the Pontifical Bolivarian University in Medillin and focused on Medical Management and Audit. He was elected as the first gay mayor of Toro.

Countering the wave of religious conservatism in the Americas

José Manuel Morán


Universidad Nacional de Córdoba

He studied Political Science. He has a Master’s degree in Sociology and a Ph.D. in Social Studies. He has worked as a researcher of the Gender and Equity Program and the Governance Program of FLACSO-Chile. Currently, he is an assistant researcher at the National Council of Scientific and Technical Research and professor of Legal Sociology and researcher at the National University of Córdoba, in Argentina.

Nicolas Panotto


Multidisciplinary Studies Group on Religion and Public Advocacy

He is a theologian, has a Master’s Degree in Social and Political Anthropology, and is pursuing his Doctorate in Social Sciences. He is a professor at the Catholic University of Santiago de Chile and the Theological Community of Chile. He is also General Coordinator of the Pedagogical and Theological Services Consultant, and founder and director of the Multidisciplinary Studies Group on Religion and Public Advocacy.


Gabriela Adrianzen

CLACAI Executive Secretary Consultant


Gabriela studies history and has a Masters in Gender Studies and has formed part of CLACAI ( The Latin American Consortium against Unsafe Abortions). Has done studies on the political participation of women and participated in projects that focuses on the development of sexual health and reproduction, leadership, and social participation of women.

LGBTI indigenous people in politics

fernando us

Fernando Us

Activist and Human Rights Defender

He is a gay man, indigenous Mayan K’iche, from a village called Macaljau in the indigenous highlands of Guatemala. He has worked as an activist and defender of human rights. Activism has been a space that has allowed him to give a political meaning to his identity.

Zumak Sacha Flores Andy

National Technical Director of Electoral Actions Abroad

National Electoral Council of Ecuador

Studied Hospitality with a focus on Sustainable Tourism and the Environment. He has a postgraduate degree in Human Rights specifically focusing on the Indigenous communities across Latin America an UN systems. Currently he is pursuing a Masters in Gender and Development. Zumak serves as the Technical Director for Electoral Processes Abroad.

Andrés Cancimance

Candidate for Governor of Putumayo


He is a Social Worker, has a Master’s degree in Political Science and a Doctorate in Anthropology. He has developed several research works in Putumayo and led processes of reconstruction of memory about the armed conflict, with the National Center of Historical Memory. Currently, he is a candidate for the Governación de Putumayo for Movimiento Colombia Humana.

The democratic crisis in Nicaragua

Víctor Agustín Cuadras

Student Leader

He is a student leader in Nicaragua who cofounded the April 19th University Movement in response to the violence from Ortega regime and in favor of the establishment of a democratic state within the country.

Dámaso Vargas


National LGBTIQ Table of Nicaragua


She is a young trans activist, who at her 21 arrived to coordinate the Transdeseo Feminist Collective and is currently a spokesperson for the National LGBTIQ Table of Nicaragua, in the struggle for the rights of trans women in Nicaragua. He has criticized the governments of his country for not respecting the postulates of a secular state and for not knowing the need to have a gender identity law for trans people.


Ludwika Vega Espinoza


Asociación Nicaragüense de Personas Transgénero


Ludwika is the president of the Nicaraguan Association of Transgender People. She is a trans feminist woman, who struggles to make sure that laws guarantee equality and access to opportunities for all, regardless of gender or gender. She is an expert in gender, sexuality and design and management of social projects. It also represents transgender women in high-level meetings with government officials. She has a degree in Marketing.

Right to live a full life: economic and social rights for trans communities

Yren Rotela 

Activist and Human Rights Defender

Activist and defender of rights for LGBTQ persons and sex workers. She is the cofounder of Panambi Asocacion de Travestis, Transexuales, y Transgenero a trans rights and advocacy organization. In 2015, she received the Peter Benenson award for her work with Amnesty International. She was a candidate for the Senate in 2018, with a platform that promoted a legislative agenda to recognize the rights of the LGBTQ community.

Brianna Titone

State Representative

Colorado General Assembly

United States of America 

Brianna is an American politician, who was elected as the state representative for the 27th House District of Colorado in the 2018 elections. She serves in the 72nd Colorado General Assembly and is the first openly transgender state legislator elected in Colorado and the 4th elected in the United States. She attended the State University of New York at New Paltz from 1996 to 2002 where she earned bachelor’s degrees in Geology and Physics. She later earned a master’s degree in Geochemistry at Stony Brook University, and in 2018 earned a master’s degree in information and communications technology from the University of Denver.

Said López

National Coordinator


He is a lawyer, a specialist in human rights. He has worked as a political activist and defender of LGBT human rights. Since 2017, he has served as Executive Director of the National Platform for Transgender Men and Women of Honduras -SOMOSTRANS-, leading training processes on leadership, self-esteem, human rights, human mobility and public policies.

Federico Graña Viñoly

National Director of Sociocultural Promotion

Ministry of Social Development of Uruguay

Since 2015 he has been the National Director for Sociocultural Promotion within the Ministry of Social Development. Prior to this he was part of the NGO “Black Sheep” which advocated for the rights of LGBTQ persons.

The democratic crisis in Venezuela

Rosmit Eliecer Mantilla Flores

Member fo the National Assembly

National Assembly of Venezuela

Rosmit is a Venezuelan politician, who was elected to the National Assembly of Venezuela in the Venezuelan parliamentary election, 2015. He is noted as the first openly gay politician ever elected to the National Assembly. He is a member of the Voluntad Popular party.

tamara adrian

Tamara Adrián 

Member fo the National Assembly

National Assembly of Venezuela


She is an LGBT lawyer and activist. He has a Ph.D. in Commercial Law. In 2015, she was elected as a member of the Legislative Assembly of Venezuela. She is the first trans woman to occupy a seat in this chamber.

Luis Meneses


Fundación Venezolana de Apoyo a la Diversidad Sexual


He is a Venezuelan LGBT activist, who is exiled in Colombia. He was the organizer and promoter of the LGBT Pride March in Zulia since its inception. He was also a public official of the Governance of Zulia, from where he promoted the LGBT public policy of this state. He is the president of the Venezuelan Foundation of Support for Sexual Diversity in his origin country. He also created the Venezuelan Foundation of Direct, Inclusive and Social Care in Colombia to assist Venezuelan LGBT migrants and people.

LBTQ women in Parliament: leading the change in the Americas

Erika Hilton

State Legislator

Legislative Assembly of Sao Paulo


Erika is a transactivist who got her start after being denied a bus pass in her hometown with her name. This lead her to launch two different online petitions advocating for trans people and their rights to choose their own name even within private companies. Through the success of this she gained notoriety and was asked to run with a collective called the “Activist Bench” for a position in the government. In 2018 the collective won the seat making her one of the first trans people to be elected in Brazil.


Renitta Shannon

Representative to the House

House of Representatives of Georgia

United States

Renitta Shannon defeated a four-term conservative Democrat incumbent with a bold progressive messagein 2016. In January 2017, she was sworn into the Georgia State House of Representatives, representingthe 84th district. Representative Shannon utilizes her impactful public platform to fight stigmas andcreate legislation for marginalized communities. Her experience in community organizing work aroundeconomic, racial, and gender justice equipped her to serve in the Georgia State House of Representatives.

Estefania Cortes-Vargas


Legislative Assembly of Alberta


Estafania is a Colombian-born Canadian politician who was elected in the Alberta general election, 2015 to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, representing the electoral district of Strathcona-Sherwood Park as a member of the Alberta New Democratic Party. Upon election they became one of the first three out LGBT people elected to the Alberta legislature.

La salud como un derecho y su inclusión en la agenda de las organizaciones LGBTI

Laura weinstein

Laura Weinstein


Consultant adviser of the LGBT public policy of Bogotá and member of the country coordinating mechanism.

Miguel barriga

Miguel Ángel Barriga

Red Somos

He is the director of the Somos Network and advisor in the District Council of Bogotá. He is also a member of the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM).

Alfredo mejia

Alfredo Mejía


He studied Psychology. Currently, he is an advisor to the Community, Rights and Gender Platform of Latin America and the Caribbean. In addition, he has been a consultant to international cooperation agencies on HIV and sexual and reproductive health.

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