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WCS LGBTQ+ Awards 2024 | Introducing the Winners.

Updated: Jul 4

Recognising Queer Leaders serving their community.

This year's WCS | Awards are celebrating Queer Leaders across Spain - LGBTQ+ change-makers who are using their platforms, profile and roles to drive change, making the world a more inclusive place for all LGBTQ+ people. This might be by 'creating space' for others in their workplace, community or on a wider scale nationally or globally.

Our 2024 Award Winners:

Award winners and community members are invited to an evening of celebration and entertainment at our inaugural LGBTQ+ Awards & Pride Gala held in Barcelona.

Jossy Jaycoff Angulo.


Jossy is a Visual Artist and LGBTQ+ Rights Activist with a special focus on Non-Binary Trans Identities. She is also a Communicator, Model, Writer, Actress and International Host promoting Queer culture from platforms such as Boiler Room, British Fashion Council, Resident Advisor, Primavera Sound and Soho House. She has worked with the Ministry of Equality of the Spanish Government to help development “La Ley Trans Estatal” (the Trans Law), one of only a few activists involved in this historic legislative change. Jossy is committed to taking spaces that are not created for gender variant people, along with the promotion and development of new legislatures.

Hadi Moussally.

(all pronouns)

Hadi is a Lebanese-French filmmaker, photographer, and performer with master's degrees in fiction cinema and documentary and anthropological cinema. He's the co-founder of "h7o7," a production company focusing on fashion, experimental, documentary, and fiction films and photos. Hadi's latest project, "Hybrid Wave," showcases 30+ global hybrid artists. As an 'artivist,' Hadi uses his work to address social injustices like homophobia, racism, sexism, and transphobia. He has won over 50 awards and selections in 350 festivals for his films. Passionate and impactful, Hadi is a prominent figure in the art and activism world.

Judith Solanas Sánchez.


Judith is a queer leader dedicated to creating space for others in the realm of sports and beyond. She is a PhD student at INEFC, focusing on sexual diversity in sport, and is currently in her final year of research centred on the experiences of lesbian coaches in Spain. Alongside her doctoral studies, she teaches and supervises at EU Business School. As a Board Member of the Federation of Gay Games (FGG) and Agrupación Deportiva Ibérica (ADI LGTBI+), Judith is deeply involved in promoting inclusivity in sports. Her background includes over a decade of experience in the sport for all, competitive sport, and sport for development sectors across Europe and Africa. Judith expresses her commitment to advocacy and education is through her workshops and trainings at prestigious institutions such as Institut Barcelona Esports (IBE) and Diputació de Barcelona as well as with five publications on sexual diversity in sport to her credit.

David Pineiro.



David Velduque.


David is a film director and queer creator. He has developed projects such as ‘Estigma’ (2018), a short film that garnered him recognition from Austin's Fantastic Fest; ‘Animal’ (2019), a thriller that tackles gender-based violence from an unconventional perspective; and ‘Transición’ (2023), where he experiments with body horror to address the loneliness faced by elderly trans people. In his role as a communicator, Velduque directs and hosts the podcast ‘Sabor a queer’, a space where LGTBQ+ individuals come together to discuss friendship, racism, success, childhood, and insecurity. ‘Sabor a queer’ was nominated for Best Video Podcast at the latest edition of the Ondas Awards.

Aleyda Andreo.


Aleyda is a Senior Data Product Owner at Nestlé, involved with the company's Employee Resource Group (ERG). Aleyda, who is in a same-sex marriage, uses her personal experiences to encourage individuals to become strong advocates for LGBTQ+ rights. She actively participates in conferences such as REDI as well as workshops and seminars exploring the latest advancements and challenges within the LGBTQ+ community and her industry. At Nestlé, Aleyda's leadership is characterised by authenticity, empathy, and resilience, making her a queer leader who leads by example both personally and professionally.

Jono Kitchens.


Jono, also known as Joan Oh, is the founder of the inclusive and diverse party PLUMA. As the “mother” of a multitude of drag performers in the city, Jono provides a platform for artists of diverse backgrounds to grow and flourish. An international drag figure, Jono has performed with superstars like Mel C, Anastacia, and Jake Shears. In addition to their drag artistry, Jono has shaped the commercial dance scene in both the UK and Spain as a dancer, choreographer, and teacher. Many of today's well-known commercial dancers credit Jono with influencing their careers. Through PLUMA and their broader work, Jono continues to uplift and celebrate the talents of others while fostering a spirit of inclusivity and support in the community.

Barry Brandon.


Barry is a lifestyle curator, digital content creator, and social media influencer whose mission is to create safer spaces for all individuals to express themselves through strategic and insightful community building and marketing. He is often sought out for his understanding and sensitivity towards the queer experience. His expertise includes speaking engagements, corporate training, and education on LGBTQIA+ culture and identity. As a dual citizen of the United States and Europe, Barry is committed to building global relationships and creating a movement of authenticity and enlightenment. He envisions a world where we enrich each other by being ourselves.

Kevin Hawkins.


Kevin is an award-winning, multi-disciplinary design leader. He’s been a serial startup founder, product designer, and is a seasoned instructor at GrowthTribe, General Assembly, and Georgetown University for UX and Data Visualization. He is a gay, Liberian-American with 15 years of experience building communities and launching products. He also does interior design. Previously, he’s been lucky to work for companies such as, PwC, EY, Gap Inc, and more. At the start of his career, he was a self-taught front-end developer and then a design contractor for small businesses and science NGOs in Washington, DC. He transitioned into user research and user experience management as he worked with national clients with high accessibility requirements. He now resides in Barcelona, Spain. In his free time, he travels the world (52 countries, 46 U.S. states) to learn from how others dance, cook, and solve problems from different perspectives.

Cindy Nehme.


Cindy is an award winning digital communication consultant with more than 10 years of experience in the social and digital communication field, developing strategies in MENA for brands such as New Suez Canal, Qi, Kimberly Clark, British American Tobacco, Coca Cola, The Cheesecake Factory, GROHE, Unilever, Roche, UNICEF, LG, Volkswagen and Nissan. She is an advocate for volunteer work with cultural and tourism sustainability NGO’s such as Anna Lindh foundation, the cultural center in Zouk Mikael, WHL and Souk el Tayeb. She’s also a community leader and the co-founder of Barcelona-based Lebanese restaurant, Bērytī.

Laura Jones.


Laura is the Global Head of Health & Wellbeing at Save the Children International, overseeing health initiatives across 56 countries. Her extensive background includes roles with the WHO’s Emergency Medical Team in Gaza, and as an International Health Advisor for various NGOs in countries like Bangladesh and Uganda. Laura’s work in crisis and disaster response, infectious diseases, and global mental health showcases her commitment to making a difference. Laura is the founder of Almas Libres, an NGO dedicated to empowering marginalised women and girls through urban sport, culture, and technology, reaching over 3,000 participants in Barcelona in 2023. A faculty member at World Extreme Medicine and a European Equality Ambassador, she continues to inspire through her dedication to education and advocacy.

Javier Meneses.


Javier Meneses is a Chilean entrepreneur who has lived in Barcelona for 22 years. With a bachelor's degree in Business Administration and a master's degree in Business Communication from the University of Barcelona, ​​he has dedicated his career to creating innovative projects in the hospitality industry. With 20 years of experience, he is one of the founders of renowned music bar Manchester Bar. He is also the creative leader and co-founder of the successful CANDY DARLING project, a queer bar in the heart of Barcelona which is ​​a meeting space and refuge for the LGBTQ+ community, where free expression and the celebration of diversity are the fundamental pillars. “Candy Darling Bar has become a platform for visibility of different groups, a space for the development of various cultural activities and a creative meeting point for many local queer artists.”

Luca Magagni.


Luca is a strategic consultant, business coach, and a key contributor to the BCN Pride Toastmasters club, where he's served in numerous leadership roles for close to a decade. Currently on the Strategy Board, Luca continues to shape the club’s mission of fostering communication and leadership skills within a diverse, bilingual environment. Throughout his tenure, Luca has navigated the challenges of leading a volunteer team with empathy and flexibility, ensuring a supportive atmosphere for personal and professional growth. His involvement has not only strengthened the club but also enriched his own journey as a cisgender gay man, illustrating the profound impact of community and shared values.

Alberto Antón Benítez.

(all pronouns)

Alberto is an advertising professional and volunteer dedicating his time over the last few years to a wide range of LGBTQ+ initiatives and efforts in Barcelona. Alberto is driven by the idea that the happiness and growth of the community is rooted in the establishment of a solid and healthy social fabric.

Mar C. Llop.


Mar C. Llop (1967 – 25 February 2022) was a Barcelona-born photographer and activist, co-founder of the trans association "Generem!" Known for her "Work in Progress: Construcciones Identitarias," highlighting diverse experiences of transition through imagery. One of her self-portraits, where she stands naked with stickers on her body that read 'fragile', symbolises the vulnerability of hiding one's identity. Her activism and art stressed the importance of visibility, showing trans people leading ordinary, happy lives. Mar also contributed to Daniel Mariblanca's project "71 Bodies 1 Dance," promoting positive representation of the trans community through artistic collaboration. They have been awarded a posthumous recognition as part of the WCS | Awards 2024.

Cindy Nasenya.


Cindy is a versatile professional with a background in digital marketing, social media management, customer service, and content creation. Drawing on her expertise in digital marketing, Cindy crafts strategic campaigns that drive engagement and enhance brand visibility using data-driven insights. As a podcast host and editor of "Three Girls & a Mic", she captivates global audiences with compelling storytelling and immersive content. Beyond her professional pursuits, Cindy is an advocate for social justice and activism, leveraging her skills to amplify voices and foster inclusivity within her community. As a content creator with a diverse portfolio, Cindy fosters a supportive and engaged community online. They have been awarded an 'Emerging Leader' recognition as part of the WCS | Awards 2024.

Romana Russello.


Romana is the co-founder and event organiser of LesGirls, a pioneering association created by and for LBTQI+ women, which bring an array of cultural, sporting, and culinary events to the community. In just over a year, the community has grown to several dozen WhatsApp groups, over 1,500 registered members, and a vibrant social media presence. Via LesGirls, Romana has collaborated with major LGBTQI+ entities across the city, Catalonia, and Spain. Her work has not only fostered community, friendship, and support but has also been a catalyst for personal growth for many.

Lidiane Castro.


Lidiane is a lecturer with a Doctorate in Audiovisual Communication and Advertising, specialising in Communication and Gender Studies. Lidiane teaches business, marketing, and communication at both bachelor's and master's levels with a commitment to student-centred learning. Her academic journey including research, curriculum development, and numerous publications and conference presentations has a significant and evolving impact in the field. As Co-organiser and Cultural Director of International Lesbians Barcelona (ILB), Lidiane has harnessed her academic expertise to shape community initiatives that celebrate LGBTQ+ culture and foster a sense of belonging. She organises events, conducts educational workshops, and creates support networks aimed at promoting inclusivity and understanding.

Rubén Antón.

(all pronouns)

Ruben is queer artist and researcher of newspaper archives. They have been called "the first archaeologist of Iberian crossdressers and travesti". Through their work and historical memory project 'Drag is Burning', Ruben recovers the historia del travestismo (history of cross dressing) in Spain, from the 15th century until now, with a unique historical journey through more than five centuries of silenced and forgotten characters. With over 100 art exhibitions and over 50 podcast shows made since 2020, Ruben has visited venues ranging from Barcelona to Dubai. Currently, in addition to working on their collections, Ruben collaborates with betevé, Barcelona's public television, on its queer culture section and actively participates in LGBTQ+ festivals, talks and projects.

Ignacio Labayen de Inza.


Ignacio is a chemsex specialist advisor, supporting men dealing with issues such as isolation, trauma, homophobia, low self-esteem, intimacy challenges, and HIV-related concerns. Providing structured support to over a dozen men weekly for over a decade and a half, he has helped thousands regain control over their lives. In 2020, Ignacio founded Controlling Chemsex, a charity employing a team of experienced advisors, many of whom have personal experience with chemsex. The charity leverages new technologies to offer accessible and confidential support. Ignacio's work addresses a critical public health crisis within the MSM community, offering hope and recovery to those who once believed it impossible. Ignacio exemplifies the individual journey from struggling with addiction to becoming a beacon of hope for the community.

Roberta Marrero.


Roberta Lucía Marrero Gutiérrez (1972 – 17 May 2024) was a Spanish artist, performer, and illustrator known for blending pop culture with political commentary. Her book Dictadores transformed images of totalitarian icons with whimsical pop elements, while her graphic novel El bebé verde explored her childhood and trans identity. Marrero's work was exhibited in Spanish galleries like "La Fiambrera" in Madrid and prestigious venues such as the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Marrero cited Andy Warhol as her primary influence, sampling from Fauvism, expressionism, surrealism, Catholic religious painting, classical Hollywood, and punk. She also released two electropop albums and DJed in Spanish clubs. They have been awarded a posthumous recognition as part of the WCS | Awards 2024.

José Luis Espinosa.


José Luis sits on the Council at the International Educational Exchange (CIEE) Barcelona. At the institution, he has delivered reviews and policy enhancements on body, gender, and ethnicity. José leads training sessions on gender, raising awareness and developing actionable plans to support faculty and students. Using the "World Café" methodology, José Luis's team created a list of safe spaces for LGBTQ+ students, integrated DEI-focused content into syllabi, and developed an inclusive language glossary. In his Literature and Filmmaking courses, José Luis features pioneers like Pedro Almodóvar, engaging students in critical analyses of diversity in Spanish society. By integrating his passions for music, cinema, and theatre into his leadership, José Luis creates opportunities for learning informed by inclusivity and diverse cultural perspectives.

Ana Navio.

(all pronouns)

Ana is the founder of La Prole, a meeting space and bookstore in Barcelona for literary and cultural initiatives within the intersectional fields of feminism, LGTBQ+ issues and anti-racism. La Prole also serves as an exhibition area and space for cultural initiatives highlighting unconventional and underrepresented perspectives.

Video credit: Corte del documental Joyas Queer de Elio Cohen

Me Siento Extraña.

Maia Jenkinson (she/her)

Verushka Sirit (she/her)

Maia and Verushka are the co-founders of Me Siento Extraña, a space for celebratory encounters, artistic exploration, and identity expression that gives voice to women, lesbians, bisexuals, non-binary individuals, trans people, dissenting identities, cyborgs, and others (*FLINTA). MSE emerged to address the lack of cultural spaces for this part of the collective, with the purpose of building community. The collective organises weekly events focusing on showcasing projects, art, music, poetry, creation, and dissemination of topics of interest. MSE has collaborated with festivals, other collectives, curators, and during the night, with clubs centring diverse programming and emphasising the creation of safer spaces. To that end, MSE has also contributed to the formation of an awareness team called Safe Amorx, a joint research effort to continue improving the spaces where the collective exists.

Barcelona Gay Men's Chorus.

Ángel Hurtado (he/him)

Edu Rojo (he/him) Toni Ponce (he/him

Inspired by a long-standing tradition of LGBTI+ choruses in English-speaking countries, Barcelona Gay MEn's Chorus (BGMC) strives to provide as many people from the gay community as possible with the chance to participate in a musical and cultural activity. The chorus shines a light on homosexuality and normalises the LGBTQ+ community through their concerts, which star openly gay men performing not only for members of the community, but for a wide-ranging, diverse audience. BGMC is recognised not only for their high-quality artistic performances, both visually and vocally, but also for their charitable and social contributions to the LGBTQ+ and D/deaf communities. Currently, the BGMC is working to lay the foundations for a bright future for the chorus beyond the city of Barcelona, both within Spain and internationally.

Elliot Theodor.


Elliot is a non-binary transgender man, a sports physical therapist, and a professionally trained circus artist. In 2018, Elliot immigrated to Barcelona from Israel in pursuit of freedom from the Middle East. His activism includes running a donation-based training group called Drama y Biceps exclusively for transgender and non-binary individuals, providing accessible physical therapy services to trans individuals, co-authoring the first academic study on the rehabilitation of masculinizing top surgery, and giving talks about trans issues such as non-binary biology, trans experiences in the workplace, and personal lived experiences. In addition, Elliot is passionate about promoting intersectionality and educating people on the importance of creating safe spaces for marginalized communities. He is also interested in the history of LGBTQ+ rights movements and combating discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community, particularly in healthcare settings. Additionally, Elliot advocates for the importance of physical activity and its benefits for mental health, and discusses the unique challenges faced by trans individuals in accessing appropriate healthcare.

Iris Serbanescu.


Iris is the founder and CEO of wmnsWORK, an accelerator designed for women and non-binary entrepreneurs in the tourism industry. Launched in January 2022, wmnsWORK offers a comprehensive 12-week program that covers topics such as financial projections and regenerative tourism principles, all through engaging weekly workshops. Iris, a queer-identifying advocate for gender equity, built wmnsWORK on her extensive experience in the travel industry and her commitment to creating supportive and inclusive spaces. Her leadership has guided over 40 entrepreneurs to success, including impactful businesses like The Traveling Wakili, Dive n Ride Adventures, and Good Trip Adventures. Over one third of each cohort's spots are funded through scholarships from sponsors, making the program accessible to racialised, disabled, and LGBTQ+ individuals. Iris’s dedication to addressing systemic oppression and fostering economic ownership within the queer community empowers participants to both thrive in their ventures and bring their full selves to their work.

Oriol Pàmies.


Oriol is a Spanish serial entrepreneur, public figure, LGBTQ+ activist, public speaker and internationally published author. In 2019, he founded Queer Destinations the leading LGBTQ+ consulting company focused on the creation of safe spaces, working with governments and companies around the world with presence in over 10 countries. He is the author of the book "Now That You Already Know", an LGBTQ+ guide for the coming out process and on how to navigate the world being part of the community, published in Spain and Mexico. In 2023 he launched Qroud Agency, a global queer creative collective that connects global brands with consumers always with diversity and inclusion in mind. Oriol is currently the CEO of Queer Holdings a conglomerate of business built with the purpose of improving the life of the queer community and generate employment, always looking for the intersection between business and activism.

Kei Yoshida.


Kei is an international human rights lawyer. They work as a Senior Legal Adviser at the Center for Reproductive Rights and is an associate barrister at Doughty Street Chambers. They are the co-editor of Feminist Conversations on Peace (Bristol University Press, 2022), co-author with Jennifer Robinson of Silenced Women (Octopus, 2024). They have a daughter and live in Madrid, Spain.

Belén Kay McCarthy.


Belén Kay is a multifaceted professional and artist, serving as a Community Lead at WeWork and as International Vice President for Pride of WeWork, with a strong commitment to LGBTQIA+ issues. She combines her corporate expertise with her creative talents as a folk rock singer-songwriter and producer.

Ada Colau.


Ada Colau Ballano has been the first female mayor in Barcelona’s history (2015-2023). She has dedicated much of her life to social and human-rights activism. She helped to launch the Platform for People Affected by Mortgages (PAH) in 2009. In 2014, she founded Guanyem Barcelona (later known as Barcelona en Comú), the citizens’ political party that won the municipal elections in 2015. In 2019 she was re-elected Mayor of Barcelona. At the City Council, she has given priority to public policies focusing on the fight against inequalities, the right to decent housing, the launch of a more sustainable city model, and the strengthening of citizen participation. She has also shown her commitment to regulating the impact of tourism, fostering a more diverse, inclusive, and green economy and improving public services. Feminism, solidarity, and the promotion of diversity also play a central role in municipal policies. As well as being Mayor and President of the Barcelona Metropolitan Area (AMB), she has been the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) special envoy for relations between cities and the United Nations, and Vice Chair of the C40 Steering Committee, the governing body providing strategic direction for the global network of 97 cities committed to addressing the climate crisis.

Sevi Koppe.


Sevi is Community Director at We Create Space, as well as an international creative director and producer. She's worked for films and music festivals around the world, as a creative director, booking agent and a production manager. Her vision is queer and she's been curating international events since 2000 to promote LGBTQ+ visibility to mainstream audiences. Sevi works with venues around the world to coordinate exclusive events. Sevi studied queer media and spaces in Japan to understand what support is offered to minors inside and outside of the formal education system.

Eryk Glowacki.


Eryk is the founder of Yoten, a multifunctional atelier space offering professional styling, makeup, clothing, and photography. Originally from Poland, Eryk has been working in the hair and fashion industry for nearly 20 years across Ireland, the UK, Vietnam, and Poland. He founded Yoten to create a welcoming space where everyone is free to express themselves without judgment, regardless of colour, gender, or status.

Diego Lazaro.


Diego is a diversity and inclusion consultant with experience in multinational companies, implementing strategy and employee well-being initiatives. He aims to create work environments where everyone feels respected and can reach their full potential. Featured in Forbes as a visible LGBTQ+ entrepreneur, Diego holds a Bachelor's in Business & Hospitality Management and a Master's in HR Management. After roles in talent acquisition and as a People Business Partner, he supported COGAM in building their corporate relations department. As the founder of Be Diverse, he collaborates with various organisations, providing consulting services in HR and D&I, including workshops, surveys, and strategy reports.

Silvia Reyes.


Silvia Reyes Plata (1949 – 22 May 2024) was a Spanish transgender activist and a key figure in Barcelona's LGBTQ+ movement. She participated in the historic 1977 Barcelona pride parade, Spain's first major LGBTQ+ visibility event, which turned violent when police opened fire with rubber bullets. Due to her activist work, she was imprisoned nearly 50 times under the Social Danger and Rehabilitation Act for defending LGBTQ+ rights as well as for promoting the recognition and dignity of LGBTQ+ people. Upon her exile from Catalonia in 1975, she worked in cabarets and shows across Europe before returning to Barcelona in 1977. Silvia's enduring legacy highlights both the significant progress made and the ongoing challenges in the fight against discrimination and inequality for transgender people. They have been awarded a posthumous recognition as part of the WCS | Awards 2024.

Alessandro Dell'Aglio.


Alessandro is a vibrant community maker in Barcelona, who, about a year ago, founded the fully inclusive BCN Queer Squad for LGBTQ+ and LGBTQ+ friendly individuals. Driven by a vision to foster real connections and beautiful relationships through shared interests, Alessandro has cultivated a space where respect and tolerance are paramount. The group's diverse events range from cultural and physical activities to social gatherings, offering something for everyone. Under Alessandro’s leadership, BCN Queer Squad has grown into a thriving community, with a strong grassroots presence on social media. Barcelona's often fragmented LGBTQ+ scene inspired Alessandro to create a space where anyone, regardless of orientation, age, or appearance, could feel accepted. This inclusive approach has led to the formation of numerous friendships and deep connections within the BCN Queer Squad community. Alessandro also organises cultural activities, such as language exchanges and excursions, to enrich members' understanding of local heritage and LGBTQ+ culture. Through his passionate leadership and countless hours of organisational work, Alessandro continues to build a welcoming and dynamic community in Barcelona.

We hope that these stories and projects inspire you and empower you to create space as a Queer Leader and LGBTQ+ change-maker.

Want to take part next year? Be sure to sign up to our newsletter here.

We hope to see you there!


While you're here...

Did you know we consult with Businesses, ERGs and Change-Leaders providing bespoke corporate solutions? Through consultancy we design shared learning experiences, produce DEI insights and craft bespoke content that support individuals with strengthening their roles as change-agents within their communities and organisations. Find out more here.

We also organise FREE community events throughout the year! We offer a variety of ways to get involved - both online and in person. This is a great way to network and learn more about others' experiences, through in-depth discussion on an array of topics. You can find out what events we have coming up here. New ones are added all the time, so make sure you sign up to our newsletter so you can stay up to date!


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