By Ruby Almeida, GNRC Board Co-chair (2018 – 2019)

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Dear Friends and Colleagues, it is my absolute and honour to be here with you and to have represented you for the past two years as Co-Chair along with Michael Brinkschroeder.

Firstly, I want to welcome all of you to our 2nd Assembly here in Munich. I see many dear friends who were at our first Assembly in Rome. Please put your hands up so that we can see all of you. And I also see many new faces who I know will become part of the GNRC family. Again, please put your hands up if this is your first time here. I know that you may come here as strangers but you will not leave without becoming an extended member of the GNRC family. Your Christmas list of cards has just grown huge!

Little did I know that when I went to Rome that I would become part of this incredible journey of faith and hope to create a vision and a tangible future for our LGBTI friends around the world. If you have not yet seen the report that the Steering Committee have made, and you will for sure, let me assure you that the Steering Committee have spent so many hours and days meeting, discussing planning to make GNRC into a legal entity. Everything that we have done has been to get us to where we are today. Many of us have become ‘widows’ to our partners, perhaps with them wondering if we were actually having an affair with that person on Skype! Well I guess that we have all been having an affair of some sorts. How else could we have been so passionate and dedicated to realising the birth of our fledgling baby that is GNRC. We look forward to it first tentative steps into the world and watch its growth as it becomes a powerful and vocal advocate for all its members around the world. The success of GNRC cannot happen if we do not have active participation from the membership not just at Assembly and on the Board but during the intervening years through regional meetings and consultations. We are here to represent you and your group and your region. So stay with us and work with us.

Lastly, I want to thank the Steering Committee for all their hard work. So please stand up Joseanne. Chris. Fernando. Ben. Eros. Frank. To late addition Pilot. Oh, and myself! And lastly and most importantly to Michael whose endless energy and patience guided the GNRC ship safely here.

Have an enjoyable Assembly and I look forward to getting to know all of you. Thank you.