Netherlands: Gender Sexuality Alliances

Students and teachers come together in GSAs to organise activities in their schools regarding sexual orientation and gender identity. Purple Friday (when ...

South Africa: Respect by Men and Women in Blue

Sergent Bonginkosi tells about his increased knowlegde of Human Rights, resulting in more respect for LGBTI in his and his colleagues daily work as police ...

Vietnam: WLW Art Exhibition

‘Exposure’ increases the visibility of WLW. In Hanoi, CSAGA organised an art exhibition called ‘Exposure’ about women-loving women (WLW). ...


Botswana High Court Postpones Ruling on Same-Sex Relations

On Thursday, 14 March 2019, the Botswana High Court heard a case challenging the constitutionality of sections 164(a), 164(c) and 167 of the Botswana Penal ...

COC Publishes an English Translation of Report on LGBTI

Seven years after the Fleeing Homophobia report was issued, and four years after the ABC-judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union, Dutch asylum ...

Dutch LGBTI Award for Kevin Jennings

Kevin Jennings, a United States citizen, was awarded the Bob Angelo Medal for his outstanding contribution to the improvement of the position of LGBTI youth ...

Kevin Jennings, a United States citizen, was awarded the Bob Angelo Medal for his outstanding contribution to the improvement of the position of LGBTI youth in schools around the world. In 1988, Jennings established the world’s first Gender & Sexuality Alliance (GSA). GSAs are groups of LGBTI and their allies, working together to improve acceptance of sexual and gender diversity in schools.

Thanks to the Gay and Lesbian School Education Network (GLSEN) established by Jennings as well, GSAs were set up in thousands of schools in the United States and overseas. In the Netherlands there are now GSAs in eighty percent of all high schools. Research has shown that GSAs do indeed have a positive effect on the experiences of LGBTI students in schools.

As part of the Obama administration (2009-2011), Jennings also worked on safer schools for LGBTI. He was executive director of the Arcus Foundation, one of the largest US foundations dedicated to support LGBTI.

“A great honour from the oldest gay organisation in the world”, says Kevin Jennings in de Volkskrant on receiving the Bob Angelo Medal. “It’s a bit like the Gay Nobel Prize.”

Bob Angelo Medal

The Bob Angelo Medal was named after the pseudonym of Niek Engelschman, who was one of the founders and first chairperson of COC Netherlands, the Dutch national LGBTI organisation in 1946. COC Netherlands is the oldest existing LGBTI organisation in the world.

The Bob Angelo Medal was established in 1991 to honour individuals, groups or organisations who contributed in an extraordinary way to the emancipation of LGBTI people.

Previous recipients of the medal include the Council of Europe Commissioner of Human Rights: Thomas Hammarberg (Sweden), South African imam Mushin Hendricks, British film director Derek Jarman, Dutch football referee John Blankenstein, MP and human rights defender Boris Dittrich, photographer Erwin Olaf and MEP and LGBTI activist Joke Swiebel.


Photograph: COC Chair Astrid Oosenbrug and Kevin Jennings

Geert van Tol Fotografie for COC NL ©2019