Gypsy and Traveller led charity attends Gay rights events in Prague

6 September 2016

Chris Lee, a Romany Gypsy activist, represented the Gypsy and Traveller led Romani Cultural & Arts Company at the second International Roma LGBTIQ Conference held in Prague on the 11th and 12th August, 2016. 

Chris also went to the Prague Pride Parade on Saturday 13th August to stand up for the rights of Gay Roma, Gypsies and Travellers.

Chris Lee is of Welsh Romany Gypsy heritage and grew up in north Wales. Chris worked as a graphic designer in advertising, theatre, education and publishing for many years.  She also established and ran her own successful graphic design company – Chris Lee Design.

 Chris is a Community Champion for the Romani Cultural and Arts Company and is currently part of a team working on a ground-breaking project researching the health and wellness of Gypsies, Roma and Travellers in Wales. The entire team are of Romani Gypsy / Roma heritage.

Isaac Blake; Director of the Romani Cultural & Arts Company, said that he was proud to have Chris Lee attending the events on behalf of Wales and the charity.

“An open, tolerant society cannot pick and choose which groups should merit tolerance and understanding,” he said.

“Every individual living on our beautiful planet deserves to be judged on their own words and actions; not on their race, nationality, religion, sexuality or family background. Let’s stand together and be proud of the amazing diversity that humanity encompasses.”

The historic first International Roma LGBTIQ Conference in 2015 highlighted and explored the many challenges facing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Roma in Europe and beyond. 

The important exchange of information and lively debate between the delegates resulted in the drafting of the Roma LGBTIQ Prague Declaration in which the 28 representatives of Romani LGBTIQ professional associations, civil society and academia from 12 countries (Czech Republic, Canada/France/United States, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain and United Kingdom) assembled at the First International Roma LGBTIQ Conference in Prague, seek to address the realities and bring about change to the lives of LGBTIQ Roma, Gypsy, Sinti and Travellers across Europe, and positively address the impacts of national legislation on our everyday lives. 

The keynote Speech at this year’s 2016 conference was: ‘How can European institutions tackle the issues facing Romani LGBTIQ people’.