For almost 40 years, IGLYO has grown steadily as a united international network for LGBTQI young people. Our journey was full achievements, but there's still a long way to go!
In 1984, a group of young people organised an international LGB Youth Conference and Festival titled “Friendships and Desires” in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, hosted by the Dutch Gay Youth Platform (LHJO). In total, 63 activists from various countries participated in the conference, while the festival attracted great local interest. This first event was such a success that a second conference was organised in 1985 in Dublin, Ireland, then a third in 1986 in Oslo, Norway. It was out of these conferences that IGLYO was created.
In the decades that followed, the legal headquarters of the organisation often moved across the continent depending upon who was on the Board. The majority of the events were self-funded, and IGLYO didn’t employ its first staff member until the end of 2008. This means that the significant work which allowed IGLYO to be what it is today was carried out by dedicated LGBTQI youth volunteers until then.
In 2009, IGLYO became a registered AISBL in Brussels, Belgium, employing its first paid staff member, then called ‘General Manager’. In 2012, a Board Member completed IGLYO’s first European Commission funding grant, securing money for the second staff member, a Programmes Officer. In 2013, the Board changed the role from General Manager to Executive Coordinator. And as the organisation was developing, so were our Membership and international partnerships.
We are now in 2023, almost 40 years after IGLYO's creation. We currently count over 110 Member Organisations in more than 40 countries, an international youth-led Board of 9 LGBTQI young people, an amazing Governance Team of two, a staff team of 10 hard-working full-time employees, two dedicated paid working groups, and countless friends and partners around the world.
We are extremely grateful towards the work of all LGBTQI youth activists who contributed to building IGLYO and making it grow between 1984 and today. We promise to keep on fighting for a world where all LGBTQI young people can be their true selves without apology.