GLAS FOUNDATION EN | Gays and Lesbians Accepted in Society
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GLAS NEWS

GLAS PROJECTS

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Work It Out is a platform for based in Bulgaria domestic and international companies that want to make their workplaces more inclusive and embrace the benefits of diversity. The purpose of the platform is to promote a positive business and economic case for equality of opportunity for every employee in Bulgaria. It is not a formal organization, but rather a community of companies all sharing the goals for acceptance and inclusion of LGBT people.

We are here to help and support each business’s effort to recognize their own LGBT employees and adopt inclusive policies, benefits and practices.

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ACT NOW AGAINST HATE CRIME CAMPAIGN

The project was realized with the financial support of the Planet Romeo Foundation and is called ACT NOW AGAINST HATE CRIME. It consists of an awareness-raising campaign fostering the discussion about hate crimes and violence targeting sexual orientation or gender identity and aiming the recognition/introduction of sexual orientation in all Articles of the Criminal Code addressing hate speech and hate crime.We hope the campaign and discussions will lead to adopting broader politics, aimed at promoting equality, that in the future hate-motivated crimes based on sexual orientation will be investigated more carefully and will be publically announced and condemned by the authorities and political leaders. We also believe the campaign will encourage more victims to overcome their fear, lodge complaints and inform the authorities. Thus the project will foster awareness on the seriousness of hate crime and the fact that the perpetrators must be duly punished.

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ROUND TABLE

THE EXPERIENCE OF ROZE IN BLAUW IN COMBATING HATE CRIMES

GLAS Foundation together with the Embassy of Kingdom of the Netherlands in Bulgaria organized round table panel discussion on the topic of homophobic hate crimes and how the Dutch police network Roze in Blauw is battling with the issue on 17th of September 2015 in Sofia, Bulgaria. Two police officers from the network came to Sofia to meet their Bulgarian colleagues and exchange insights how to work on similar cases. For many years the local police force of Amsterdam has been operating the Roze in Blauw network for the Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Transgender community (LGBT).

Their force consists of well-trained policemen and policewomen, who have an affinity with this subject. During the round table the police officers shared their experience on similar cases, what the working methods of dealing with homophobic hate crimes are, effective mechanisms for support of victims, schemes of data collection and building trust between the police and the LGBT community. Pieter van Vliet, Deputy Head of Mission, officially opened the discussion. The event was part of GLAS’s campaign against homophobic hate crimes.

#JustLikeYou

CONFERENCE AND VIDEO CONTEST

GLAS Foundation jointly with The Project Office for Southeast Europe of Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom and the Sofia Pride Organizational Committee organized the #JustLikeYou Video Contest for participants from Council of Europe member states during Sofia Pride 2015. The contest featured two categories of participants: Bulgarians submitting works in Bulgarian, and international contestants submitting works in English. The contest was part of the #JustLikeYou two months campaign on promoting LGBT rights and discrimination, which included also an international conference in Sofia on 26th of June 2015. The conference focused on topics of discrimination and hate crimes and discrimination in education.

EAST MEETS WEST FORUM

International initiative with participants from 23 different countries in Europe, which happened in Prague during Prague Pride Week in August 2014. GLAS Foundation was presented by Simeon Vasilev, CEO and founder, speaker in one of the panels, who shed some light on the issues of LGBT community in Bulgaria and gave more information to the participants about the current and future projects of the foundation. Thanks to the Forum important collaborations were made with various organizations through-out Europe.

ONLINE MEDIA

GLAS is trying to empower real people from the LGBT community to share their own stories and give strong example to the society. We are addressing this goal through our online magazine HUGE. HUGE is a “community to community” media, which aims to bring normality in the perception of gay people. Through the e-magazine we strive to inform the same community about the world around them, giving them broader perspective. HUGE is also dedicating strong efforts into educating its readers about the health issues and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. HUGE started in 2013 and rapidly became the leading platform about LGBT news in the country and is currently viewed by more than 15 000 unique visitors.

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SOFIA PRIDE ART WEEK 2015

Sofia Pride Art Week is the cultural event preceeding Sofia Pride, in which artists and people from the LGBT community, excited by the themes of equality and acceptance of diversity, present their work. Sofia Pride Art Week is a platform for young and experienced artists from Bulgaria and abroad, whose works carry messages of multiculturalism and inclusion. The edition in 2015, which was held between 23 and 28 June, was the largest so far. It included the exhibition All Love is Equal by photographer Braden Summers, the photographic exhibition “Rise of the” decency “of Mary Kahn, also works of the Canadian artist Percy Katt in The 9 Lives of Percy Katt and the gay manga illustrations Paper Daddy of Bulgarian author.

SOFIA PRIDE ART WEEK 2014

The Sofia Pride Art Week has been happening for two years in a row preceding the most massive public gathering in support of human rights in Bulgaria – the Pride parade. The purpose of the Art Week is to showcase the beauty, diversity and achievements of the LGBT community to the broad audience. Various photo exhibitions have been held in the past at prominent gallery spaces in the capital. GLAS foundation will be the organizer behind the third edition of the Art Week in 2014.

GLAS VISION

FOR A POSITIVE CHANGE

GLAS /Gays and Lesbians Accepted in Society/ is a non-governmental organization which aims to deliver positive change for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Bulgaria, ensuring full equality and protection from all forms of discrimination. Our vision is of full participation of LGBT people in all aspects of life and society. GLAS foundation, established in 2014, focuses on headline targets like positive representation of the LGBT community in the society, working with parents of gay people and holding public campaigns combating homophobic hate crimes and promoting tolerance.

SAFE AND CONFIDENCE

We believe Bulgaria can become a place where LGBT people can feel safe and confident about being open regarding their sexual orientation at home, in work and within the society. We want to live in a society where a teenager can come to terms with their sexuality and have all the support from their parents, friends, school and society at large. Where parents will not worry or have any greater concerns when their child says they are gay. We want to see those children growing old and becoming positive representatives of the LGBT community, raising their voices high and being better parents than their own.

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GLAS GOALS

Campaigns Against Homophobic Hate Crime

Since 2015 GLAS started series of awareness-raising campaigns battling discrimination against LGBT people and fostering a discussion to recognize hate crimes and violence targeting sexual orientation and gender identity as an offence in the Criminal Code of Bulgaria. Hate-motivated violence has exceptionally harmful, long lasting effect on the victims. That kind of violence generates widespread climate of fear among people of the LGBT community, especially when the state fails to bring the perpetrators to justice. Very often the victims do not want to inform the police about the crimes, which leads to impunity of attackers. One of the goals of those campaigns is encouragement for more victims or witnesses to lodge complaints and more precise investigation of such crimes.

We envision a safe society in which all human beings are accepted for who they are.

Positive representation of LGBT community

We strive to achieve positive representation of the LGBT community in our society.

GLAS foundation devotes serious efforts into battling with negative images of the LGBT community and trying hard to overcome stereotypes in media, creating more positive coverage. Very often in local media gays and lesbians are categorized negatively and seen to be morally degenerate. This has led to well recognized negative stereotypical portrayals of LGBT people. GLAS wants to challenge such views, arguing that LGBT people are the same as heterosexual people in every other aspect beside that they perform homosexual acts. We want to empower real people from the LGBT community to share their own stories and give strong example to society. We also want to increase the number of open homosexual, bisexual and transgendered people in the Bulgarian media. We believe these positive examples can change social acceptance. We want to combat negative stereotypes of the LGBT community and offer journalists the tools with which they can improve their coverage on the topic.

Working with parents of LGBT people

We want to help parents deal with the feelings of confusion, embarrassment, guilt, denial or anger when their child says they are gay and make sure they don’t get trapped in the myths surrounding homosexuality. It is of vital importance that parents speak with someone well informed, be they a professional counselor, a friend or other parents of LGBT children. We aim to hold regular mutual and individual support groups where parents can get together and discuss their experiences. Coming to terms with a son or daughter’s same sex attraction may not be easy for some, but by contacting us you will be able to gain a greater understanding, challenge ignorance and prejudice. Our primal goal is keeping families together.

We want families to stay together.

ABOUT GLAS FOUNDATION

All our members are working voluntary and currently are not paid for their regular activities at the foundation except when they are receiving fees for particular projects if those are provided in the budget. Most of our collaborators are young LGBT activists, journalists and representatives of the community who share their views and perspectives on more tolerant world.

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