TINA KOLOS ORBAN | Pocketmags.com

3 mins


The global trans community received a sad shock recently, when the news filtered out from Hungary that former TENI CEO, TGEU Co-Chair and Vice President of Transvanilla, Tina Kolos Orban, had passed away on February 2. Tina had been struggling with cancer for several years and had returned, in the summer of 2023, from Ireland to Hungary to recuperate and be with their family and friends.

I first met Tina at the fourth Transgender Europe Council in Dublin City University in September, 2012. It was just a brief hello, followed by a short chat. Tina was so excited to be there. I knew then we would become friends.

In 2011, along with some colleagues, they had formed Transvanilla, the Hungarian trans organisation. As Vice-President, Tina was responsible for international relations and advocacy, and they were already building alliances across Europe.

By 2014, Tranvanilla were hosting the fifth Transgender Europe Council in Budapest and Tina was at the forefront of organising it. We hardly got to speak, as they were so busy. Every time I saw them someone was asking “What do we do with this?” “How do we do that?” This was how I got to know Tina, always making space for other voices, creating safe spaces and central to organising everything. In Budapest, Tina was fundamental to a fantastic council.

During the Council, Tina was elected to the TGEU board and became treasurer. They then served as Co-Chair between 2016 to 2018. By mid-2019, it was clear that TGEU was having issues. Several community members stepped in to propose and oversee a transition. Tina, stepping in as Co-Chair and as an Interim highest officer was essential to ensuring it survived.

In April 2022, Tina joined TENI as Chief Executive Officer. TENI at that point was going through a period of instability and it was clear that we needed a strong, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable leader to steer the organisation into calmer waters. Tina was the perfect person to do just that, and we were delighted when they moved to Ireland. However not long after, their health issues, which had been troubling them between 2020 and 2021, had returned. Their term in TENI was to be short, lasting just over a year but critical to its future.

Over the years, as I had thought, we became friends, meeting at numerous conferences, TGEU councils or just staying connected online. Tina was constantly active but was much more than an activist. For as long as I had known them, Tina was so passionate about the farm they had with their partner, Barnabás, in Hungary. The fact that they raised foxes as pets always intrigued me. They would search globally for rare breeds, raising and training them before sending them on to loving homes. When we would talk about our families, Tina would always proudly share stories about their daughter, their family, Barnabás, and the animals on the farm.

Tina loved relaxing with cross stitch, a good jigsaw, a trip to the zoo or the cinema or just a quiet afternoon or evening with friends. We would love to chat over Zoom, while they sat outside among the animals and in the fresh air. They loved nature, and despite many trips to Greystones, we never did get that trip to Glendalough.

Tina was most of all a good friend, someone who always had time for you and was always considerate and compassionate. Everyone had a good word for them. They were inspiring, professional, and a visionary leader. They will be missed by their many friends around the globe.

This article appears in 382

Go to Page View
This article appears in...
Go to Page View
Welcome, dear reader, to the first issue of GCN for 2024.
Support GCN
GCN is a registered charity and has continuously operated on a not-for-profit basis.
The Institute of Historical Research in the University of London will host an online roundtable which will feature papers on Queer Irish History.
In memory of an inspiring activist, friend, and colleague.
Inside SLM
Over the course of the last year, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of Ireland’s first Sexual Liberation Movement (SLM), Ethan Moser has been highlighting the movement’s founding members. Those involved have been profiled for the roles they played in moving Ireland towards LGBTQ+ equality.
EMIS 2024 is the European Men-Who-Have-Sex-With-Men and trans people internet survey.
A Pocket Guide To Transitioning
The process of transitioning can be daunting, let alone finding the information on how to navigate it. As many know, most of the information is dispersed across multiple websites, forums, and resources, and can feel really overwhelming to source. Tiernan Arnup Egan shares info on a new pocket guide that will provide essential help.
This year, with the support of the Community Foundation of Ireland, we carried out a survey amongst our readership to get insights into what our community feels about aging and dying.
When most people hear the word “drag ” one idea immediately comes to mind: a hyper glamorous drag queen sashaying across a stage with a huge wig and a tuck, but that’s only one genre of this incredibly artistic and genderbending world. Nicole Lee celebrates our amazing community of drag kings.
Ireland is a nation of storytellers, and as everyone knows, the best stories are the funny ones. With that fact in mind, our queer community has been punching above its weight on the comedy scene for years. Sarah McKenna Barry caught up with some of the brightest mirth makers in the business to hear about their own journeys, and have some laughs in the process.
On March 8, the people of Ireland will be asked to vote on two referendums to change our constitution - the first refers to the definition of family under our constitution and the other concerns the role of women as caregivers in the home. If you’re anything like Ranae von Meding, perhaps these referendums have snuck up on you and you aren’t entirely sure what the changes might mean in practical terms were the referendums to pass.
The upcoming referendum on March 8, 2024, will see a revision being proposed to Article 41.2, removing the outdated language in favour of a more progressive and equal definition of care. But how will this change the role of women in Irish society, and what impact, if any, will it have? Han Tiernan elaborates
Lovers & Other Strangers
While the release of a major film depicting and discussing queer lives is always an exciting event, there’s an extra thrill involved with Andrew Haigh’s excellent All of Us Strangers as it stars two of Ireland’s most exciting talents. Alice Linehan chatted with Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal about their film, alongside the evolution of queer lives
With the upcoming 2024 Béar Féile, Ethan Moser takes a stroll through the woods of gay history and celebrates our beloved bears, before discovering all the festival has to offer.
In recent times it has often felt like the shadow of far-right extremists has been looming over our communities. In Ireland, we can see it in the shocking riots that happened in Dublin late last year or the anti-LGBTQ+ library protests that have been going on. When we shift our gaze towards continental Europe and the wider world, it becomes obvious that there too the far-right is gaining ground. But, as Swantje Mohrbeck describes, everywhere where the far-right is advancing, there are also people standing up to defend our communities.
One of the main misconceptions about asexuality is that all asexual people want absolutely nothing to do with sex. While this is accurate for some asexual people, it couldn’t be further from the truth for many others. Beatrice Fanucci spoke to members of the community to get the facts.
Dublin & The East ACT UP Dublin Individuals
While the eyes of the world are fixed on the awful events currently taking place in Ukraine and in Palestine, there is another large-scale power struggle that is not nearly gaining as much attention. Beatrice Fanucci reports on the full-blown war that erupted in Sudan in April 2023, killing over 12,000 people and causing what the United Nations deemed the world’s largest human displacement crisis. This article contains distressing content.
Queer Spaces — Mother — Love Tempo The
Looking for back issues?
Browse the Archive >

Previous Article Next Article
Page 8