Chicago's Eglė Malinauskaitė Stands with Queer Lithuanians

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When the Lithuanian president Gitanas Nausėda, who opposes same-sex marriage, came to visit Lithuanian-Americans in Chicago, Eglė Malinauskaitė greeted him with a banner "Nausėda yra homofobas". The picture went viral but the person behind the banner remained unknown.

For the first podcast episode of 2022, we met Eglė in their room in Chicago to talk about the power of bold protest and the absence of LGBTQ voices in the Lithuanian-American community.

<p>Eglė during the protest this September with the Lithuanian president Gitanas Nausėda in the back giving a speech. ©Cadno</p>

Eglė during the protest this September with the Lithuanian president Gitanas Nausėda in the back giving a speech. ©Cadno

"I did it not just for myself but for every queer Lithuanian person."

This episode kicks off the series of conversations with global Lithuanians on their work to inspire progressive changes in Lithuanian society, even when they don't live there physically.

We called this series Rethinking Lithuania to challenge the traditional narrative of what defines us as a community. These conversations are held by Karolis Vyšniauskas, one of NARA's editors, who's currently studying journalism masters in New York University.

<p>The first time Eglė Malinauskaitė confronted a (future) president was in 2015, during a Donald Trump rally. Eglė asked Trump what he would do about global health after the Ebola crisis. The answer they got was, "We're gonna build the wall."</p>

The first time Eglė Malinauskaitė confronted a (future) president was in 2015, during a Donald Trump rally. Eglė asked Trump what he would do about global health after the Ebola crisis. The answer they got was, "We're gonna build the wall."

<p>Eglė stands near the sign of Lithuanian Plaza street in Chicago.</p>

Eglė stands near the sign of Lithuanian Plaza street in Chicago.

<p>Eglė Malinauskaitė has a degree in biomedical engineering. Since the university days they supports global health initiatives.</p>

Eglė Malinauskaitė has a degree in biomedical engineering. Since the university days they supports global health initiatives.

<p>Eglė near the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Marquette Park. In 1966 King led the march for fair housing. People from the neighborhood community, largely Lithuanian, Polish, German, and Italian, threw stones and bottles to mostly Black marchers.</p>

Eglė near the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Marquette Park. In 1966 King led the march for fair housing. People from the neighborhood community, largely Lithuanian, Polish, German, and Italian, threw stones and bottles to mostly Black marchers.

<p>Eglė Malinauskaitė stands near the historic Lithuanian church in Chicago where they protested against the president Nausėda's LGBTQ policies.</p>

Eglė Malinauskaitė stands near the historic Lithuanian church in Chicago where they protested against the president Nausėda's LGBTQ policies.

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Rethinking Lithuania project was made during the class of professor Elizabeth Spiers at Studio 20, NYU.

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