Sunday, November 22, 2015


StockholmNovember 10, 2015


Stockholm -- Poetry, presentations, photography and art work characterized the rainbow November 9 "Kristallnacht" -- international day against fascism event in the Swedish capital on November 9, 2015 at the Secret Garden pub o the Old Town island.   

The event was dedicated to "Rainbow Refugees" -- noting that LGBT refugees flee not only at time from warfare and destruction, but also sometimes from homophobic communities, neighbors and even family members.  The event also expressed sharp criticism of Swedish migration authorities at times denying asylum to LGBT refugees by doubting their sexual orientation or arguing that they can return to their homelands safely without persecution or execution as long as they "hide their homosexuality."

A passionate declaration from the northern Swedish city of Umeå was read out load on behalf of 19-year-old Somalian gay, Ahmed Abdi -- repeatedly denied asylum in Sweden and to be sent back home -- facing intolerance and betrayal  from his own family and possible death.

Other presentations were made by activists in the Swedish LGBT group and the editor of Amnesty Press -- comparing growing intolerance in Europe today to the violence of the 1930's as well as the burning of refugee centers in Sweden.  Other presentations came from a Swedish author looking at the torture, imprisonment and execution of opponents to the Franco regime in Spain, and also about the long-forgotten gay concentration camp set up by Franco in the Canary Islands 10 years after the liberation of Auschwitz.

Poetry was dedicated to memories of Kristallnacht and reflecting on attitudes of intolerance in Europe today, and an appeal was made for contributions to the refugee fund of the national Swedish LGBT organization, RFSL -- dealing with a rising flood of LGBT refugees coming to Sweden.

Shattering Stereotypes, Broadening Rainbow Culture

The photography-filled presentation by the Viking Bears illustrated not only the aim of providing space for gays who don't necessarily fit the standard  stereotypes but also the importance of participating in international as well as local events, and for emphasizing Bear culture as a valid part of LGBT culture today.

The Stockholm event was organized by the ILGCN (international rainbow cultural workers)Tupilak (Nordic rainbow cultural workers)Nordic Rainbow Humanists, and the Viking Bears-Stockholm .

"We are very pleased to have participated in this event organized by the Amsterdam-based United, linking many other organizations all over the world to commemorate this day all at the same time," says Bill Schiller of Tupillak and the ILGCN.

Sunday, November 1, 2015


Budapest -- The 2nd stage of the 2015 ILGCN (international rainbow cultural network) World Rainbow Culture Conference took place in the Hungarian capital between November 16-18, 2015 -- with presentations on LGBT life and culture in Hungary, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Belarus, Canada, Russia, China, Lithuania and Iran. This followed the first stage of this year's conference in Stockholm on May 4-6, 2015.

"This was an important meeting of Hungarians and international cultural workers and activists and we hope this will be followed by more such gatherings here," say Maria Santa and Thomas Lovas, Hungarian conference co-organizers.

Special presentations also focused on the support of the international humanist movement for LGBT rights, the international anti-fascist movement's support of LGBT people, the role of the Bear community in the international struggle for LGBT rights, identity and culture, and the persecution of Nazi and neo Nazi of LGBT people.

Conference participants visited the offices of the national LGBT organization, the Háttér Society, to hear about its 20-year-long work for LGBT rights and culture, and the impressive collection of books, magazines, posters, articles, CD's and films in the Háttér Archives as well as a history of the ILGCN movement in Hungary. The conference also adopted a sharply-worded protest declaration against the right-wing Hungarian government's negative attitude towards refugees, immigrants, Jews, Roma and LGBT people. (see below)

"We are especially grateful to receive facilities free of charge for this 0-budget conference," says Bill Schiller of the ILGCN International Secretariat-Stockholm, saluting the Hungarian Liberal Party, the Democratic Coalition Party, the International Anti-Fascist Office and the Budapest gay bar, Habroló.

Live music and song was provided by the Continuo Trio of Budapest -- the ILGCN cultural ambassadors of Hungary -- and former Swedish ILGCN ambassador, Peter Fröberg. Art and photos from the ILGCN/Tupilak (Nordic rainbow cultural workers) International Art Collection were also displayed.

Film screenings included "Out of Iran" by Canadian/Iranian Farid Haerinejad, "We Can be Gay Today" about Lithuania's 1st Pride march by Frenchman Francoise Message, "Hunted" on the persecution of gays in Russia by Britain's Ben Steele, "Mama Rainbow" about parents of gays by China's Popo Fan, "Rainbow's Song" about elderly LGBT's by Sweden's Nasrin Pakkho and "LGBT Monuments" by Sweden's Willi Reichhold.

The 2015 ILGCN Rainbow Warrior award was announced at the conference, honoring openly gay Hungarian politician and LGBT rights activist, László Sebián-Petrovszki of the Democratic Party. (this year's award is shared with the SLM Leather Men in Stockholm celebrating their 40th anniversary.)

Conference greetings were received and sent to ILGCN organizers in Lithuania, planning next year's world rainbow culture conference (stage 1) in Vilnius and the Baltic beach town of Palanga between June 10-13, 2016 -- right before the rotating Baltic Pride taking place in 2016 in the Lithuanian capital.


Also part of the ILGCN conference, the 1st European Rainbow Humanist meeting took place in Budapest to help combat religious intolerance towards LGBT communities, approving plans to try to host future LGBT humanist seminars at Prides and other LGBT events in Europe -- and approving the first ERH chairman, Dávid Veres of Budapest and international secretary Andrus K. of Belarus. "We are proud to head this first European-wide humanist organization and see this as a good tool to combat religious and political persecution and homophobia," they say.

Nordic Rainbow Humanist chairman, Rolf Solheim, and international secretary, Bill Schiller, also announced the winner of the 2015 Nordic Rainbow Humanist award diploma -- going to the Bangladesh humanist and free-thinker Dr. Aviji Roy, recently murdered by religious fanatics, and his organization Mukto Mona "fighting against violent intolerance and persecution and for writing the country's first book on homosexuality."


"Participants at this ILGCN Cultural Conference in Budapest mindful of the long struggle of the Hungarian People for freedom and independence against the Ottoman and Austrian Empires nevertheless urge the Hungarian people and authorities to recognize the damage done to Hungarian society by policies which suppress or discriminate against minorities such as homosexuals, Jews, Roma and refugees. Gay and Jewish personalities have played a substantial role in world cultural development. As evidence of this we mention only Einstein (Science), Tchaikovsky (Music) and Leonard Bernstein (Music) as well as Michelangelo (Science & Art). We call on the Hungarian people to take steps to change the backward-looking anti-minority policies."

Sunday, October 11, 2015


Umeå, Åland, Stockholm, Budapest — The 2nd stage of the 2015 ILGCN World Rainbow Culture Conference will take place in Budapest October 16-18 (following the 1st stage in Stockholm May 4-6.) See Budapest press releases — and the new ILGCN Face Book — for details and latest information.

Meanwhile, two of the 3 winners of the ILGCN "Rasmus Rasmussen" Arco Nordica award for outstanding and pioneering work in the Nordic region have received their diplomas in person at their events — Finland's Åland Pride in Mariahamn in June and Umeå Pride/Queer Förvaltningen in that northern Swedish city in September.

The awards honor the outstanding contributions to LGBT culture at their events and to international solidarity with rainbow colleagues in other countries and among the immigrant and refugee communities.

The third winner sharing the 2015 award is Mozaika, the Latvian LGBT organization which arranged the pioneering EuroPride/Baltic Pride in June, 2015 — the first time EuroPride took place in former Soviet territory. This award diploma is to be handed out in the spring of next year when be handed out when Mozaik celebrates its 20th birthday.

The award is named after the late, pioneering Faroes journalist/musician who outraged violent homophobes in Torshavn by being one of the first LGBT persons to come out publicly — facing brutal physical attacks and severe homophobic persecution driving him to take his own life.

NEW ILGCN Apointees

New ILGCN ambassadors and co-ordinators taking over after years of service from some of the old timers — who of course retain their titles of "ambassadors" just like the diplomatic world — and some coming from new countries are:
  • Francoise Message, film maker, ILGCN cultural ambassador for France
  • Bitte Andersson, film maker and cartoonist, cultural ambassador for Sweden
  • Popo Fan, film maker and film festival organizer, cultural ambassador for China
  • Andrus K., journalist cultural ambassador for Belarus
  • Kloi Picot, photographer, cultural ambassador for central Canada
  • Eddy Kalyango, RADO (arts and crafts) cultural ambassador for Uganda
  • John Ryan Mendoza, journalist, cultural ambassador for Philippines
  • Eddy Kalyango, RADO (arts and crafts) co-ordinator for Uganda

New ILGCN Eastern European Secretariat secretary generals:
  • Thomas Lavás, musician, Budapest 
  • Andrus K., journalist, Minsk

LGCN World Rainbow Culture Conference,
Budapest Stage 2 — October 16-18, 2015
Following stage 1 in Stockholm, May 4-6, 2015
Arranged by: 
  • LGCN (International rainbow cultural network) 
  • Hungary's Democratic Coalition Party DCP)
  • Anti-Facist Movement (AFM)
  • Nordic Rainbow Humanists

Friday, October 16:
International Rainbow Poetry (Habroló Bar) Szép utca Budapest V.

Afterwards, Hungarian Liberal Party:
VI. Budapest Aradi utica 40 (near to Oktogon, and Kodaly körönd)


Iranian LGBT's — Film
Out of Iran: Iran's Unwanted Sons & Daughters — Farid Haerinejad 

History of the Fight for Same-Sex Marriages — Daniel Waliduda, Budapest

21.00-22.00 Rainbow History, Cultur"— ILGCN/Tupilak
Short film: LGBT Monuments — Willi Reichhold

Saturday October 17:
11:00- 13.00
Opening at Democratic Coalition Party offices
Demokratikus Koalicio XIII. Budapest, V, Hugo utca 11(Alfa irodaház, Burohaus) near to Lehel shopping center, and near to Nyugati railway station)

Words from:
  • Sebian Petrovski Lazlo (DCP) 
  • Hanti Vilmes (AFM) 
  • Thomas Lovas (ILGCN)
  • Bill Schiller (ILGCN)
Award Ceremony

Award Diploma — named after the late Hungarian gay activist, Román Lazlo — presented to a leading Hungarian LGBT activist or cultural personality — presented by ILGCN Eastern European Secretariat-Budapest /ILGCN Information Secretariat-Stockholm

Norway's Rainbow Life & Humanism — Rolf Solheim, Oslo

14.00- 15.00
Homosexual Listings in 20th Century Hungary — Judit Takács, Budapest

Performance: Trio Continuo - (ILGCN cultural ambassadors) Budapest

PAUSE 15.30-16.00
How We Got There: Canada's Dramatic Social Shift — Robert Milkovich, Canada

Hate Speech in the Belarus Media — Andrus K., Minsk

Past and present of the Hungarian LGBTQI movement, activities of Háttér Society,
LGBTQI Archives and Library" -— Háttér Society Csanády u 4B

Return to:
Demokratikus Koalicio XIII. Budapest, V, Hugo utca 11( Alfa irodaház, Burohaus)

Performance: Peter "Sexodus" Fröberg, Stockholm

Research in Nazi/neo Nazi Persecution of LGBT's — Colin de la Motte Sherman, Germany

Hunted: Persecution of gays in Russia — Ben Steele, U.K.

Why do we need Bears? — Viking Bears, Sweden

American LGBT Life — US Embassy, Budapest
Dyke Hard — a Swedish comedy, Bitte Andersson

Sunday, October 18, 201
MEASZ center: VIII: Népszinház utca 27( ring , MEASZ) very near to Blaha Lujza tér

LGBT Life & Culture in Lithuania - Arvydas Vogues
Vilnius/ Film: We Can be Gay Today," Francois Message, France

Gay and Lesbian Composers — Colin de la Motte Sherman, Germany

Toronto World Pride 2014 —  Mark Smith, Toronto
Beyond Gay: Politics of Pride — Bob Christie, Canada

Nordic co-operation with Eastern Europe — Tupilak/ILGCN

Hungarian Rainbow Culture — yesterday and today — Hungarian panel with Maria Santa, etc.

Film: "Mama Rainbow" — Chinese parents of LGBT's — Popo Fan, Beijing

PAUSE 16.30-17.00

International Rainbow Poetry (Habroló Bar) Szép utca Budapest V.

Return to:
MEASZ center: VIII: Népszinház utca 27( ring , MEASZ) very near to Blaha Lujza tér

19:00-20.00 Film
Rainbow Song — elderly LGBT's in Sweden— Nasrin Pakkho, Sweden

First meeting of European Rainbow Humanists (from Hungary, Sweden, Norway, Lithuania, Belarus, etc.), Nordic Rainbow Humanist annual award diploma.

Toast to 1st stage of ILGCN World Rainbow Culture Conference 2016 — Vilnius/Palanga spring, 2016


ILGCN/Tupilak (Nordic rainbow cultural workers)
Art & Photography Exhibition — works from 50 nations

Lovas Tamás home: 1143 Budapest Hungária KRT 103/B II/2 (ring number 6, Lovas)
phone: 0630 214 4859 e-mail: continuo1@hu

Bill Schiller
46 70015 6695

Sunday, August 16, 2015


Stockholm -- ILGCN (international rainbow cultural network) participated in events at Pride House as part of Stockholm Pride July 27-31,2015 -- with a seminar by ILGCN Cultural Ambassador Popo Fan, Chinese film maker, and an award to a pioneering Polish editor and film maker, Karol Radziszewski.

Popo Fan
At the film seminar, Popo Fan described his film work including the documentary "Mama Rainbow" with interviews of the mothers of LGBT children and on-going work with a documentary about the fathers of gays and lesbians. He also described the difficult work of organizing the Beijing Queer Film Festival while trying to avoid state censorship, persecuted police and government-enlisted spies.

At another seminar, arranged by Tupilak (Nordic rainbow cultural workers), Popo Fan also received Tupilak's Polar Bear Award 2015 --shared this year with colleagues in Poland, Britain and Sweden.

After his presentations of his work with the Polish arts magazine DIK Fagzine and his film work at seminars arranged by the Polish Institute, Karol Radziszewski received the ILGCN's "Sappho in Paradise" award -- handed out together with the Paradise Press in London for outstanding work with LGBT literature, publishing and libraries. The award honored Radziszewski and his DIK Fagzine:

Karol Radziszewski
" ... for its 10-year-old pioneering publication focusing on homosexuality and masculinity -- the only such art publication in central and Eastern Europe. ... for publishing in both Polish and English to reach readers both in the beyond the Polish borders around the world and for confirming that the culture and human rights struggle of LGBT people are a vital part of any nation's history, culture, identity and future."
This year's award is shared with the the co-founder and pioneer supporters of Britain's Gay Authors' Workshop promoting LGBT literature -- Michael Harth, Kathryn Bell and Elsa Wallace, UK. These award diplomas are to be handed out later at a ceremony in London.

The award to Karol and DIK Fagzine included a signed copy of Elsa Wallace's latest short story collection, "Kissyface and Others."

ILGCN representatives also met a number of visiting foreign cultural workers, artists and film makers, adding their works to the joint Tupilak/ILGCN (international rainbow cultural network) International Rainbow Art & Photo Exhibition and the International Rainbow Film Archives -- some to be on diplay at the next ILGCN World Rainbow Culture Conference in Budapest October 16-18, 2015

More information:
ILGCN website www.ilgcn.
and from ILGCN Information Secretariat-Stockholm c/o

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

2nd Stage of ILGCN World Rainbow Culture Conference 2015
in Budapest October 16-18

Stockholm/Budapest -- The second stage of this year's ILGCN (international rainbow cultural workers) World Rainbow Culture Conference will take place in the Hungarian capital in mid-October -- since the planned stage for Palanga, Lithunia has had to be postponed until 2016.  This follows the first stage in Stockholm May 4-6, 2015.

The event is to include presentations about the LGBT situation and culture in Belarus, Russia, Lithuania, Sweden, Norway, Hungary, Canada and other countries.   Also, poetry readings, music peformances, film screeings and art work from the Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers) and ILGCN Travelling Art & Photo Exhibition with works from 50 countries.

"We are very pleased to have this event in Hungary at a time when voices even in our parliament are calling for more intolerance, homophobia and even the death sentence," says Tama´s Lovas, co-secretary general of the ILGCN Eastern European Secretariat.  

"We are happy that our Norwegian colleague Rolf Solheim will join us with a presentation of LGBT rights and culture in his country and the long support of the world-wide Humanist movement for LGBT rights," says Bill Schiller, secretary general of the ILGCN Information Secretariat - Stockholm.  "We hope a number of other ILGCN cultural ambassadors and co-odinators -- both veterans and new comers -- will be able to join us"

One of the contributors will be Demeter Aron of Amnesty International - Hungary talking about homophobic hate crimes and hate speech in Hungary. 
Canadian input will come from Robert Milkovich about the dramatically changing history of the LGBT movement in his nation and Mark Smith about the ILGCN-prize winning "World Pride - Toronto 2014and Belarus contributions will describe the situation for LGBT's in this the last dictatorship in Eastern Europe and homophobic hate coverage in the state-controlled Belarus media.

Hungarian and Swedish performances, and films focusing on
Russia, Lithuania, Sweden, LGBT monuments

Performances will be provided by the Budapest musical folk and popular music group,Continue Trio -- ILGCN cultural ambassadors for Hungary-- and Sweden's Peter Fröberg -- Sweden's first ILGCN cultural ambassador.  

Other Swedish participants include representatives from the Viking Bears -- denouncing old stereotypes of gays as being femine, disco freaks and hystericlaly outrageous -- rather than being people of all ages, all shapes, bearded or not, and of all professions including "Breakback Mountain"  cowboys.

Films will include the works of British-made "Hunted" by Britain's Ben Steele - about the entrapment and violence against gays in Russia,  "Euro Pride Riga 2015", the Frenchman Francoise Message-directed  "We Can be Gay Today" about the first gay pride march in Vilnius, Lithuania, "Rainbow Song" from Nasrin Pakkho about elderly LGBT people in Sweden and  "LGBT Monuments" by Swedish/Austrian Willi Reichhold looking at monuments honoring the often brutal and bloody history of persecution of LGBT people all across Europe. 

The event in Budapest -- like the 1st stage in Stockholm in May -- is supported by Tupilak, the Nordic Rainbow Humanists and other LGBT organizations.  It will also include the first-ever meeeting of the European Rainbow Humanists and the award ceremony of the annual Nordic Rainbow Humanist award.

"This is another 0-budget ILGCN event with no travel funds, but efforts will be made to find some private accomodation to avoid hotel costs," says Schiller.

More in information: 


Thomas (Tamás) Lovas in Budapest  
Bill Schiller at the ILGCN Information Secretariat-Stockholm 

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Press Release: Stockholm, May 10, 2015

ILGCN World Rainbow Cultural Conference

takes place in Stockholm

Stockholm -- The first stage of the 2015 ILGCN (international rainbow cultural network) World Rainbow Cultural Conference has taken place in the Swedish capital May 4-6 including seminars on LGBT rights, identity and culture in China, the Philippines, Uganda, Norway, Sweden, the Faroe Islands, Hungary, Canada, the Baltic states, Latin America and elsewhere.

One special seminar highlighted the homophobia and censorship in the news media controled by the dictatorship of Belarus -- a seminar presented by participating gay Belarus journalists from Minsk. Another focused on the determination of such publications as Sweden's Amnesty Press to include LGBT rights and culture in its regular human rights coverage.

Another presentations came from LGBT Amnesty working on the case of murdered South African lesbian, Noxolo Nogwas. The British documentary film by Ben Steele, "Hunted: the War against Gays in Russia" -- about vigilante groups trapping and beating up gays in Russia -- was followed by a panel discussion with visitors from Russia, Belarus and Kyrgystan thanks to assistance from Sweden's Östgruppen for human rights and democracy in Eastern Europe and Sweden's Central Asia group working with human rights in this area.

Other Swedish presentations came from the Rainbow Library in the northern city of Umeå, the Museum of Work of Norrköping on its "elderly LGBT documentation project", Gay Camps and its international program and the PositiHIVagruppen working with men having sex with men, with other seminars dealing with the cultural identity of trans persons and the differently abled and the eldery -- underlined by the documentary film "The Rainbow 's Song" on the elder LGBT's by Nasrin Pakkho, the work with HIV/AIDS in Sweden, the Swedish "Activists in Residence" program which invites in cultural workers from Eastern Europe, and the Swedish Viking Bears underlining the contribution of those breaking the sometimes narrow sterotypes of what LGBT people look like.

Seminars, Music, Art, Performances

This was the first ILGCN world conference in Stockholm since 1998. Others have been held in Warsaw/Auschwitz, Rio de Janeiro, Minneapolis and London. The conference was given crucial support by Tupilak (Nordic rainbow cultural workers) and the Nordic Rainbow Humanists -- with an important presentation by Rolf Solheim on the LGBT movement in Norway and the support of the humanist movement for LGBT rights and culture.

The conference also included music and sång performances, poetry, film screenings, art, photography and performances as well as a large exhibit of Ugandan handicraft sold to support safe houses in Uganda giving refuge to persecuted LGBT people.

Award diplomas handed out during the conference went to Swedish "Dyke Hard" film maker, Bitte Andersson, Russian Elena Klimova facing trial and prison for defyinng the Russian law banning information on homosexuality, and the LGBT organization of the Faroe Islands.,

The venutes includes the local of the PositHIVagruppen, the pub Secreta Garden, the local of Senses - human rights group, the gay pub Side Track and the gay-run café Röda Rummet -- essential co-operation for what was largely a 0-budget event..

The 2nd stage of this year's conference will be held in Palanga -- with invitations from Lithuanian collegues to the event read out at the confernce.. Contact the ILGCN Information Secretariat-Stockholm or Lithuanian ILGCN organizers, Darius or Arvydas Vogulis.