Legebitra is a LGBT civil society organization, active in the fields of human rights, education, mental, physical and sexual health, and advocates social and systemic changes based on respect for sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression. It takes into account the intersection of other personal circumstances, such as health, nationality, race or ethnic origin, language, religion or belief, handicap, age, social status, wealth, education or any other personal circumstance.


Mission and values


Mission


By continuously providing accessible, confidential and professional services, we provide support and empowerment for individuals, LGBT community, and people with HIV. Through advocacy, we contribute to improving legal protection, to increasing the visibility of LGBT people and understanding the position of people with HIV. By raising awareness of the general and professional public, we contribute to changing the attitude towards our target groups. With all our activities, we build a society where every identity is legitimate.


History

Zgodovina

1997
1997-06-21

IGLYO conference in Pisa

Miha Lobnik attended the conference of IGLYO (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Youth and Student Organization) in Pisa, Italy. At the conference on homophobia and fascism, young people from all over Europe learned more about the persecution of LGBT people during fascism and nazism. He met with young activists from all over Europe for the first time. Faced with different youth activism, he learned about different approaches on how young people were active at the time. He established close contacts with Belgians, and in the following year he became particularly familiar with the Belgian model of youth groups. Already at the end of 1997, a Belgian activist visited Slovenia and, in April 1998, organized a special seminar for the training of young activists within IGLYO in Antwerp: How to set up and lead youth LGBT groups.
1998
1998-03-21

Decision to form the group

The decision to form the group was taken by Miha Lobnik in March 1998. He prepared the project “Alternative Sexual Orientation” and addressed it to the ŠOU Student Organization in Ljubljana. The purpose of the project was to raise awareness of students in the field of sexual orientation and to prepare the basis for the establishment of the first such student youth group. He invited Tadej Reissner to participate in the project, who joined Lobnik in April 1998 to attend a seminar on setting up youth groups in Antwerp, Belgium.

1998-05-21

Composing the Founding Board

After returning from a seminar on the formation of youth groups, in May 1998 Miha Lobnik and Tadej Reissner began to form the founding board of the Legebitra group. Jasna Magič and Maja were invited to participate. The founding document “The Rules of the Legebitra Group” was adopted by the four of them on June 10, 1998 in the garden of Lobnik’s home. Steering Committee meetings were held at their homes during the first year.

1998-07-01

First activities of the group

In June 1998, the members of the founding committee of the Legebitra group prepared the first group activity: a talk titled: “Coming out – a key step for same-sex youth”? which took place in premises of Student organization ŠOU in Ljubljana. Two more activities followed: a trip to Rožnik and a gay-themed movie at the Vič Cinema in Ljubljana. The closing event was a talk with a guest, Belgian activist, Kris Vanhemelryck, who spoke about the lives of same-sex-oriented youth and the work of LGBT youth groups in Belgium.

1998-07-04

Legebitra’s participation in the Vienna Pride Parade

On July 4, 1998, Legebitra members of the founding committee attended the Pride Parade in Vienna for the first time in history, as a group, at an LGBT event. They were wearing special, first T-shirts bearing the Legebitra logo and a larger canvas with the inscription Legebitra.

1998-10-01

Regular group activities

In the fall of 1998, Legebitra group’s board of directors invited Roman Kuhar to take an active part in the group. The group’s activities were now being prepared weekly, every Friday at 4 pm in the Student organization ŠOU meeting room in Ljubljana, at Kersnikova 4.

1998-10-01

First Anniversary of the Legebitra Group

In the 1998/1999 academic year, the Legebitra group carried out a total of 22 activities, mostly talking and socializing, some sports excursions, joint film watching and a final picnic by the Sava River, which also marked the first anniversary of the group’s founding.

1999
1999-01-07

The first camp

In January 1999, Legebitra group organized its first camp on the basis of the Belgian model. The camp took place during the weekend at Medvedje Brdo above Logatec in the Center of School and Extracurricular Activities. The first camp already had over 20 young participants. The camps still represent one of the most popular activities today.

1999-06-01

Monthly bulletin – Legebitra’s announcements

During the 1999/2000 season, the Legebitra group established a new way of informing their growing number of members. Instead of posters, the Legebitra’s program began to be communicated to its members by sending a monthly bulletin called Legebitra’s announcements (Legebitrina oznanila) to their home addresses. The bulletin soon expanded to include various other topics. At that time, the Legebitra’s program regularly included four activities a month: two debates, one recreational trip and one social afternoon, and in May 2000 the season ended with a picnic by the Sava River.

2001
2001-07-01

Protest against homophobia

In the summer of 2001, active members of the Legebitra group participated in the preparation and implementation of the protest against homophobia, which marked the beginning of the Pride parade in Slovenia. At the gathering in front of the Škuc Gallery, a large Legebitra banner was displayed and they were featured in various media records.

2001-12-20

Association of friends of Legebitra

In 2001, Miha Lobnik and his two colleagues founded the Association of friends of Legebitra. The association, which was registered in the Register of Associations at the Ljubljana Administrative Unit in December 2001, was established with the aim of supporting the strengthening of the group’s activities and the development of other programs – counseling, support and advocacy for LGBT youth.

2002
2002-06-06

ILGA Europe membership

In 2002, Legebitra joined ILGA Europe, an independent international non-governmental umbrella organization that today connects 400 organizations from 45 European countries. It was founded in 1996 and is part of ILGA, which has been operating since 1978. In its first years of existence, Legebitra also became a member of IGLYO (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Youth and Student Organization).

2002-07-06

The Second Pride Parade in Ljubljana

On July 6, 2002, the Association Legebitra, in special cooperation with the then mayor of the City of Ljubljana, Vika Potočnik, and with the ŠKUC Magnus Section, the ŠKUC LL Section, with the Roza klub, the Association Out in Slovenia and with the Klub Libero, coordinated the second Pride Parade in Slovenia. People walked with a large Legebitra banner at the head of the Pride Parade. They went from Metelkova to Prešeren Square, where the gathering was addressed by Miha Lobnik, President of the Association of friends of Legebitra.

2002-09-01

Safe school spaces for all

During the 2002/2003 school year Legebitra prepared a wide research project with the intention to determine what kind of information about sexual orientation is available to high school pupils. They wanted to know how many high schools are still preventing their libraries from having free copies of Oznanila available. The aim of the project was to create pressure on the Ministry of Education to introduce relevant information about same – sex orientation that would be beneficial to young people. They also brought up the topic on safe space for everyone, including disclosed same – sex oriented high school pupils.

2003
2003-07-15

Filing of proposal of Law on Civil Union

On the 15th of July 2003 Legebitra partnered with ŠKUC Magnus, ŠKUC LL and Roza klub to file a proposal of Law on Civil Union into governmental procedure, which would provide the same rights to same – sex couples, with the exception of joint adoption.

2005
2005-06-01

Begining of the collaboration with the Ministry of Health

In 2005 Legebitra started collaborating closely with the Ministry of Health, which responded to a sudden increase in newly-discovered cases of HIV in the MSM group (men who have sex with men) by putting out a public call for NGOs.

2006
2006-01-18

Information center at Trubarjeva street

In 2006, with the support of COC Netherlands and the City of Ljubljana, an information center was opened on Trubarjeva Street in Ljubljana. The public opening of new premises was on January 18, 2006. The association then began counseling, prevention and advocacy in the wider LGBT-field. At the same location, the activities of the Youth Center Legebitra, the Counseling and self-help program for LGBT-persons, testing for HIV and STIs, and  activities of other hosting organisations are taking place today.

In June 2006 Legebitra employed the first person part-time.

 

 

2006-05-05

Association Cultural, Informational and Counseling Center Legebitra

In 2006, the name of the association changed from Association of Friends of the same-sex oriented Legebitra to Association Cultural, Informational and Counseling Center Legebitra. At the same time, the head office changed; Legebitra moved from Kersnikova street to Trubarjeva Street 76a, which still houses Legebitra Youth Center.

2007
2007-03-03

Status of a humanitarian organization

In March 2007, Legebitra acquired the status of a humanitarian organization, which can be obtained by organizations that have appropriate public importance and implement professionally based programs in the field of social and health care. At that time, the Ministry of Labor, Family and Social Affairs concluded that Legebitra meets all the conditions.

2007-05-05

Magazine and Blog Narobe

In May 2007, the bulletin Oznanila developed into the Narobe magazine. Between 2007 and 2016, Narobe was the only regularly published printed LGBT community-based medium and  was published four times a year in 800 copies. The first and only editor of the magazine was dr. Roman Kuhar. In ten years, 32 numbers were published and 141 writers contributed  to the magazine. In parallel with the magazine, the articles were also published on the Narobe blog, which is still available at www.narobe.si.

2007-05-05

Living library

In May 2007, a group of young people under the guidance of Jasna Magić from Legebitra, Primož Jamšek from Slovenian Philanthropy and Simona Muršec from the Center for Non-formal Education of Slovenia presented an innovative project for the promotion of diversity and acceptance titled Living Library – don’t judge a book by its cover!

 

Living Library (also known as Human Library) is a project which, in using the method of active dialogue, actively raises awareness and education on human rights and values and encourages discussion on prejudices and stereotypes in society. The method of Living library confronts the readers with their own prejudices and stereotypical ideas and offers a possibility to meet with their own stereotypes directly. The books in the Living Library are representatives of various minorities, socially deprived groups or those who face prejudices in their lives and are ready to talk about their experience. Today, Living Library is run by at least 16 non-governmental organizations all over Slovenia, connected into a national network of Living libraries.

2007-06-06

Permanent representative in the National AIDS Commission

In 2007, Legebitra got a permanent representative in the National AIDS Commission, which operates under the auspices of the Ministry of Health. The first and long-standing representative in the commission was Miha Lobnik, in 2016 he was replaced by Mitja Ćosić.

2009
2009-03-03

Family Code (2009-2012)

Between 2009 and 2012, Legebitra closely followed and participated in the discussions of the working bodies of the committees of the National Assembly regarding the adoption of the new Family Code. In the original version, the Family Code equalized same-sex and heterosexual partnerships, but due to a disagreement in the coalition, the approved proposal introduced two separate communities, a marriage and a civil partnership which, apart from the name, would differ from each other only by the rights of same-sex couples to the joint adoption of children and the insemination with biomedical assistance. In 2012, the law was rejected at a referendum.

2009-11-14

First field testing for HIV and other STIs

In November 2009, Legebitra organized the first field testing for HIV and other STIs. Testing took place at Ljubljana’s nightclub k4, and 50 people were tested.

2010
2010-08-01

Slovenian Network of Volunteer Organizations membership

In August 2010, Legebitra became a member of the Slovenian Network of Volunteer Organizations, which was created in response to the need of individuals, organizations and society in promoting volunteering and recognizing the value of volunteering activities. Today, the network connects more than 1,500 organizations.

2010-10-01

Public interest in the field of healthcare

In October 2010, Legebitra acquired the status of an organization acting in the public interest in the field of healthcare. Its preventive and supportive health programs in the field of HIV are constantly supported by the City of Ljubljana, and eventually it has also gained support by the Foundation for Financing Disabled and Humanitarian Organizations in the RS – FIHO and pharmaceutical companies.

2012
2012-01-07

CNVOS membership

In January 2012, the Association Cultural, Informational and Counseling Center Legebitra joined CNVOS, an umbrella network of Slovenian NGOs, which brings together over 1,100 different associations, institutes and institutions.

2012-03-25

Joining the Ljubljana Info Point Network – L’MIT

In March 2012, the Association Cultural, Informational and Advisory Center Legebitra joined the Ljubljana network of L’mit info points. Ljubljana Info Point Network – L’MIT is a network of 8 non-profit organizations that collects, publishes and provides free information for young people and youth organizations in Ljubljana.

2014
2014-01-01

Project DIKE

In 2014, DIKE, a project aimed to empower LGBT people and NGOs for the elimination of systemic and structural discrimination, the strengthening of active citizenship, the rule of law, democracy and social justice, has come to life. It contained a series of activities aimed at strengthening the social partnership with relevant stakeholders (LGBT human rights activists, LGBT NGOs, other NGOs, national institutions at local and national level, academic sphere …). The project was coordinated by Legebitra.

DIKE is also very important because it developed the website www.lgbtpravice.si, as well as LGBT Legal Advisory Service and the Lawyers’ Network. Since the academic year 2017/2018, work of the LGBT Legal Advisory Service takes place within the framework of the Legal Advisory Service for the protection against discrimination, conducted at the Faculty of Law of the University of Ljubljana, as an officially approved and accredited co-curricular activity at the University of Ljubljana.

 

 

2014-04-01

Interdepartmental Commission for Human Rights

In May 2014, a long-time colleague of Legebitra Mitja Blažič became a representative of civil society organizations in the Interdepartmental Commission for Human Rights. The Commission coordinates reporting under ratified international instruments for the protection of human rights and freedoms, reporting on other mechanisms, and monitors the implementation of human rights commitments.

2014-06-06

“LGBT Friendly”

In 2014, Legebitra begins to coordinate the implementation of training for obtaining the “LGBT Friendly” Certificate, awarded by the City of Ljubljana. Group of educators consist of Legebitra,  Transfeminist Initiative TransAkcija Institute, ŠKUC Association and Sladič & Resnik Law firm, d. o. o. By 2018 (included), 36 legal entities received the certificate, namely public institutions, public companies, private companies and NGOs.

2014-11-26

First Expert meeting TransMisija

On November 26, 2014, a groundbreaking event was held – the first expert meeting TransMisija, which was aimed at presenting and connecting the activities of various actors in the field of transgender and cisgender non-normativity, to create steps for cooperation in the future and to offer the possibility to involve the interested public in the discussion on transgender issues. The meeting was organized by Legebitra in the (overly) full hall of the Gallery at Hostel Celica in Ljubljana in cooperation with Transfeminist Iniciative TransAkcija Institute and the Slovenian Sexological Association. The participants were representatives of the Ministry of Labor, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, the City of Ljubljana, the Interdisciplinary Gender Transmission Council, the Slovenian Sexological Association, the Peace Institute and other NGOs, activists and academics. Since then, Legebitra, in cooperation with TransAkcija Institute, advocates the transformation of legal recognition of gender in a way that is in line with human rights.

2014-12-15

Filing of the Amendment to the Marriage and Family Relations Act

In December 2014, United Left Party filed a new Amendment to the Marriage and Family Relations Act. It anticipated the Amendment of Article 3 of the Act, namely, that the definition of “marriage is a lawful arrangement of life partnership of husband and wife” to “marriage is a lawful arrangement of life partnership of two persons” and thus completely equalized same-sex and heterosexual partnerships. Legebitra monitored and participated in various stages of adopting the Amendment, which was subsequently rejected at the referendum.

2015
2015-01-01

Program of Counseling

 In the beginning of 2015, with the employment of a social worker and application to a call from the Ministry of Labor, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities,  co-funding from the Ministry made it possible to re-establish the program Counseling and self-help for same-sex oriented people and to further professionalization and personnel development in the field of counseling at Legebitra.

2015-04-01

Project “Response to HIV”

In April 2015, Legebitra started to implement a 14-month multidisciplinary partner project “Response to HIV” in collaboration with Škuc Magnus, the DIH Association, the Institute of Microbiology and Immunology, the Clinic for Infectious Diseases and Fever and Association for the Health of LGBT People from Norway Helseutvalget for Bedre Homohelse , with the financial assistance of the Norwegian Funds and the Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy. The project has brought numerous novelties in the field of prevention and support. It has expanded the scope of testing for STIs (sexually transmitted infections); a crisis line for PEP (postexposure prophylaxis or protective antiretroviral therapy, which can prevent infection from HIV), and a specific Buddy program of individual support for people living with HIV, which also triggered a public debate on the introduction of PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis is a therapy with the purpose of preventing infection with HIV before and after a period of sexual activity of an individual, which poses a high risk of infection with the virus. It is an antiviral medicine, which prevents infection with HIV, with the intention that an individual’s HIV status remains negative after consistently taking medications).

2015-10-01

Project Kemseks

In 2015, with the initiative of three organizations, the Association ŠKUC, Legebitra and DrogArt, Kemseks (Chemsex) program was established. The motive behind it was the recognition that there is an increased risk in the MSM group (men who have sex with men) who use drugs during sex, and that this kind of behavior required new approaches to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections. The program is built on the basis of two years of research and interaction with users and is unique in Slovenia in the area of harm reduction. Special emphasis in the program is given to field interventions on the premises where MSM socialize, while the program also provides information via group activities  on-line as well as counseling.

 

 

2015-12-22

Filing of the Marriage Act

At the end of 2015, one day after the Marriage and Family Relations Act was rejected in a referendum, then independent parliament member Jani Moderndorfer filed a Partnership Act, which, after being accepted, eliminated most of the inequalities for same-sex couples. However, there is still a difference in the name, the inaccessibility for same-sex couples for a joint adoption and a insemination ban for biomedical help for same-sex couples and single women. Passing of the law represented a major step forward, for which Legebitra has been striving ever since the first filing of the proposal of the Civil Union Act in 2003.

 

 

2016
2016-06-01

Publication Legal Recognition of Gender in Slovenia

In 2016, as part of the continuation of the DIKE project, Legebitra, in cooperation with  the  NGO active in the field of transsexuality and cisgender non-normativity, TransAction, published the publication Legal Recognition of Gender in Slovenia. The same year, a brochure titled All Genders are Real: Transgender, Transsexual, and Cis non-normativity.

2016-06-06

Publications in the field of transsexuality in Slovenia

In 2017, the conference “Different Paths to Equality: Marriage Equality and Civil Unions” took place. The conference was an important milestone in activism for equality in Slovenia, since the Ministry of Labor, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities was a partner in the DARE umbrella project and, in cooperation with Legebitra, co-organized an international conference devoted entirely to the position and struggle for the equality of LGBT – people.

2017
2017-04-04

Verified program of counseling

Since 2017, Legebitra has been implementing Counseling and self-help for same-sex oriented people, a program verified by the Social Chamber of Slovenia. Legebitra has been a member of the Social Chamber of Slovenia since 2015.

2017-10-09

ERA membership

In 2017, Legebitra became a member of ERA organization, which operates in the field of rights for LGBT people from the Western Balkans and Turkey.

 

2017-11-15

Conference Different paths to Equality: Marriage Equlity and Civil Unions

In 2017, the conference “Different Paths to Equality: Marriage Equality and Civil Unions” took place. The conference was an important milestone in activism for equality in Slovenia, since the Ministry of Labor, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities was a partner in the DARE umbrella project and, in cooperation with Legebitra, co-organized an international conference devoted entirely to the position and struggle for the equality of LGBT – people.

2018
2018-01-01

Youth Center Legebitra

January 1st, 2018: The first youth center in Slovenia for young LGBT-people opens its doors on Trubarjeva Street 76a. Although it primarily addresses the needs of young LGBT-people, everyone is welcome in the Youth Center Legebitra. YC Legebitra is part of the Network of Youth Centers Ljubljana.

 

Who are we?

Employees

Lana Gobec
Head of organization

In my eternal search for the meaning of life, space, and more, I firmly believe that in an ideal world, problems can be solved with the teachings of Star Wars. I'm an advocate of structured work who occasionally, while coordinating deadlines and timelines, takes the whip in her hands. I keep Legebitra's information up-to-date in a wide media galaxy. And I’m in constant search for long-term solutions.

Eva Gračanin
Head of finance and administration

In my work, I count, fill in tables and forms, stamp, archive, wade through piles of rules and regulations, meet deadlines (sometimes I even manage to postpone them :)). I also participate at the LGBT Legal Service. Otherwise, I also work in the field of feminism, transgender issues, the rights of the Palestinian people ... Do you want to know more about my work? Ask.

Peter Štangelj
Program associate HIV

I work at Legebitra as an associate in the field of HIV prevention; I am a consultant in the HIV and STI testing, promoter and organizer of outreach events. I run the Chat room about sexuality and am a member of the editorial board of GEJM.

Mitja Ćosić
Program associate HIV

I am employed at Legebitra in the HIV program pillar. I am the head of HIV and STI testing in the community, as well as a consultant on testing. I am responsible for offering support to people living with HIV, you can find me at HIV+ and PrEP counseling; my responsibilities also include HIV - related advocacy and HIV - related international cooperation.

Mateja Vilfan
Program coordinator of psycho social counseling and self help

I'm a social worker. Some say it's written on my forehead, some say it's in my eyes. I say it's in me. I'm an activist in the field of self-harm behavior and an advocate of children's and youth's rights. I'm also a great fan of music, books, guitar and endless philosophical debates. For everyone interested in a debate I'm waiting for you at the info point.

Katja Sešek
Program coordinator of youth program

A social worker who likes to call themselves a queer feminist. My job at Legebitra is to lead the volunteer program, jump around the youth center and international projects. I carry out trainings and most of all I am that pain in the neck for teachers and school staff. Even though I am a social worker I see bureaucracy as annoying.

Sebastjan Sitar
Program associate HIV

I am employed at Legebitra in the HIV and HIV + Response Program. I am a consultant in the field of HIV and other STIs, head of the Kemseks counseling and editor-in-chief of GEJM.

Blažka Plahutnik Baloh
Program associate of psycho social conuseling and self help

I am a (slightly atypical) psychologist, dealing with individual psychological support and support for LGBT parents. I believe that the non-governmental and social spheres are key to changing society for the better for everyone, especially those who are often overlooked by most.

Maja Radivoj
Program associate of finance and administration

I take care of information and communication with users and the general public, striving to change attitudes towards LGBTI people and to build a society where every identity is legitimate. On Wednesdays, an Wednesdays you can find me at the infopoint, forever searching for suitable emojis and stock photos.

Maša Jerićević Šušteršič
Program coordinator for visibility, raising awareness and advocacy

I am a lawyer by education and a human rights activist at heart. At Legebitra, I deal primarily with diverse legal issues addressed to our Legal Counseling for LGBT as well as with possible positive legislation changes. I believe that love too is a human right.

Jasmina Feratović
Program associate for youth

I am co-creating the youth program and supporting the operation of the YC Legebitra. I would like the YC to be a safe haven for LGBTI + young people and a place where they can fearlessly express their uniqueness, safely explore themselves and their identity or identities, empower themselves and develop their many versatile potentials as much as possible.  


External coworkers

Aleš Jelenc

I am a health technician and participate as external staff on the community-based trusted HIV and SPI testing program. Every Monday I try to provide users with as painless and as positive experience as I can. By nature, I am an eternally positive and optimistic person and I try to offer this energy to others as well. I’m also an eternal workaholic and a perfectionist who sometimes gets tired too.

Filip Vurnik

A graduate art pedagogue who is not interested in working in a regular school. I'm a versatile artist who, in addition to music, artistic expression and poetry, is currently also exploring cooking and baking talents. I'm passionate about youth work, non-formal education and implementing workshops on topic of sexual orientation and gender identity.

As the external staff of Legebitra, I'm a part of the training team, I run the youth educational camps and the Living Library Ljubljana.

Lars Pihlar

I'm a Professor of Special and Rehabilitation Pedagogy, currently employed in a special program of education. 

In the filed of non-formal education I'm most looking forward to working with young  LGBTIQA+ persons. By combining pedagogical knowledge, creativity and imagination I demolish both my own and social stereotypes. I find relaxation in nature and in preparation of vegetarian dishes in all forms and sizes. 

As the external staff of Legebitra, I'm a part of the training team, I run the youth educational camps.


Program areas

HIV and STD

Testing
Support for people living with hiv
Counseling and prevention
Kemseks

Counseling and self-help

Self-help groups
Individual counseling

Youth center

Activities for youth
Info point
Volunteering
Living Library

Education

LGBT friendly
Educational workshops on LGBT topics
Professional training for working with LGBT people
Legal expert training

Advocacy

Legal advising
Awareness and visibility campaigns

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