Monica Pisankaneva - LGBT People Are Common Scapegoats to Blame for Social Issues




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Oct 13, 2015
by Heather Jaber
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Monica Pisankaneva - LGBT People Are Common Scapegoats to Blame for Social Issues

Monica Pisankaneva, chairperson of the Bilitis Resource Center Foundation Bulgaria, discussed the LGBT community as scapegoats for social issues

When it comes to various social issues like increased social spending or poverty, said Monica Pisankaneva, a participant of the latest Salzburg Global LGBT Forum, the LGBT community often becomes the scapegoat. This stems from the lack of awareness about LGBT rights, she said. “I think the understanding of the importance of LGBTI equality is still not at a very high level in the political mainstream in Bulgaria,” said the Fellow.

Pisankaneva is chairperson of the Bilitis Resource Center Foundation Bulgaria, which works for LGBT rights and inclusion in Bulgaria. She spoke of studying in Amsterdam where she became interested in minority inclusion and LGBT rights. “This is where I became an activist in spirit,” she said, “and when I got back to Bulgaria, I became an activist in practice.”

The participant also spoke of the need for political support in efforts towards bottom up change. “My experience shows that bottom up work would be effective only if there is political understanding and political leadership to pick up what the activists are trying to promote.” Rather than working in a vacuum, activists need some sort of wider understanding.

That understanding may lie in the form of alliances, she said, such as research data for evidence-based advocacy, or relationships with international organizations which support human rights efforts. This, she said, may convince political leaders that LGBT rights must be dealt with.

Monica is also project manager at the initiative Towards Inclusive of LGBTI Students and Staff School Policies, where she researches school policies in Sofia to analyze protection levels of LGBT students and staff. She then provides recommendations for more inclusive school policies. Pisankaneva also works in as philanthropy development manager at the Workshop for Civic Initiatives Foundation, introducing new concepts of local giving. 

For more about the importance of activism and broader alliances, watch the interview below.

The Salzburg Global program Strengthening Communities: LGBT Rights & Social Cohesion is part of the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum. The list of our partners for Session 551 can be found here. For more information, please visit:

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