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VITO Project: Nothing Without Us

Dr Annabel Sowemimo 

Dr Annabel Sowemimo is a Sexual & Reproductive Health (SRH) doctor and founder of community based organisation – Decolonising Contraception (DC). Her interests include addressing Gender Based Violence particularly Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and improving SRH access for people of colour. 

She is a regular contributor for online platforms including Black Ballad and gal-dem on a range of topics from health, social justice to culture & music. She holds an undergraduate degree in Medical Anthropology and an MSc in Sexual & Reproductive Health Research.

Dr Kate Nambiar 

Dr Kate Nambiar is a physician working in the Brighton Sexual Health and Contraception Service (BSHAC) and at the London Gender Identity Clinic (Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust). She trained at Oxford University and Imperial College, London and has worked in sexual health since 2003. Kate is the principal investigator for the PrEP IMPACT study in Brighton. She is also the chair of the British Association of Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) gender and sexual minorities special interest group and has co-authored recommendations for care of trans people in sexual health clinics, and guidance for contraception provision for trans people. In 2012 she helped to set up, and continues to run Clinic-T – a specialist sexual health service in Brighton for trans and gender diverse people. Her clinical and research interests remain focussed on the healthcare needs of trans people.”

Winnie Ssanyu Sseruma

Winnie Ssanyu Sseruma is a freelance International development consultant based in London, UK. She works on HIV prevention, treatment and community health advocacy, focusing on Black communities in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa. For the last five years, she has been monitoring and assessing HIV community and social projects in fifteen countries in the Sub Saharan region, for the Stephen Lewis Foundation which is based in Toronto, Canada. Within her work, she continues to highlight the importance of PrEP, promoting HIV treatment literacy and helping people to understand issues around Undetectable = Untransmittable. Winnie has been living with HIV for more than 30 years.

Rebecca Mbewe

Rebecca Mbewe is a Speaker, Trainer and Mentor who has long standing experience of formerly working within legal administration and more recently within the HIV sector. 

Rebecca’s has served as a trustee on the board for National AIDS Trust (NAT), and she is presently a member of the UK Community Advisory Board (UKCAB) who she represents at the British HIV Association (BHIVA) Steering Group Committee.  

She holds a BSc in Psychology and an MBA in Healthcare.  She is currently working as a freelance consultant offering advice and training. Rebecca has been living well with HIV for the last 23 years.

VITO Project: Go Fish

Jo Garwood

Jo Garwood is a 34-year-old queer woman living in Brixton and working as Digital Manager for the LGBT equality charity Stonewall. This means overseeing the organisation's websites, social media channels and email communications. Outside of work, Jo volunteers at the Opening Doors monthly women's film night and also takes part in their befriending scheme. For the past couple of years, Jo has done the press and marketing for the Wotever DIY Queer Film Festival, which has taken place both at Kennington's Cinema Museum and at the DIY Space for London in South London. She also enjoys photographing launderettes, collecting penknives and spending time by the sea. And gin.

Marguerite McLaughlin

Marguerite McLaughlin has been a film freak and feminist for the whole of her life and knows many of her favourite films almost verbatim as a result of a mis-spent youth. Born and raised in New York City she has been a devoted Londoner for decades. Marguerite worked in visual arts especially in theatre, in photography and as an early adopter of portable video, as well as at the BBC and then in the LGBT Sector. She is now liberated from full time employment but she is a regular contributor to Diva magazine, volunteers at the ODL women's film night with Jo Garwood and is an ardent fan of the Vito Project.

VITO Project: Tangerine

Victoria Gigante

Victoria is an actress, make-up artist and backstage manager of the Philippine Theatre UK and also a member of Old Vic Community Company. She is one of the members of Stonewall Trans Advisory Group supporting the integration of trans equality across all of Stonewall campaigns and programmes. The group reflects a diverse range of trans voices and experiences, with members representing a range of ethnic backgrounds, religions, experiences and trans identities. She is a graduate of Sunderland University with a degree in Business and Management. Currently rehearsing a play "Summer in London" showing this coming July at Theatre Royal Stratford East, directed and written by Rikki Beadle-Blair MBE.  
Twitter: @GiganteUK 

VITO Project: Theorem

Seán McGovern

Seán McGovern is a cinephile, educator and activist, with an MSc in Critical Theory. He has worked for both BFI Flare and the Fringe! Queer Film Festival.

He's also on the steering committee of The Vito ProjectSeán was previously involved in ACT UP London and the LimaZulu Project Space from 2011-2014.

VITO Project: Heavenly Creatures

Helen Oakleigh 

Helen Oakleigh is a performer, writer, human right’s activist and film-maker whose work has taken her around the world. Oakleigh has a Degree in Acting and Writing, a Post Graduate Diploma in Screen Acting, a Diploma in Video Production and awarded a place at RADA as part of the Sara Sugarman writing bursaries. Career highlight's include a mix of Shakespeare and Panto through to BBC, Films Audio Books and so much more in UK, LA and worldwide.

In 2016 you may also have seen Oakleigh performing spoken word at various LGBT+ events including Pride in London, LFEST, Porstmouth Pride, Brighton Pride, Ultimate Planet Awards and more or have seen the film she wrote and starred in "Why We Need A Pride" which you can also watch on this link here.  Also this year she has written for DIVA Magazine, played Jade in new Brighton based LGBT web series "As We Are" out on October 31st and is currently filming Belle in London based LGBT web series "Different For Girls".

Helen is also a Judge for Artemis Women in Action Films in Los Angeles and has written a romantic lesbian action film called Jordanna set to go into production soon. She has recently brought out a book of poetry called Equality which can be ordered from her website or brought in person at events.

Get the latest on twitter @helen_oakleigh and IMDB

Pamela Johnson

I've lived in London since 1978. I'm now retired, but used to work in further education teaching English. I've been involved in various lesbian social and political groups, including The Lesbian History Group and The Older Lesbian Network. Many years ago I contributed book reviews to Spare Rib and also to Gay News, before Mrs Whitehouse brought about its premature demise. I've always been interested in film and in the last few years I've been participating in London Reel Women founded by Clair Battaligno. We meet every month or so and discuss a range of films from a lesbian and feminist perspective. I'm looking forward to joining in a discussion of Heavenly Creatures. I saw it twice when it first came out and was very impressed at the time. It will be interesting to see how an audience reacts to it in 2016. 

VITO Project: Strangers on a Train

Brian Mullin

Brian Mullin is a playwright, whose latest play WE WAIT IN JOYFUL HOPE premiered last spring at Theatre 503 and was nominated for 5 Off West End awards. He leads performance work with many community groups including young people, refugees, and homeless adults. Brian is also a lifelong cinephile and, along with Seán McGovern, podcasts about film at Broad Appeal (

Stephane Duckett
Dr Stephane Duckett is a clinical psychologist, currently working at the Royal Free Hospital in London. His academic writing has been published widely within his specialist field focusing on age discrimination and its impact on mental health. Having been born in Paris in 1958 and raised in 60s London, Dr Duckett studied at the University of Paris before completing his PhD at Temple University, Philadelphia, and gained a post-doctoral degree from the Free University of Amsterdam. His fascination with Hitchcock came out of a four-year study on how intensely creative people adapt to ageing. "Hitchcock in Context" is the offspring of that project.

VITO Project: She Done Him Wrong

Jan Pimblett Principal Development Officer, London Metropolitan Archives (LMA).

Jan’s career began in teaching where she was head of Theatre Studies and Performing Arts Departments from 1985. In 2001 she moved into heritage education at London Metropolitan Archives and is responsible for the outreach and engagement programmes for adult, community groups and schools. She has been responsible for developing a thriving LGBTQ History programme at LMA, which includes an annual conference and a regular LGBTQ History Club. Most recently she has been leading on LMA’s Speak Out London LGBTQ+ oral history project and the international LGBTQ+ archives, libraries, museums and special collections conference, Without Borders, in partnership with Bishopsgate Institute and University of Westminster Queer London Research Forum. Jan is a big fan of Mae West!

Dom Agius

Dom Agius is an arts & reportage photographer whose work has been published & exhibited globally. He was raised in East Africa & London & now lives in West Sussex. His website is

VITO Project: Polyester

Ben Walters

Ben Walters is a critic, programmer and filmmaker with particular interests in cabaret, moving image, queer and DIY culture. Ben blogs at and is involved in several campaigns addressing the current threat to London's queer spaces. He is also doing a PhD at Queen Mary about Duckie and queer fun.

Stuart Feather

Stuart Feather is a queer activist, member of the Gay Liberation Front 1970, performer with Bloolips, author of recently published Zero Book’s - Blowing the Lid: Gay Liberation, Sexual Revolution and Radical Queens.

VITO Project: Mädchen in Uniform

Erica Carter

Erica Carter is Professor of German and Film at King’s College, London. She also runs the German Screen Studies Network (GSSN), an international research network based at King’s. Erica started her research career as a student at the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies; following a later stint as Director of Talks at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, she returned to academic life, and has since researched, published and taught widely on cultural and film studies within and beyond Germany. Her works include Taking Liberties. AIDS and Cultural Practice (1989, co-edited with Simon Watney); the 2002 BFI German Cinema Book (soon to be replaced by an expanded second edition); and several works on film, gender and popular culture in the German-speaking countries. Her current work includes co-organising the forthcoming GSSN symposium, Living Pasts, Unfolding Futures (September 8-10 2016 at Queen Mary, University of London, and King’s College, London). Erica is also researching a new book on melodrama as a mode of lived experience - a topic she will explore in an inaugural lecture at Kings College on Life as Melodrama, History as Play (October 11 2016).

Muffin Hix

Muffin is film programmer for Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Fest, a DIY festival rooted in East London's queer creative scene, hosting screenings, installations, performance and pop-up events now in it's 5th year. She is also programmer for The Lost Picture Show travelling pop-up vintage picture palace - and senior programme and guest coordinator for the BFI London Film Festival and BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival. She picked up a BA Film Studies from The College of William and Mary in Virginia and an MA Film Curating from The London Consortium.

VITO Project: Pariah

Gray Akotey

Gray Akotey is a designer, entrepreneur, vlogger and aspiring filmmaker. Gray has always had a slight obsession with lesbian-themed movies and storylines (but also indulges in other queer/trans shows), and especially strives to view those featuring people of colour. You can find her on and on Twitter  where she discusses any subject matter but is especially passionate about discussing racism especially in the LGBT community.

Chardine Taylor-Stone

Chardine Taylor-Stone is a cultural producer, musician, DJ and activist. She was the program coordinator for the Black British Feminism: Past, Present and Futures 2015 conference, is one of the founder members of Reclaim Brixton and was recently featured in The Voice newspaper as one of the Women Who Rocked the World in 2015

A music geek she collects records from the 1940s to 1990s and has played at festivals and clubs at home and abroad. Founder of afrofuturist book club Mothership Connections, she also plays drums in Black feminist punk band Big Joanie. As a writer and feminist activist her interests include art, Afrofuturism and music with a particular focus on the history of subcultures, Black women’s activism, working class feminism, Black queer identities and Black involvement in the esoteric, weird and downright bizarre! 

VITO Project: We were here

Ben Collins

Ben is director of International HIV Partnerships, a resource consultancy, which builds partnerships and initiatives with community activists, service users and service providers, clinicians and researchers, international organisations, industry and government officials for successful responses to HIV and hepatitis and related sexual health, mental health and human rights issues .

He has been HIV+ since 1981 and active in HIV as a volunteer, study patient, activist, administrator and consultant since 1985, first at Project Inform, a US-based treatment and research information and advocacy organisation.

Duncan Hamilton

"I'm twenty five years old and I've, I hope, done my time of fighting through the tirade of various problems so many gay men face: childhood abuse, bullying, chronic mental health issues, coming out, daddy issues, sex addiction, HIV, chemsex, and then to top it off, HCV (hepatitis c) [in that order]!  The process of getting cured of that seems to have been thoroughly traumatic enough to give me the shake up I needed to focus on the things that matter to me like making a contribution to society and helping others through their traumas. In spite of the various problems I've faced so far, I've been busy through those turbulent years in trying to begin my mental health career, working with the Samaritans, (and loads of bullshit jobs). I'm glad to say I'm feeling the best I've ever felt in my entire life, and I'm currently conducting my undergraduate research in LGBT people's experiences of taking psychiatric medications.
Additionally, and of equal importance, I try to attend and participate in as many HIV and HCV (and LGBT community)  related events to promote informed opinions, better care and positive engagement our statuses and the statuses of others, whether it be mental health, HIV, HCV disability, whatever!
I try to take these values into each aspect of my life whether it be work, study, dating or interpersonally. By that, I mean I make no secret of my past (in my experience that only compounds our issues)."

VITO Project: Les Invisibles

Chris Barlow

After 35 years of working in Visual Arts, I have always enjoyed being “Out & About”, but I know how fortunate I have been compared to many of my brothers and sisters in LGBT community.
Being a born fidget “Opening Doors London” beckoned soon after my so called “retirement” and for the past 3 year I have loved being a part of “ODL” and sharing in the very varied experiences of our diverse membership, developing “Outings in Art” group over 2 years ago has ben particularly satisfying and I look forward to working with “ODL” for many more years to come as a volunteer/Ambassador to help shape a better and bigger Opening Doors to serve our wonderfully resilient and fascinating LGBT community. 

Theresa Heath

Theresa Heath is the founder and director of the Wotever DIY Film Festival which showcases DIY and low budget work from the LGBTQIA+ community. She is also a PhD candidate at King's College London researching Queer film and Queer film festivals. 
The Wotever DIY Film Festival can be followed on Facebook and Twitter.

VITO Project: Stud Life

Ingo Cando

Ingo Cando Producer of Wotever World events and Happenings, also gives talks and workshops of all things drama, gender and chaos. 

Monica Beadle

Hi I'm Monica Beadle. I worked for several years as a Solution Focus Counsellor, Family Breakdown Mediator Counsellor between young people and their families for several Local Authorities and Voluntary Organisations. My work covered among many other issues Sexuality and other issues related and linked to LGBTI Sexual Identity.    I am now freelance and counsel privately. I  am very active in the Labour Party & UNISON,  the Trade Union for Public Sector Workers. I have always had  a great love for the the Performing Arts, both stage and screen and so was very happy that it is the chosen career of my children. My son Rikki Beadle Blair is well known as a performer,writer, producer director who among many other topics specialises in LGBTI  Productions. The film Stonewall. & '2015 Festival favourite Black Rose' produced by an American  company starring the singer Monique was written by Rikki. I feel very honoured to have been asked to be part of the post screening discussion. Am looking forward to discussing and interacting with everyone after the screening on Wednesday 26th August.

Wendyl Harris

Growing up in an era when gender identity seemed much less restrictive than today, Wendyl has been involved with Queer activism from an early age with groups such as Act-Up, Outrage!, & the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to name a few; and on the flipside, with more 'respectable' organisations helping to train, educate & organise.

Campbell X

Campbell X is a queer black filmmaker, based in the United Kingdom. Her work documents black LGBT culture and she is a leading creator of contemporary British queer cinema. Stud Life is Campbell X's debut feature film

PROUD and PrEPared - London

Nicholas Feustel

Nicholas Feustel is a filmmaker from Germany who has specialised in documentaries on health and human rights, with a particular focus on HIV-related issues.

He has worked for several NGOs such as the HIV Justice Network, the International AIDS Society or the Global Network of People Living with HIV.
In the 1990s, Nicholas used to be a volunteer with ’Hein & Fiete‘, a gay mens’ health promotion project in his hometown Hamburg.
Today he is part of AVAC’s PxROAR Europe programme, an advocacy organisation for biomedical HIV prevention and vaccine research.
In Germany, Nicholas has become the go-to PrEP activist, advocating for getting access to PrEP in Germany.

In March this year he came to London to film the interviews for the video documentary on the PROUD Study which will see its world premiere tonight, here at the Cinema Museum in London.

Gus Cairns

Gus is 59 and an editor at NAM /, prevention co-ordinator for the European AIDS Treatment Group, and co-chair of the PROUD study. He's lived with HIV for more than half his life and was an early advocate of 

PrEP after becoming convinced that condoms and behaviour change alone would not limit the spread of HIV in gay men. He's also a qualified psychotherapist though trying to get PrEP in Europe seems to be taking up most of his time at present. He lives in north London with his partner and when he has a spare moment loves to travel and sing in an LGBT chamber choir.

Charles Witzel

Charlie is a social scientist at Sigma Research. His work focuses mainly on HIV and sexual health amongst gay and bisexual men in the UK. Charlie is a participant in the PROUD study through which he received PrEP.

Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell has lived in London for over 20 years and has somehow managed to avoid normality by adapting himself to a variety of different jobs. Actor, singer, dancer – delivery driver, sales assistant, project manager for a computer software company – adult model, gogo daddy, and now tantric masseur and writer on current affairs, gay politics, theatre and music reviews and short stories. A passionate believer in PrEP, he wrote an article about it for TheGayUK in August last year, which has resulted in him becoming something of a campaigner, writing and speaking about it whenever he gets the chance. His most recent article on PrEP was published in Qx in March of this year.

VITO Project: Victim

Edwin J. Bernard

Edwin J Bernard’s childhood passion for film led to him studying Film and Literature at Warwick University (1981-84) where he first saw, and studied ‘Victim’ under the aegis of Richard Dyer, who wrote the influential 1977 essay, ‘Victim: Hegemonic Project’.  His time at Warwick, where he came out, acquired HIV, and learned his craft of writing and broadcasting led to a journey across the globe that resulted in him becoming a prolific film and entertainment journalist in the 1980s and 1990s, before focusing on HIV advocacy on the intersection between public health and human rights. Formerly an editor at NAM, since 2007, he has greatly contributed to global knowledge of overly broad HIV criminalisation, launching the HIV Justice Network a global information and advocacy hub working to end the inappropriate use of the criminal law to regulate and punish people living with HIV, in 2010.

Seán Faye

Seán Faye (alias Glittercrisis) is a lawyer, writer and blogger living in London. While his professional background is in family law, Seán has written for the Guardian, Dazed and Confused magazine and other online publications as well as speaking at events on queer fashion and aesthetics, digital sexualities, online identity formation and hate crime against LGBT people. He maintains a blog on which he impersonates famous female characters from literary and film history on Grindr and spent most of his teenage years reading lesbian subplots into film and television where they clearly did not exist.

VITO Project: All About Eve

Amy Lamé

Amy Lamé is a campaigner, broadcaster, and co-founder of the Olivier Award winning arts company and club night Duckie. More information on Amy's website:

Eion Kelly

Born in Ireland, Eoin is a former visual artist with a background in film and theatre design. In London since 2000, he has been a conservator for major cultural institutions such as Royal Museums Greenwich, V&A, The British Museum and The National Archives. With a possibly unhealthy interest in the Hollywood movie genre, Eoin is very pleased to be taking part in the VITO Project’s screening of one of his favourite films. “Fasten your seatbelts”

VITO Project: Paris is Burning

Marc Thomson

Marc Thompson is an openly HIV positive black gay man.

An activist, mentor, ‘man-about-town’ and film buff, Marc has been involved in advocating for social justice for 25 years, with a focus on Black minority and ethnic communities, sexual health and HIV. He is particularly interested in the intersection of race, sexuality and HIV and the impact it has on individuals and society. 

Marc has worked with various community based organisations including, GMFA, Big Up, Living Well and THT, where he led on the national gay men’s HIV prevention programme. He is currently coordinator of the peer mentor programme at Positively UK, training and managing volunteers to provide a range of peer support interventions to people living with HIV. 

Marc is a freelance trainer and public speaker who speaks and provides training at conferences, corporate events, schools, colleges and universities on race and sexuality, sexual health and living with HIV.

Mark-Ashley Dupé

Born and bred in Peckham, South Londoner Mark-Ashley Dupé is a well-known DJ, Promoter and Personality on the LGBT and straight scene, alike. You may recognise him from popular clubs/nights such as East Bloc, Fire and Room Service, though he's probably best known as the brain child behind Dupé's Den Presents and Misfits London. When he isn't teaching the new generation how to party, he likes to tackle more serious issues within the LGBT community, along with friends at QX Magazine. With an extensive collection of Snapbacks and wigs, he's also fond of a head piece.

VITO Project: The Crying Game

Michelle Ross

Michelle is a Co- founder and Co-lead on Service Development and she is part of  the training team at cliniQ, an holistic sexual health and wellbeing service for all trans*, non-binary, and queer folks; their partners, friends and family.Its services are led, developed and delivered by trans* people and allies, in partnership with appropriately trained clinicians and counsellors. cliniQ is a Nursing Times Award Winning Service for Enhancing Patient Dignity.

Michelle has been involved with HIV sexual health & well-being for 27 years since 1988.
She was the lead in developing the ground-breaking UK first, Trans Health Matters, Sexual Health HIV & Wellbeing booklet & web pages for trans* women. She attends and speaks at many conferences on the issues of sexual health, wellbeing and HIV for trans* peoples.

Michelle is a BACP accredited counsellor and began her training in 1989 at London Lighthouse in HIV & AIDS counselling, specialising in individual clients and sero-discordant couples with HIV. She is passionate about trans* peoples inclusion and engagement in service development; provision and delivery of culturally competent trans* led service for all trans* and queer folks. She believes strongly that trans* folks can speak for ourselves on our issues for our communities.

Michelle is on the ReShape steering committee.

Seán McGovern

Seán McGovern is an educator and total cinephile. He's activist with ACT UP London, the direct action HIV/AIDS advocacy group and part of the LimaZulu Project Space, an artist run project space in Harringay, North London.