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Here are the panelists for the day of debate at Digital Pride: The Festival

Here are the panelists for the day of debate at Digital Pride: The Festival

Trans model Jake Graf, photographed by Paul Grace.

Mental health, chemsex, PrEP, trans issues, how to decriminalize homosexuality and more – stories and discussion are at the heart of the first Digital Pride.

Digital Pride: The Festival in central London on 30 April, will have the biggest selection of speakers on the most topics of any public LGBTI event this year. Plus a full main-stage line-up of talent.

Entry is entirely free and open to all.

Lesbian Nigerian Aderonke Apata was granted asylum in the UK.
Lesbian Nigerian Aderonke Apata was granted asylum in the UK.

12.15pm: Against the Law

What is it like to live in a country where homosexuality is illegal? What can be done about it?

Our speakers are drawn entirely from countries where LGBTI people are criminalized. They will be sharing their stories and talking about a way forward.

The speakers are Edwin Sesange from Uganda, Aderonke Apata from Nigeria, Pastor Jide Macaulay from Nigeria, Romario Wanliss from Jamaica and Mohamed Abdel from Egypt.

1.10pm: Mental Health

With more LGBTI people having mental issues at some point in their life, how do we break the stigma and conquer a silent health crisis that literally costs lives.

Our speakers include Jane Czyzselska – the editor of DIVA and a trained therapist – and Pink Therapy’s Kris Black.

We will also hear two inspirational stories. Gay Star News’ head of engagement, Dan Beeson, has written about his experience of receiving counseling and how it has improved his life. Jonny Benjamin, was talked out of jumping from a bridge by a stranger – a story that was made into a TV documentary.

Dominic Davis of Pink Therapy will chair.

Being happy is an art, says Dan Beeson
The path to happiness can only be realized alone, says Dan Beeson.

2pm: Women’s Voices

Are LBT women’s voices being drowned out by gay men? Our all-women panel will share their stories and solutions.

Speakers are Elly Barnes, former Pink List number one and director of Educate and Celebrate, DJ Ritu of LGBTI Asian night Club Kali, and Jenny Fallover of Lesbians Who Tech.

GSN contributor, journalist and trans campaigner, Jane Fae, will chair.

Elly Barnes of Educate and Celebrate.
Elly Barnes of Educate and Celebrate.

2.45pm: The EU

Are LGBTIs better off in or out?

In the only scheduled LGBTI public debate before the UK referendum on membership of the EU, politicians will make the case for either side. Speakers will be announced soon.

3.30pm: Intersex, Non-binary and More

A discovery session: Our community does not end at LGBT, there are many other gender identities but most people know little about them. Speakers to be announced soon.

4.15pm: PrEP

PrEP is the new drug that can help protect you from HIV. England’s NHS may now provide it after a legal challenge. Can we end HIV and AIDS?

Our experts include Will Nutland of PrEPster and Greg Owen, co-founder of I Want PrEP Now.

Hannah Winterbourne
Army officer and model Hannah Winterbourne.

5pm: Trans: The Next Decade

It’s been an incredible few years of achievement and recognition for trans people. But huge challenges remain.

Our speakers are all trans men and women and have all become leaders and role models for the trans and wider LGBTI community.

Helen Belcher of Trans Media Watch, Army officer Hannah Winterbourne, Jamaican trans man Romario Wanliss will share their insights. The chair is trans model and filmmaker, Jake Graf.

6.10pm: Chemsex Stories

Starting with a screening of short film G O’Clock (UK, 11 minutes), this isn’t a panel debate but an interactive story session. Our speakers will share their experiences, guided by our chair, journalist and DJ, Stewart Who?.

We will hear from G O’Clock filmmaker Mitch Marion and the film’s star, EastEnders actor Leon Lopez. In a view from the scene, veteran London DJ Fat Tony and tanning salon owner Michelle Thomber-Dunwell will talk about when drugs go wrong.

Join in

Digital Pride: The Festival is at Heaven, Charing Cross, central London on Saturday 30 April. Entry is free. Doors open 12noon to 7pm.

You can sign-up via Facebook or get an e-ticket here.

There is also a full program of live performances, including The Voice, X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent stars and the best LGBTI talent. Plus free wine tasting, demos, prizes, stalls and more.

If you can’t make it to London, the discussions will be live-streamed and you can join in the conversation on social media using #DigitalPride.