Chille Deman (1948, Antwerp) is a prominent LGBTQI activist. On his father’s advice, Chille suppressed his sexual orientation for many years, but he came out at the age of 32 and immediately manned the barricades; he hasn’t stopped since. His impressive commitment began as a member of the French-speaking gay organisation Tels Quels. He spent the 1980s as part of the budding gay movement in this country. In 1995, he was one of the founders – and for a long time chairman – of the Belgian Lesbian and Gay Pride (now Belgian Pride), that focused on demanding basic rights during those militant years. It was successful: the law against discrimination arrived in 2002; same-sex marriage was made legal in 2003, and the right to adopt in 2005. Chille was also chairman of the RainbowHouse in Brussels for seven years. He managed to combine all this with a career as a social worker in the field of housing.
At present, Chille chairs the RainbowFriends, set up to support Prides and festivals in countries where this is still a difficult task. Together with Visite Particulière, he is also working on a project that promotes inclusion in Brussels museums and cultural institutions.