Monday, September 11, 2017


   Stockholm -- An international gathering of Bears and Bear organizations saluted Bear culture in the Swedish capital on a two-day Bear International event September 6-7, 2017 with presentations, art work and films.

    One of the aims of the event was to illustrate some of the works of Bear International Art Diploma winners 2016 and 2017  -- this time including Charlie Hunter and Mike Wyeld of Canada/UK and Luis Loras of Spain -- whose works were highly appreciated by the audiences.

   One presentation in person came from John Earhart, chairman of Norway Bears (Den Norske Bamseklubben) focusing on exchanges  between the Norwegians and Bear organizations in Russia, Ukraine and Estonia.  He also commented on  and past and future Norwegian visits to Moscow and St. Petersburg as welcome by the Russians struggling with Putin's ban on "homosexual propaganda." 

      Andrus  K. of the new Belarus Bear group, Lokys, -- in Stockholm for a international journalist conference -- expressed a strong desire for increased LGBT contacts with Nordic Bear organizations and with other colleagues in this the last dictatorship in Eastern Europe.  He also described intensive efforts to educate Belarus journalists working in a very homophobic media to understand the importance of LGBT rights and culture.

                                                       New Nordic Bear Website Spreading Information Thoughout the Nordic zone and beyond

     Joakim J. of the Nordic Bears described their creation of a new Nordic Bear website to provide current information on Bear organizations and events in the Nordic area, eventually to include activities of colleagues in Eastern Europe and elsewhere.
     Bill Schiller of Bears International explained the organizations aims to promote Bear culture and international solidarity.  The network is open not only to men but also to women, trans, bi-sexuals, immigrants, refugees, HIV positives, differently-abled and queer-minded.  "We want to break the stereotype concept -- that Bears are only interested in beers, parties and sex hidden away in underground pubs -- but to confirm that Bears are also producers of high-quality art, music and films -- and proudly take their place on the rainbow barricades such as at local Prides, Baltic Prides and other LGBT events --  especially important in Eastern Europe where political and religious leaders and a homophobic media insist that gays are only "half men" -- undeserving of human rights or protection from discrimination and violence," Schiller adds.

                                                  Bear culture Events Inspired by Colleagues in Tallinn

    "The promotion of Bear Culture was inspired by the Bearty-Tallinn Bear organization in the Estonian capital," Schiller says, noting that the Estonians sent greetings to Stockholm but were unable to participate in person as they were attending an international Bear festival in Sitges, Spain. At their annual event in Tallinn, the Estonians focused one year on Bear art and photography, the next year on music and song and in 2018 the focus will be on Bear films.

     A message from the Ukranian Bears mentioned that only a few Bears participated in Kiev Pride this year, but that the chief Pride organizer is urging the Bears to increase their  number next year and to march under the Bear flag. The Ukrainian Bears are calling on Bear colleagues in the Nordic region to join them at the event in Kiev next June.

  The two-day Bear cultural event was organized with the ILGCN (international rainbow culture network) Information Secretariat-Stockholm with the support of Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers) and Nordic Bears-Stockholm. It took place at three Stockholm venues -- the PositivHIVa group local (for men having sex with men), the SLM locale and the gay-friendly Stockholm pub, Secret Garden located on the Old Town city island.

More information:

Tuesday, September 5, 2017


PRESS RELEASE                                                                                       August 30, 2017 

2nd NORDIC RAINBOW HISTORY & ART MONTH -- October, 2017      ​ 

     Stockholm -- Preparations continue for this the second annual Nordic LGBT History and Art Month --  again including Nordic capitals and smaller cities on both sides of the Baltic Sea -- such as Umeå, Stockholm, Södertälje, Gothenburg, Helsinki, Reykjavik, Copenhagen, Tallinn, Vilnius, Jönköping and Rakvere, Estonia.

     The programs include presentations, seminars, art and photography, film screenings, performances, music, poetry and literature readings – part of an event inspired by other LGBT history months in London, Edinburgh, Chicago, Budapest and elsewhere.  The event is being organized by the ILGCN (international rainbow culture network) in collaboration with Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers), Nordic Rainbow HumanistsBears International and local and national LGBT organizations and festivals.

     The historic Month begins once again in northern Sweden at Umeå Pride on October 1st. The Month also joins the first-ever rainbow film festival, Hartfest, in the northern Estonian city of Rakvere October 6-8, following events in the Estonian capital of Tallinn

                                                      British, Danish Swedish Participation

    At the Stockholm and Södertälje stages of the Month, the "guest of honor" and key-note speaker will be Professor Sue Sanders -- who launched the London LGBT History Month in 2005 – and who will also provide seminars on UK rainbow cultural life and the progress of the British months.  Another special guest at the Stockholm and Södertälje events will be Birthe Havmöller of Denmark, creator of the global women's art and photography archive, "Feminine Moments,as well as Swedish film maker, Cecilia Neant-Falk, commenting on her work. Music will be provided in Stockholm by the Swedish duo, “Weed,” and in Södertälje by veteran Swedish singer and song-writer, Jan Hammarlund

     The Gothenberg stage is scheduled for October 15-16.   At the Jönköping stage October 21, Njeri Olenkere of RFSL will discribe local LGBT history and culture while Bill Schiller will cover research into Nazi and neo Nazi persecution of LGBT people and the importance of the elderly in the struggle for LGBT culture, identity and history.

     The Reykjavik stage is scheduled for October 24 in the Icelandic capital.  Another British guest at the later days of the Month will be Tony Fenwick of "Schools Out-UK. At the Vilnius stage in October 25-26, Tatiante Kovacova of the Gay Lithuanian League will describe the history of the organization and LGBT culture in this Baltic state. Also, a presentation from the LGBT Journalists Group from neighboring Belarus. – describing their work challenging the hostile, homophobic media in this the last dictatorship in Eastern Europe.

                                         Humanism, Norwegian LGBT History in Helsinki

    The Copenhagen stage is scheduled for October 28-29.  Among the guest speakers at the Helsinki stage October 30-31 will be Rolf Solheim of Oslo-- describing the rainbow history and culture of Norway and the support for LGBT rights by the international humanist movement. Mikko Misha Autio of the LGBT culture center at Bear Park Café and gay theater group in Helsinki will describe his work and the Finnish rainbow cultural scene.

   Special attention at various stages will be given to the LGBT movements in the eastern edge of the Nordic zone -- EstoniaLatvia and Lithuania -- facing fierce intolerance from political and religious leaders, mass media and homophobic hooligans and neo-nazis.  Another aim is the promotion for more LGBT co-operation and exchange between Nordic cities on both sides of the Baltic Sea.
      Yet another focus will be on growing co-operation between Bears in the Nordic region and colleagues in RussiaUkraine and elsewhere in Eastern Europe – including the new Belarus Bear group, Lokys – defying homophobic statements by politicians, religious leaders and the mass media claiming that gays are “weak, feminine and only “half men” -- deserving no human rights and no protection from violent attacks.” 

    Other guest speakers will come from refugee/immigrant communities and embassies in the Nordic zone -- including LGBT activists and culture workers forced to seek asylum in Sweden and elsewhere in the Nordic region.  Others will come from the trans communities, the differently-abledHIV positives, and the elderly so often ignored in LGBT events.
More information:   Bill Schiller of the ILGCNTupilak:     

Curators at the LGBT art/film exhibitions at the Södertälje Art Gallery -- (weeks 41/42):
                           Cecilia Neant-Falk (facebook)   and Sarah Florén

Note: All stages of the Nordic Month are without entrance fees open to all interested.   Alas, the 2nd Month has no travel funds although private accommodation may be provided when possible for visiting guests.

    Some Nordic embassies are providing some support for visiting nationals.

Picture:  Golden Viking same-sex emblemsl


Monday, August 28, 2017


  Berlin -- British-born, German-resident teacher, journalist, LGBT activist and co-founder of the ILGCN, Colin de la Motte-Sherman, has died after a long illness and major surgery in a Berlin hospital at the ago of 79.

        He worked for decades a pioneer with LGBT culture and human rights -- especially with the German branch of Amnesty International -- and delivered seminars on LGBT history, art, music and research into the Nazi and neo nazi persecution of LGBT people in a number of countries outside of Germany -- including Poland, Sweden, Estonia, Croatia and elsewhere. 

    Colin was one of the founders of the ILGCN at an ILGA (International Lesbian & Gay Association) world conference in Paris in 1992 -- a time when the international organization rejected the idea of LGBT culture as an important part of the struggle for rainbow rights and identity.  He was the editor/publisher of the ILGCN's publication, "Erato" for many years before it became a web publication based in Stockholm.

     HIs last visit to Sweden with his seminars took place last year at the Stockholm stage of the 1st Nordic Rainbow History & Art Month - October, 2016.

  A memorial ceremony will take place in Berlin on September, 16.  More information in the next "Erato."

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