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+ We are providing pro-bono legal services

+ Use strategic legislation and advocacy tools for legislation changes

+ Organizing mass public events, protests, marches (such as Sofia Pride, Sofia Pride Film Festival, Sofia Human Rights ForumEquality March, Women’s March)

Deystvie is an organization dedicated to bringing change to the lives of LGBTI people in Bulgaria. Our vision is to accomplish full rights recognized by the law, and to gain full social inclusion for LGBTI people in a society where they feel safe and respected.

Our mission

What we are fighting for

+ Informed and empowered LGBTI community
+ Improving the qualification of state and municipal employees in working with the LGBTI community

+ Informing the general public about the problems/rights of the LGBTI community

+ Legal regulation of relationships between same-sex partners

+ Legal regulation of same-sex families with children

+ Legal regulation of the procedure for gender reassignment

+ Incrimination in the Criminal Code of hate crimes on homophobic and transphobic grounds

The beginning...

Youth LGBT organization Deystvie started out as an informal group of 7 people who started gathering and organizing events and campaigns.

 In 2009 we organized a protest in Pazardzhik against the municipal regulation that prohibited homosexuality.

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Two years later we organized an information campaign near the Sofia University and gathered around 120 people on a Bike ride.


In 2012 with 20 artists we organized the Colorful musical festival which was attended by 500 people. In the end of the festival we had a jar full of money with which we managed to register Youth LGBT organization Deystvie in the Sofia regional court. 



In 2012 Denitsa went to get her second masters degree in International public law in the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands. When she came back to Bulgaria in 2014, she decided that the way to change the negative social environment for LGBT people is through legislative changes. That’s why Denitsa as a co-founder of Deystvie launched the Legal program. From 2014 to 2016, supported by the Norwegian financial mechanism, Deystvie provided pro-bono legal help to over 50 people and organized seminars about discrimination, attended by over 200 participants.



In the following years the organization expanded its work. The first parenthood events were held in Sofia and Plovdiv and we also created the support group for LGBT parents. In 2015 we organized the first LGBT forum in Bulgaria on the topic of The Movement for equal rights and freedoms for the LGBT community. Since 2015 Deystvie is a part of the organizing committee for Sofia Pride. Every year we also organize Sofia Pride Film Fest with the best selection of international LGBT movies.




In 2017 we took on the first case in Bulgaria for legal recognition of a same-sex marriage, conducted abroad. We launched the project “Hate crimes” where we gathered data from the big cities in the county about homophobic and transphobic crimes and incidents. Our work in other cities continued with the initiative “Days of LGBT” in Varna, consisting of art, culture, sports and leisure events. Other projects launched in 2017 are: L.E.A.D. academy which helps identify and bring together activist from all over the country; the health program for prevention and support for people living with HIV; the project Love Moves that supports same-sex families and



In 2018 Deystvie took on Cristina and Mariama’s case for the freedom of movement. We won it at first instance. Furthermore, we continued working on Lily and Dari’s cases against Sofia municipality and the Center for assisted reproduction. We managed to change Regulation 34 for 3-monthly prescriptions for people living with HIV. We published a report about hate crimes and we participated in the workgroup for the Istanbul convention. We started working on the coalition project with the roma and deaf communities – Equality league. For the first time we got a big supporter for Sofia Pride – Walltopia. Together with GLAS and Bilitis we opened the first LGBT community center in Bulgaria – Rainbow Hub.


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In 2019 continued our work with families, parents and hate crime victims. In the Supreme court we won Cristina and Mariama’s case. We got another major support for Sofia Pride – Air Italy, and we organized the first Pride afterparty on the roof of Walltopia. We launched two new programs – one for mental health and one for young activist – Rainbow Rays.

At the end of 2019 we are starting two new projects together with GLAS and Bilitis – Rainbow Over Hate, Rainbow Shield, BrinkItOn. We’re planning an expansion of the legal program.



our team

Denitsa Lyubenova

chairperson & director of the legal program

Denitsa is a lawyer and human rights defender. She graduated in Law from the University of National and World Economy and specialized in International Public Law at the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands. Denitsa has many years of experience and proven expertise in LGBTI people cases for recognition of marriage concluded abroad, recognition of birth certificates of children of same-sex couples born abroad, cases for change of civil sex and other cases for protection of LGBTI rights. people. Denitza is suing the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union. The most recent case that Denitsa is conducting together with Deystviee concerns the issuance of a Bulgarian birth certificate and citizenship to a child born into a same-sex family, which is heard by the highest instance - Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice (C-490/20). .
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Boriana Krasteva

administrative director

Boriana has more than 17 years of experience working in the non-governmental sector towards the integration of disadvantaged communities, with a focus on the Roma community and youth. From the autumn of 2019, Boriana became part of the Action team, embarking on a new challenge - working in the field of LGBTI rights and social inclusion of LGBTI people in society. Works on a number of projects, participates in organizing events of the organization.
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Anastasia Pihtelkova

project coordinator

Nastya is from Ukraine, but lives in Bulgaria almost all her life. She has completed statistics at UNWE. She has over 10 years of experience in the IT field. She is actively interested in ecology and sustainable development, a volunteer in various organizations since high school. For 3 years she has been involved in Erasmus projects with a focus on the effect of man on the planet and regenting agriculture.
Elitsa Atanasova


Elitsa has been part of the non-governmental sector for more than ten years. He has a master's degree in "Law" from Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski" and has participated in numerous trainings related to various spheres of human rights. He started working as a volunteer for "Desytvie" in 2021, and since 2022 he has been a legal expert for the organization.
Denislav Marinov

legal associate

Denislav is a law student at Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski". He is actively involved in human rights and European Union law, participating in international law competitions. He started as a volunteer for "Deystvie", and since April 2023 he has been a legal associate with the organization.
Borimir Totev

director of development & communications

Borimir’s interests are at the intersection of migration, politics, community organising and culture. A graduate of University College London, with experience working as an arts and creative events producer, social impact communications and marketing, as well as developing, managing and delivering public programmes in the charity, civil rights and not-for-profit sectors.

Anna Doneva

development & events expert

Anna is a clinical psychologist. She graduated from Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, specialty "Clinical and counseling psychology". In 2020, she started as a volunteer in "Deystvie", and from 2021 she works as a development and events expert. Anna is responsible for the overall organization of Sofia Human Rights Forum, the online store of Deystvie and works on strategic communication with corporate partners.

Shirin Hodzhev

project coordinator

Shirin has been working in the NGO sector since 2018 in many projects and roles. Expert freelance trainer and facilitator on topics such as human rights, community work and volunteering. Her personal focus is women's equality and empowerment. When he is not leading trainings, he supports a number of organizations in Bulgaria, in various roles, where there is the greatest need, such as managing and administering projects, coordinating volunteers, etc.

Радослав Стоянов

deputy chairperson & legal expert

Radoslav has been an activist for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) equality since 2008. He has litigated a series of public interest cases concerning discrimination against LGBTI people, ethnic, religious, and age minorities. He is the founder of Stalik's blog—a long-running platform on LGBTI issues, where he promotes educational and analytical works related to this community, stigma and prejudice. In 2012, he received the Activist of the Year award within the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee's Human of the Year 2012 award, and since March 2013 he has been part of the BHC team. He is currently completing his Master's degree in Law. Since 2023 he has been a member of LGBTI Deystvie.

Росица Каламова

проeктен комуникационен експерт

Росица е графичен дизайнер с над 10 години опит в разработването на таргетирани визии, които да предават ясно послание за аудиторията. Завършила е Софийски университет „Св. Климент Охридски“ със специалност Българска филология. Има интереси в областта на психологията и приложното съчетаване на материали. През годините е работила по различни проекти на Действие.  





in the press

in the press
БНТ | 79 закона у нас дискриминират хората с различна сексуална ориентация

19.06.2022 | В София ще се проведе 10-ото юбилейно издание на фестивала SOFIA PRIDE FILM FEST


БНР | Какво е решението по казуса с бебе Сара, бебето с две майки?


Свободна Европа | Венета Лимберова, която предава "силата на правото" на ЛГБТ хората


bTV | Съдът реши: София трябва да издаде акт за раждане на две майки

16.05.2022 | Предстоящият „Форум Права" събира разнообразие от активисти с различни каузи


БНР | ЛГБТ организацията “Действие” стартира платформата за активни граждани “Лидерландия”


bTV Репортерите  | Следи от омраза: Разказ за престъпленията срещу хора от ЛГБТ общността


international media coverage

The Guardian | Children born outside UK to British parents in same-sex couples left ‘stateless’


BalkanInsight | Bulgaria’s Embattled LGBT Community Eyes Calmer Celebration This Year


Business Insider | Top European Union court rules that member nations must legally recognize same-sex parents and their children


POLITICO | Bulgaria must issue identity papers to same-sex couple’s child, EU court rules


advisory board

our advisory board

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Elitza Ranova


Elitza is a coach, trainer and consultant in leadership skills and coaching in the state of Massachusetts, USA. In support of Deystvie, Elitza contributes professional experience as a university lecturer in social sciences. Elitza is a PhD in Anthropology from Rice University in Houston, Texas, a researcher in medical ethics, and a consultant in qualitative research. Elitza is a defender of the rights of trans people, and firmly believes that there can be no justice without full respect and equality for the LGBT+ community.
Jasmina Tacheva


Jasmina is an Assistant Professor at Syracuse University's School of Information Studies where she directs a lab researching the intersection of data, AI, and society. She is currently working on a book about cyberbullying, homophobia, and transphobia defense strategies. In her free time, she writes poetry and short stories, and spends her summers in Sofia.
Tanya Dimitrova


Tanya is engaged in science, education and human rights in the non-governmental sector. Founder of the Science Journal for Kids, publishing adapted science literature for children. Early Childhood Sexuality Education Trainer. Hotline consultant for victims of violence.
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Nikolay Nikolov


Nikolay is a video journalist at The New York Times. He previously worked at Mashable London, where he led a team of producers covering the role of new technologies in climate change mitigation. Outside of work, he is engaged in academic activity, researching the changes in everyday life over the last 75 years in Bulgaria.
Danielle Tinkov

United Kingdom

Danielle is a computer science graduate and has spent over a decade working in the software industry. Recently, she transitioned to management in one of Britain's leading energy companies and has been working with the company's diversity organization to promote LGBTI+ advancement in the workplace. One of her major accomplishments has been securing coverage for trans healthcare in the company's medical insurance plan, which benefits around 3,000 employees. Danielle has a keen interest in science, history, and philosophy.

Vessy Tasheva


Vessy is the Founder & CEO of (a global DEIB and Mental Health consultancy) working with clients across Europe, North America, Latin America, and India. She is also a Diversity & Inclusion Board Member of Positive Luxury (shaping a sustainable future for luxury).  In the last 11 years, prior to becoming a founder, she has worked as Chief Strategy Officer of a talent tech startup, as well as in various roles across product, marketing, and culture in companies between 4 and 800 employees.

Lilia Hadjiivanova


Lilia is Associate Director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School and an Executive MPA candidate at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, concentrating on Global Policy.

Before that, Lilia worked in different areas of education, nonprofit management, policy, and social services, including being a key part of the staff that launched the Immigrant Opportunities Program at the historic LGBT Center in New York City. She holds a BSc in Communication and Media Studies from Loughborough University in the U.K., and a MA in Communications with a major in Critical Studies of TV and Film from California State University, Los Angeles. Lilia is also involved in activism related to movements for immigrants' rights, LGBTQ rights, and reproductive rights. She lives in New York City with her wife, Terry, and two cats, Glowy and Penguino.

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Angel Miklashevsky


Angel is a research fellow at the German Research Institute for Public Administration in Berlin and a Ph.D. candidate in Public Administration. He holds a B.A. in Political Science, Public Administration, and Sociology and a M.A. in Public Administration and Public Policy from the University of Potsdam. In his dissertation on representative bureaucracy, Angel investigates the impact of demographic characteristics of public servants, such as their gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and migration background, on their decision-making while performing administrative discretion. Previously, he worked as a coordinator for LGBTI+ refugees and immigrants at the Immigration Authority of the city of Potsdam. In his spare time, Angel voluntarily provides legal advice to LGBTI+ refugees at NGOs and gives lectures on LGBTI+ refugee rights at universities and schools. With the support of Deystvie, he and his husband appeal to the European Court of Human Rights to have their marriage recognized in Bulgaria.

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Boris Lukanov


Boris is a doctor and political science student in Berlin, Germany. He has been working in the field of sexual health for 7 years with a focus on sexually transmitted infections and health services for trans people. His main cause is equal access to quality healthcare.

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Chavdar Vlachkov


Chavdar is an Engagement Director in the field of IT and Business consulting & strategy, specializing in large scale International Transformation Programs. He was born in Varna and acquired his BA degree in “Finance” and “International Economic Relations” at UNWE – Sofia, followed by a MS in “Management Science” at VUB Brussels. Since 2010 Chavdar is living and working in Brussels, Belgium. During his career development Chavdar has led and contributed towards a series of educational initiative on topics related to LGBT+ rights & workplace policies such as Out @Work, Diversity & Inclusion, and others.

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Stefan Nedialkov


Stefan works at the intersection of climate change and finance. He has an MBA from The Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania) and has worked as financial analyst at international banks, asset managers and consulting firms across Europe and the US. Outside of work, Stefan likes hiking, cooking and photography.

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