Monday, August 7, 2017


Of the works of the winners of the Bears International Art Diplomas (2016/2017)

  • Mike Wyeld and Charlie Hunter, Canada/UK;
  • Luke Darko, France;
  • Luis Loras, Spain;
  • Christophe Jannine-Powelle,
  • France/New Zealand
Wednesday, September 6, 2017: (19.00)
  • SLM Locale (Wollmar Yxkulls gatan 18 T-ban Mariatorget)
  • Bears International Travelling Art Exhibit
  • Film – art, career, interview with Tom of Finland 
Thursday, September 7, 2017: (times, locales to be confirmed)
  • Bears International Travelling Art Exhibit 
  • Bears Poetry -- Tupilak 
  • CD music of "Daddy and the Muscle Academy" -- Finland
  • Bear oral and written presentations: 
  • "Bear Art in the Making" -- report from Charlie Hunter, Canada/UK 
  • "Icelandic Bears -- report from Frosti Jonsson, Bears-on-Ice
  • "Why Do We Need Bears on the Barricades...?" -- Bill Schiller, Bears International 
  • "Bears Surviving in a Dictatorship" -- report from Lokys-Bears of Belarus
  • "Co-operation with Bears in Eastern Europe" -- report from John Earhart, Bamse-Norway
  • "Bear Culture – pioneers in Estonia -- report from Alvar  Ameljushenko, Bearty-Tallinn
  • "Bears in the East" -- report from Ukrainian Bears, (Eastern partner with Bears International) 
  • “The Magic and Power of Leather” – Jan Kopriwa, Läderverkstad, Stockholm 
  • Bear video clips: "Bears on Ice" -- Reykjavik, “Bearserk"—Copenhagen, "Land of the Midnight Fun" -- Helsinki 
Supported by Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers),
Nordic Rainbow Network, Viking Bears-Sweden 

Drawing by Luis Loras

​Photo of Touko Laasksonen
(Tom of Finland)

Thursday, July 6, 2017


Press release from the ILGCN Information Secretariat:  July 5, 2017

Budapest --  Seminars on LGBT culture and history, films, music, poetry, art and photography were part of the ILGCN (international rainbow culture network) international cultural conference -- July 3-4, 2017 part of this year-s Budapest Pride.

Also discussions on the role of "Bears on the Barricades," the role of trans persons in rainbow history and culture, immigrants/refugee contributions to LGBT culture, the importance of  rainbow humanists and the anti-fascist movement on the rainbow barricades -- especially in nations facing growing threats from violent neo-nazis, intolerant politicans, negative media and homophobic religious leaders.  Discussions also covered research in the Nazi and neo Nazi persecution of homosexuals -- followed 10 years after the liberation of Auschwitz by Franco's Tefía concentration camp in Spain, and the growing number of LGBT monuments paying tribute to LGBT people arrested, imprisoned, and murdered over the millinnems.

Art and photography illustrated the works of colleagues from Poland, Belarus, Russia, Estonia, Finland and elsewhere.  Films included the Canadian "Beyond Pride" covering prides in Vancouver, Sri Lanka, Brazil and Russia and the British drama "Unchechen" displaying the recent wave of persecution and violance against gays in the Chechnyan republic of Russia. 

Participants requested another such conference in the Hungarian capital next year.  The 2nd stage of this year's conference is planned for one of the 14 Nordic cities of the 2nd Nordic Rainbow History & Art Month this October -- an event inspired by the LGBT history months taking place in London for over a decade and the LGBT history month in Budapest.

The Budapest conference was also supported by Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers)European Rainbow Humanists and Bears International.

Some of the Budapest conference participants from Canada, Hungary and Sweden

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Stockholm May 18, 2017


Stockholm -- Presentations, poetry, art, and film screenings were part of the Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers) and the ILGCN (rainbow culture international) -arranged event at the Old Town gay-friendly pub Secret Garden marked May 17 as the international day against homophobia and transphobia.

Presentations included program plans from the Södertälje Art Hall producer Sarah Florén for the October 13-14 part of the 2nd Nordic Rainbow History & Art Month and Bill Schiller on the other 12 Nordic  cities in the October Month -- ranging from Reykjavik to Vilnius.

Andrea Sjöfelt presented the outslines of her seminar "scientific rascism in the care system yesterday and today for transgender people"  to be deliverind in full in Stockholm and Södertälje during the Nordic Month.

Sccreened films included "Komet", by Victor LIndgren about LGBT refugees coming to Sweden and "Stockholm Daybreak" by Elin Övergaard about two young gays with dawn hangovers slowly waking up to their true sexual orientation.

The Stockholm event also expressed special greetings to colleagues in the northern Swedish city of Umeå -- also marking this as IDAHOT Day and screening the film "Komet" with the prescence of the film director participating in a panel discussion..

Special salutes were made to colleagues in the dictatorships of Belarus and Chechnya.

Veteran Swedish  singer, musican and song writer Jan Hammarlund performed and Tupilak's Tommy Åberg read his poetry.

ILGCN awards announced included the "Roger Casement" 2017 dipoma for journalism (named after the human rights pioneering homosexual executed by the British 101 years ago) going to the Russian LGBT Network reporting on the persecution and murder of Chechnyan gays, Russian journalist Elena Milasjina of Novaja Gazeta, facing death threats for reporting on the situation in Chechnya. and Ulf Andersson, editor of Sweden's Amnesty Press.

The ILGCN "Rainbow Warrior" 2017 was announced , going for the first time posthumously to French policeman, Xavier Jugelé, a popular gay activist murdered in a recent terrorist attack in Paris.

ILGCN film awards for the coming year went to the U.S/Russian documentary, "Campaign of Hate," the annual LGBT film festival in St. Petersburg "Side by Side" and the British short-film drama "Unchechnen" about the violent mistreatment of gays in Chena.

Also, a call for a pink dollar boycott of tourism and investment in Indonesia -- with the news of the sentencing of two young gays to 85 cane lashings -- sentenced on IDAHTO day as pointed out in the international news media.

A special IDAHOT salute was made to the young- 2-years-old Ukrainina Bears, organizing international Bear events during the Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev, helping challenge the stereotypes often describing gays as "half" men in the Eastern European media, political and religious circles -- undesering of human rights.

And a Swedish skål was made to American whistleblower, Chelsea Manning, released on IDAHOT Day after 7 years in prison.

Also supporting the Stockholm event:  Bears International and Nordic Rainbow Humanists.

Photos​ by Joakim of Sweden.

On this May 17, 2017 IDAHOT Day, two slender gay men in their 20’s in Indonesia have been found guilty of having gay sex and have been sentenced to prison and 85 cane lashes each.  Such a high number of flesh-cutting lashes can be a death sentence even for strong, muscular men let alone frail youngsters.

The BBC tv and Al Jazeera reports showing the men taken into a police bus also reported that the young men wept when hearing the verdict.  The reports also emphasized that the sentence came on the world day against homophobia.
The ILGCN, Tupilak, Nordic Rainbow Humanists and Bears International not only send a loud protest – but also call for a global rainbow cultural, tourist and investment boycott of Indonesia -- a nation spending huge amounts of money daily on BBC television advertising in hopes of attracting more foreign investments and foreign tourists to Indonesia.
The tourist adds display a harmonious people, beautiful scenery, and much food – to the song of the long-deceased American musician, Louis Armstrong, singing about "green trees and red roses, a wonderful world.”

We propose that this rainbow boycott begins on this IDAHOT Day, May 17, 2017.

Bill Schiller, Stockholm

Monday, May 15, 2017

KIEV: A special salute to the Ukrainian Bears for organizing Bear events during the Eurovision Song competition May 12-14 in the Ukrainian capital - a great show of Bear visibility, identity and determination of being "part of the whole." A pioneering event for more "Bears on the Barricades" at future events..? For those of us who can't be there in person, we are with you in Bear spirit!

STOCKHOLM: The ILGCN Information Secretariat in the Swedish capital will join Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers),

Bears International, Nordic Rainbow Humanists and others for the Wednesday, May 17 IDAHOT Day (international day against homophobia and transphobia) ceremonies -- with presentations, art, films, music poetry and with special salutes to colleagues in the homophobic dictatorships of Chechnya and Belarus. Old Town Secret Garden pub 19.00.

WESTPRIDE - GOTHENBURG: Bears International will have a seminar "Bears on the Barricades" in this Swedish west coast city on Friday June 9 (13:00).

ILGCN and Tupilak seminars on "Nordic co-operation with Eastern Europe" on June 7,on "LGBT Culture" on the 8th and on "Rainbow History" on the 9th.

BUDAPEST: Bears International will have a seminar "Bears on the Barricades" at the ILGCN's Rainbow Culture Conference

2017 in the Hungarian capital on 3-4 July -- part of Budapest Pride.

The program will include other seminars, poetry, art work, films, music and song, also including European Rainbow Humanists and the anti-facsist movement. (Detailed program coming.)

TALLINN: Bears International, ILGCN and Tupilak plan to participate in the annual, rotating Baltic Pride this time taking place in the Estonian capital, July 6-9. (Details coming,)

2ND NORDIC HISTORY RAINBOW HISTORY & ART MONTH -- October, 2017: Bears International will join with the ILGCN, Tupilak, Nordic Rainbow Humanists and others in the 13 Nordic cities -- on both sides of the Baltic Sea --.participating in this year's Nordic LGBT history and culture month.

Both Nordic and Bears outside the Nordic zone are welcome to Bear discussions in

Umeå -- October 1st (part of Umeå Pride), Stockholm -- October 3, Tallinn -- October 4-5, Rakvere, Estonia -- October 6-8 (Heartfest LGBT film festival),Stockholm -- October 10-12, Södertälje -- October 13-14 (Konsthall) (Tupilak art exhibition weeks 41 & 42!), Gothenburg --

October 15-16, Lund -- October 18-19, Malmö -- October 21-22, Reykjavik -- October 24, Vilnius -- October 25-26, Copenhagen -- October 28-29,

Helsinki -- October 30-31 (along side Nordic Council meeting), Åbo/Turku -- November 1 (monthly review).

BEARS INTERNATIONAL ART & PHOTO TRAVELLING EXHIBITION -- now in production with 95 cm x 65 cm works of the 5 (so far) winners of the Bears International art 2016 and 2017 diploma awards.

Want this in your future Bear event...? 

Candidates wanted for the 2018 award winners!


Bill Schiller
(in Stockholm for the
Nordic region, West)

Andy Karmarenko
(in Kiev for the East)

Thomas Ifström
(for German-speaking nations)

Russian Bears: Vladimir Bob Lysenko (left) Moscow, Aleksei Grach, St. Petersburg

Waiting for you in Kiev

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

ILGCN CALLING -- April 25, 2017 

    At this year's Bearty-Tallinn meeting with Bears coming from Ukraine, Russia, Finland,  Hungary, Britain, USA, Sweden
 and Iceland joining Estonian colleagues.  During the weekend event April 21-23, Bears also joined with local LGBT activists
at a demonstration in front of the Russian Embassy, demanding the end of persecution, imprisonment and murders of gays
in Chechnya.

       The Bearty-Tallinn event this time focused on Bear musicians and DJ's and discussions of Bear culture.  At the event, 
Tupilak's (Nordic rainbow culture workers) "Thor's Hammer" award diploma was handed over to Frosti Jonsson, Icelandic
 activist and organizer of the annual "Bears on Ice" event in Reykjavik. The Bears International's "Bears Art Award" diplomas
 were handed over to Canadian/British Bear artists Mike Wyeld and Charlie Hunter.  
       Performing at an enthusiastically-applauded concert during the event, American singer and song writer Matt Alber of Portland,
 Oregon has been appointed the latest ILGCN culture ambassador  -- this time for the United States,  sharing the diplomatic
 position with American artist and film maker, Erica Eaton of New York. 

The ILGCN Information Secretariat in the Swedish capital will join with TupilakBears International, Nordic Rainbow
Humanists and others for the Wednesday, May 17 IDAHOT Day ceremonies --  with presentations, art, films, poetry and with 
special salutes to colleagues in the homophobic dictatorships of Chechnya and Belarus.

This will take place at the Old Town Secret Garden pub at 19.00.


 ILGCNTupilak and Bears International seminars are now scheduled for ) Wednesday, June 7 (14.00) on Nordic 
co-operation with Eastern EuropeThursday, June 8 (12:30) on LGBT cultureFriday June 9 (13:00) on "Bears on 
the Barricades" and on rainbow history (16:00)

ILGCN's Rainbow Culture Conference 2017 will take place in the Hungarian capital on 3-4 July -- part of Budapest Pride.
Seminars, poetry, art work, films, music and song.  (Detailed program coming.)

ILGCNTupilakBears International  plan to participate in the annual, rotating Baltic Pride  this time taking place in the
 Estonian capital, July 6-9. (Details coming,)

New cities are joining the 12 Nordic cities already making plans for this year's Nordic LGBT history and culture month.  The
 latest are Reykjavik, Iceland and Åbo/Turku, Finland joining colleagues in StockholmSödertäljeUmeåLundTallinn,
Rakvere (Estonia)VilniusHelsinki etc.  

(Program details coming.)
Frosti Jonsson

Matt Alber (photo by Vladimir Lysenko)

Mike Weyeld and Charlie Hunter

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

LGCN secretariats, ambassadors, co-ordinators, supporters and contacts:

ILGCN CALLING -- April, 2017 (Note: ILGCN information now both on facebook and on website

Successful meetings in the Lithuanian and Swedish capitals at the end of March discussing preparations for 2nd Nordic Rainbow History & Art Month - October, 2017 -- now planned for 12 Nordic nations on both sides of the Baltic Sea. Agreement that colleagues from Belarus should be included in as many of the sessions as possible.  Calls of support and exchange for the new Bears of Belarus - "Lokys."

ILGCN-supported Bears International will participate in the Bearty-Tallinn meeting in the Estonian capital April 19-22.
May 17 IDAHOT Day is planned in the Swedish capital with presentations, art, films, poetry -- with secial salutes to colleagues in the dictatorships of Chechnya and Belarus. (Together with Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers)Bears InternationalNordic Rainbow Humanists, etc.)

ILGCN seminars on rainbow history, culture, identity, Bears, together with Tupilak and Bears International will take place at this Pride event in the western Swedish city of Gothenburg June 7-9.

ILGCN Rainbow Culture Conference will take place in the Hungarian capital on 3-4 July. Seminars, poetry, art work, films, music and song. ILGCN cultural ambassadors, co-ordinators, supporters, etc. especially welcome!  (Officially part of Budapest Pride.)

ILGCN plans to participate in the annual, rotating Baltic Pride this time taking place in the Estonian capital, July 6-9.

The ILGCN's 2nd NORDIC HISTORY & ART MONTH - October, 2017 (together with Tupilak, Bears International, etc.) will take place in 12 Nordic cities on both sides of the Baltic Sea. ILGCN abassadors, co-ordinators, etc. are very welcome!

That the 2017 Orfeo Imago goes to the photo and video collective, "Atonal" with members from Poland, Sweden, Greece and Norway.
Suggestions for other ILGCN award diplomas welcome!

Material, information, photos, graphics for the next "Erato" welcome at the ILGCN Information Secretariat-Stockholm!

Photo: Vilnius "prologue" meeting at Pavilljonas Café (photo by Giordano Campanelli, Italy)

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

ILGCN CALLING -- March, 2017


   Budapest/Stockholm --  ILGCN's next international rainbow conference and culture event will be on July 3-4 as part of the opening days of Budapest Pride-2017.

   "We hope that other ILGCN ambassadors, co-ordinators and supporters will join us for seminars, art and photo exhibitions and film screenings, " says Bill Schiller of the ILGCN Information Secretariat in Stockholm.   "Of course one seminar will be on the importance of LGBT History & Art Months in Budapest, London, Edinburgh and other cities -- and the 2nd Nordic Rainbow Culture Month - October, 2017 -- this time, in 12 Nordic cities on both sides of the Baltic Sea."

    "This is especially important at this time when the dictatorial Hungarian regime is trying to close the liberal-orientated Central European University in Budapest -- the best in the country and the site of earlier ILGCN seminars on Nordic rainbow culture and history at the annual Budapest LGBT History Month in February," adds Schiller.

    "We of course will also have Hungarian and other rainbow music at this July event," says Thomas Lovas, a member of the ILGCN cultural ambassadors of Budapest -- the folk, classic and musical-playing Trio Continuo in Budapest.

    More information:


     Vilnius -- At a international rainbow conference in the Lithuanian capital at the end of March, 2017, a new Belarus Bears organization has been formed to help combat stereotypes from Belarus media, politicians and homophobes that gays are weak, soft, "half men" and undeserving of human rights and respect.

    It's named after the ancient Lithuanian word for "bear" -- "Lokys" - Belarus Bears.

      The inauguration "ceremony" in Vilnius was attended by Belarus Bears and representatives from Bears International and Nordic Bears-Sweden.