Sunday, December 22, 2013


Join us -- or send solidarity greetings -- to another ILGCN participation in Rio de Janeiro's annual  Simpatia é Quase Amor (sympathy is almost love)  pre-Rio giant parades and very rainbow-filled street happenings in this Brazlian city.

Dates:  Saturday, February 22, 2014     Sunday, March 2, 2014 -- just before Rio's giant annual carnival!

Contact:  ILGCN,s cultural ambassador for Brazil, Anders Ödvall

Sunday, December 1, 2013


     Stockholm -- Tupilak (Nordic rainbow cultural workers)ILGCN (international rainbow cultural network)Swedish Green Party and Folk Lore Centrum in Stockholm joined forces on November 13, 2013 in the Swedish capital to make an international salute to colleagues on the Eastern European Rainbow Barricades .
     Speakers and participants from Sweden, USA, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Belarus, Turkey and Azerbeijan included parliamentarians, diplomats, NGO LGBT activists and supporters -- commenting on the importance of international solidarity, the role of visting parliamentarians and ambassadors coming to support threatened Prides and other events and the use of rainbow culture to complement the legislative struggles and to combat homophobia and invisibility.
    "We really appreciated the early Swedish support from the embassy, from visiting parliamentarians and supporters from Tupilak, the ILGCN other other NGO organizations," said Robert Biedrón, the first gay member of the Polish Parliament and the first LGBT rights rapporteur of the Council of Europe, brought to the Stockholm event by the Polish Institute here.

     "I'm honored to be here today and to see Robert again as we are working together for LGBT rights in the Council of Europe," said gay Swedish Social Democratic ParliamentarianJonas Gunnarsson, commenting on this event in the First Chamber of the Swedish Parliament-- the historic chamber where Swedish welfare state legislation was passed.

     "This conference is a salute to our LGBT friends in Eastern Europe who keep fighting for a society where all of us can be ourselves and show it without fear," said Helena LeanderSwedish Green Party Parliamentarian and LGBT spokesperson. 

      "I was honored to be invited to the Polish Parliament recently to discuss the importance of parliaments speaking out in support of LGBT rights," said Swedish Liberal Parliamentarian, Barbro Westerholm.

                                 Polish Institute Support for LGBT Culture

   "We are proud to include LGBT cultural activities, to have helped bring such guests as well-known Polish gay art curator Pawel Leszkowicz to Stockholm and to have received an award diploma from Tupilak," said the new director of the Polish Institute in Stockholm, Arkadiusz Bernás

    "The Russian law banning so called "LGBT propaganda" is a clear violation of human rights and there are real dangers of other countries following Russia's example," said Cecilia Rosing of Sweden's Civil Rights Defenders.

    "The political turmoil in Turkey is worsening the conditions for the LGBT struggle in my country -- so international co-operation is even more important than ever," said Ömer Akpinar, web editor of Kaos GL --the Turkish human rights organization in Ankara.

     "The new law in Russia banning positive LGBT information is clearly responsible for recent hate crimes of violence and even murder of LGBT people in Russia," said Aleksandr Kukharskii, of the gay organization Kirilja (Wings) of St. Petersburg.

     "The situation for LGBT people in Belarus continues to worsen, with police raids on gay-friendly bars, humiliating interrogations and violence -- driving some into exile," said Dzmitry Karmazin, working at the Radio Radcyja which beams information to Belarus from across the border in Poland.

     The Turkish, Russian and Belarus journalists were able to attend the Stockholm events thanks to support from the Swedish Institute.

         "Realities are different behind the "modern" buildings in a homophobic Azerbaijan. LGBTQ  people suffer from discrimination in all aspects of their lives -- domestic violence, hate crimes, police harrassment and brutality, stigma, blackmail, intimdation, bribery and invasions of privacy.  They have no legal protection against discrimination," said Aytan Mammadi of Azerbaijan and now seeking asylum in Sweden.

       "Our Swedish and Belarus delegations to Kiev Pride earlier this year, sponsored by the Swedish Institute, with a hundred participants facing large crowds of homophobic counter demonstrators, was a successful example of international solidarity and Ukrainian police doing their job to protect both the foreign visitors and the Ukrainian participants," said Monica Collins ofTupilak-Sweden.    

    "It's an honor for us to be here in this chamber and to have some of our colleagues from the Eastern European barricades with us here," said Tomas Woodski, chairman of Tupilak.
    "The international humanist movement has long supported LGBT rights and criticizes discrimination and persecution of LGBT persons by all the worlds' religions," said Carl-Johan Kleberg of the Swedish Humanists.      

    "We have a strong need to discuss and work out strategies for future LGBT work," said Ulrika Westerlund, president of the Swedish LGBTQ organization RFSL.
                                        LGBT Monuments -- Past or Future?

     "We were pleased to screen our short film here about our LGBT monument created with stones in the Swedish island capital of Visby -- so that Sweden could join others in Berlin, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Matthausen, Auschwitz and elsewhere with their symbols honornng those persecuted, imprisonted, executed and mudered over the centuries.  Work which parliamentarians and NGO's could get together on -- since history is never only the past...? " asked Bill SchillerTupilak's international secretary and secretary general of the ILGCN Information Secretariat-Stockolm.
   "Perhaps Lithunia, Poland and Sweden could work togther on a future LGBT project," suggested Lithuanian Culture Attaché, Saulé Mazeikaité in the discussions following the formal presentations.
   Joining many of the participants later in the day at the Folk Lore Centrum, director Izzy Young provided American LGBT poems, Sweden's Anders Ödvall with Brazilian songs from his work with youngsters in Rio de Janeiro each year and songs and music from Swedish singer and song writer, Robert Hill

    "Films are a powerful tool to reach over cultural and geographic borders and to focus on all aspects of the diversified LGBT community everywhere," Gunnar Almér, working with international relations at the Swedish Film Institute, told the gathering.  Also part of the program, a poem from Azerbaijan and a Mad Monk monologe about the search for "rainbow clouds."

   The event was also a salute to colleagues around the world honoring the November 9 international day against facism.

More information:

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Stockholm, November 1, 2013

Untitled Document

Salute to those on the
"Rainbow Barricades in Eastern Europe"
Stockholm, Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Discussions of ongoing work, the importance of international LGBT co-operation, support for colleagues on the LGBT rainbow barricades in Eastern Europe, future strategies, and the use of rainbow culture as a powerful weapon against silence, intolerance and homophobia. Arranged by Sweden´s Green Party and taking place at the Swedish Parliaments´s Första Kammeren (the historic First Chamber, entrance Riksplan).


Opening Film (5:00 min.):

"LGBT Monuments" (from Visby to Berlin, Mauthausen to Barcelona)
by Willi Reichhold, Sweden

Opening Words:

Helena Leander, Swedish Green Party Parliamentarian

Introduction of the Speakers:

Bill Schiller, ILGCN (International Lesbian & Gay Cultural Network)/Tupilak (Nordic organization of LGBT cultural workers)


Robert Biedrón, LGBT activist and the first openly gay member of the Polish Parliament of the Ruch Palikota - Palikot’s Movement.
Barbro Westerholm, Swedish Liberal Party parliamentarian (recently speaking at the Polish Parliament).
Aleksandr Kukharskii, Russian gay organization "Kirilja" / Russian input at the ILGA European conference - Croatia, October 2013.
Martin Ugglas, Sweden's "East Group (Östgruppen)" focusing on Belarus, Russia, former Soviet states.
Aytan M.,"LGBT reality in Azerbaijan today, strategies for tomorrow".
Dzmitry Karmazin, Belarus exile radio station "Radio Racyja".
Cecilia Rosing, Civil Rights Defenders (Sweden): "Behind the Russian propaganda laws: the rise of LGBT-grasroots and a larger trend of repression".
Ömer Akpinar, Web editor of "Kaos," Turkish human rights organization, Ankara.
Monica Collins, "Tupilak delegation to Kiev Pride, 2013"

20 minute intermission, with film (5:00 min.):

ILGCN Swedish, Belaruss, Ukrainian happening - Kiev


Ulrika Westerlund – President of RFSL (national Swedish LGBT organization) "Strategies for the Future."
Israel Young – Folk Lore Center, Stockholm "Culture vs. intolerance"
Henrik Husgavel – Novel Travel: "The importance of international exchange: Breaking the isolation."
Bill Schiller – Tupilak/ILGCN culture in Eastern Europe/rainbow culture at World Pride-Toronto, 2014.

Closing comments:

From Russian, Belarus, and Turkish guests, others.

Closing film (5.00 min.):

"Nordic, Eastern European Rainbow Art & Photography – On the Road"


Rainbow cultural and solidaritet happening at the Folk Lore Centrum (Wollmar Yxkullsg. 2 – T-ban MariaTorget). Art, photos, films, music, poetry. Songs by Robert Hill and Anders(Brazil) Ödvall. And a salute to the world-wide colleagues honoring the International Day Against Facism.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

From the Tupilak/ILGCN international desk:
Tupilak/ILGCN delegation to Kiev Pride: part of the Swedish-Institute supported Belarus-Sweden-Ukraine LGBT SolidarityMay 24-26, 2013.
Minsk in October, Stockholm: November 13-16, Vilnius: December

Tupilak/ILGCN at West Pride Gothenburg May 30th-June 2, 2013: with seminars on rainbow culturerainbow historyNordic co-operation and rainbow co-operation with Eastern Europe.

LIVING RAINBOW HISTORY MUSEUM: April 25, May 13 (last sessions of the spring of 2013) 

Stockholm:  The last two sessions of the spring 2013  of the Living Rainbow History Museum took place at the PositHIVagruppen local in Stockholm April 25 and May 13 with art work, photography, presentatons, music, poetry, film screenings and award ceremonies.

Receiving awards were Sahar Mosleh and her woman, Mayram, (Sweden/Iran) acceptning Tupilak's Sowelus 2013 award for their contribution to LGBT lesbian cuture and their outstanding film,"Sahar and her Wife." 

The ILGCN/Sappho in Paradis  award (for outstanding publications and journalism) was visiting Belarus website LGBT journalist Aliaksandr Paluyan of GAYBE.NET -- in Sweden thanks to the Swedish Institute's journalist exchange program -- and QX-Sweden, received by QX publisher, Jon Voss.  Both provided background information about their work and their publications.

Among other presentations: Ulf Petersson of the Unstraight Museum with its next stop in Albania, Raino Kirkma with a history of the Stockhlm Gay Choir,  about the PositHIVagruppen activities by chairman Anders Björum and Serguey of the PG youth movement and on Norwegian contributions to LGBT culture here by Magne Eliassen.

Poetry readings were provided by Sweden's Tomas Åberg and a translation of works by Latvian gay poet, Darius and words 

Photography was provided by Jonas Norén and Elinore Lindén Strand, both of Sweden, as well as selections from the Tupilak & ILGCN Travelling Rainbow Art & Photography Exhibition.

Performances included songs by Axel Mihau of Poland/Sweden and the Mad Monk of Sweden and film screeings also included "Mishama -- the death mask" of Malga Kubiak of Sweden/Poland and "Why so Silent"by PG.

Sahar & Maryam at PG
Jon Voss & Aliaks at PG
Axel Mihau at PG

Bill at P

Stockholm, May 23, 2013

Future South African and Swedish LGBT Co-operation

Golden Tupilak Awarded to Nelson Mandela at South African Embassy

Bill Schiller & Ambassador Mandisa Dona Marasha (photos by Willi Reichhold)

Stockholm -- A delegation from Tupilak (Nordic rainbow cultural workers) handed over the 2013 Golden Tupilak award to former  President Nelson Mandela via the South African Embassy in the Swedish capital on May 21, 2013.

Receiving the award diploma on his behalf, South African Ambassador Mandisa Dona Marasha said, "This is a great honor and the diploma will be forwarded to Nelson Mandela and the Nelson Mandela Foundation in South Africa. We are also proud that South Africa under President Mandela was the first nation in the world to include "sexual orientation" in the clause on non-discrimination in its state constitution." 

In the embassy discussions of the worsening situation for LGBT people in parts of Africa, in Eastern Europe and elsewhere, First Secretary Eden Reid said, "It is important that the position of Mr. Mandela on LGBT rights is remembered as a reminder to many others today."

The award motivation mentions Mandela´s instructions --  while still in house arrest --  to his assistants not to send away rainbow-flag carrying demonstrators joining in the risk-filled protests chanting 'Free Nelson Mandela' since everyone was needed on the barricades NOW -- not later. 

It also points out that  Mandela -- on one of his first foreign trips as the new president of South Africa -- was asked at a Stockholm press conference what he would do for LGBT people in South Africa, he answered that he "...would leave no stone unturned" in work for the rights of LGBT people in the new South Africa.

"We feel that Nelson Mandela's pioneering position and continued support of LGBT rights is a strong message to many other political and religious leaders around the world trying to win support from reactionary homophobes by publically denouncing LGBT people -- even calling for their persecution, imprisonment and execution," said Bill Schiller, Tupilak's international secretary.

In discussions of future co-operation between Swedish and South African LGBT activists and cultural workers,Penny Hlanze, third secretary at the embassy, said, "We will be happy to help in assisting with contacts to LGBT organizations in South Africa and would very much like to see a mutual exchange between activists and cultural workers in our country and Sweden."

"South Africa has a long history of supporting culture as a powerful means of working against intolerance and discrimination," Eden Reid concluded.

This Tupilak's finest prize diploma has earlier gone to such individuals and organizations as Amnesty International, Sweden's Civil Rights Defenders, the international humanist movement, the EU's LGBT Network and those working within the United Nations trying to educate and enlighten representatives of homohobic governments which continue to deny human rights and dignity to all citizens.  

A "tupilak" is a Greenlandic voo doo figure cared out of bone by Inuit to destroy enemies.  Tupilak's enemies are homophobia and silence.

More information:      

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Stockholm, May 20, 2013 

Stockholm -- Tupilak (Nordic rainbow cultural workers) and the ILGCN (international rainbow cultural network) have "adopted" imprisoned Belarus clothing designer Sasha Varlamov as a prisoner of conscience and as a victim of a greedy, corrupt undemocratic political system.
He has been accused (and still not sentenced after two years in detention!) and jailed in Belarus on false charges of tax evasion as a cover up for his resistance to the regime's take-over of his lucrative, internationally-recognized business -- a common method of compensating supporters or this the last dictatorship in Eastern Europe -- and as a punishment for Sasha's position as one of the few internationally-established Belarus citizens widely known as a homosexual.
Sasha is also seriously ill and is not receiving proper medical care in prison.
"We appeal for support from our Nordic colleagues in Nordic LGBT organizations and media in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Greenland, the Faroes, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as well as international LGBT organizations such as ILGAILGA-Europe and the international youth organization, IGLYO," says Bill Schiller, chairman of Tupilak and secretary general of the ILGCN Information Secretariat- Stockholm.
"We will try to visit Sasha in person when our delegation arrives in Minsk -- a visit made possible thanks to continued support from the Swedish Institute -- the official institution promoting international exchange between Sweden and other countries," Schiller adds.
Letters of support for Sasha -- and even crucial post card greetings -- can be sent to AleksandrVarlamov, SIZO №1, ul. Volodarskogo, 2, 220050 Minsk, Belarus.

Please avoid mentioning Sasha's gay status in your letters and cards as this could worsen his treatment by prison staff.
Suggested lines in Russian:
Саша, держитесь. Мы помним о Вас. Справедливость восторжествует!

More information:    

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Latvian-Belarus-Swedish Rainbow Cultural Event
Riga, April 18-21, 2013

April 18, 18:30 – 20:30
"Humanism vs. Religious Dragons/European Rainbow Humanists" -- Rolf Solheim, Norway

April 19, 18:30 – 21:30
International Live Rainbow Museum
Latvian Presentations and Performances:
Anna Jurkovska, a popular photographer and Jolanta Cihanovica, a public person, will present the pilot photo-project "Men, women, angels"on people, individuality and gender.

Olga Helly, an artist, will present her popular LGBT comic strip.

Katrina Gaile, an artist, and Jade, a genderqueer graphic artist, will present their art.

Jolanta Cihanovica, an actress, will give a performance

Ieva, a journalist from a popular Latvian magazine.

Special guest: Olga Kononova (a transsexual women and Work of Art herself)

Film: selections from a Czech TV programme “Q” about Olga Helly’s dolls and LGBT
culture in Latvia.

International Presentations and Performances:

Belarus: Rainbow in chains -- Belarus LGBT Journalist Network

Rainbow culture & history -- Tupilak/ILGCN

>Nordic Rainbow co-operation with Eastern Europe - Tupilak/ILGCN

A summary of "Humanism vs. Religious Dragons/European Rainbow Humanists" -- Rolf
Solheim, Norway

"Nordic Rainbow Islands & Remote Regions" -- Mariahamn-Stockholm
archipelago-Visby -- Tupilak/ILGCN.

Peter "Sexodus" Fröberg - songs and music from Sweden

The Mad Monk of Sweden -- a rainbow monologue

Short films: "LGBT Monuments," "Survival" by Willi Reichhold, Sweden

Travelling Tupilak & ILGCN Rainbow Art & Photography Exhibition


Art from Serbia




April 20 23:00 – all night, at the Golden Club


The Q-party is a possibility to dress up for the party, wearing what you have always wanted to wear, but have not had a place to come in such an appearance. People can become Art, using themselves as the creator, the creating and the creative process. A costume competition in the following categories: drag kings, drag queens, carnival, subcultures, BDSM and freak out. Everyone is free to choose whether to participate in the costume competition or just to enjoy the party. The party will be held in two languages – in English and Latvian. After the costume competition we’ll have music and fun!

Very Welcome!
-- Yolanta and Olga in Riga, Rolf in Oslo, Journalist Network in Minsk, Bill in Stockholm

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Latvian, Polish, Finnish and Swedish contributions


STOCKHOLM – The second session of Sweden's Living Rainbow History Museum at Café Mannekäng at Tallkrogen on Saturday, January 26 included presentations about the LGBT human rights struggle in Latvia, the work of the Latvian LGBT organization Mozaika and the rainbow cultural scene in this Baltic nation by Yolanta Cihanovica, psychologist/ actress and ILGCN (International rainbow cultural network) cultural co-ordinator for Latvia while Olga Helly, Latvia's ILGCN cultural ambassador, presented some of her artistic dolls.

"We hope to continue such events in Riga and Stockholm -- and increase co-operation with Sweden and other countries in the region," says Yolanta Cihanovica. Other presentations in the Latvian section of the program included a description of living in Stockholm and Riga and coming out as a trans person by Petra Inna and "A Swedish Look at Latvia" by Kjell Rindar.

Another presentation covering a 3-month solidarity trip to Palestine and work with the Swedish Palestine Committee was made by Sweden's Peter Roth, poems about a nostalgic visit to New York and elsewhere were presented by Sweden's Tomas Åberg and several songs were provided by Finnish participants.

Michal Piotrowski of the Polish Institute in Stockholm described his just-completed visit to LGBT colleagues in Warsaw and to the Polish Parliament along with Swedish Parliamentarian Barbro Westerholm who spoke there about LGBT rights, while Bill Schiller of Tupilak (Nordic rainbow cultural workers)/ILGCN described the first historic visit of an official rainbow delegation to the Nazi death camp, Auschwitz.

The short film,"Glad, Warm & Calm-- you never really loved me," by Axel Mihau portrayed a passionate and music-filled transsexual encounter for the museum audience.

The next sessions of the Living Rainbow Museu
will be on February 23 and March 23 (18.00-22.00)

More information:
Facebook: Café Mannekäng and Tupilak

These are monthly events with historical study circles, art, films and performances until a permanent LGBT museum can be established in the Swedish capital -- with guests coming from Sweden and abroad -- emphasizing the rich, dramatic, bloody, courageous and often humorous LGBT struggle for identity and visibility over the centuries. The museum project is supported by Konstattack, Tupilak (Nordic rainbow cultural workers), Nordic Rainbow Humanists, 3rd Age International-Sweden, Nordic-Baltic-Polish-Russian-Belarus Network, ROHS (Swedish national organization for LGBT solidarity) and the ILGCN (international rainbow cultural network).

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

European Rainbow Humanist Network

You are very welcome to join the:

European Rainbow Humanist Network

  1. To help spread the LGBT humanist information through workshops, seminars, cultural events, etc. in the European zone at Prides, conferences, rainbow cultural festivals and other events -- with special emphasis on work in the East where colleagues face especially fierce homophobia and religious intolerance. (with the use of material from the numerous LGBT humanist workshop presentations in Eastern Europe by Rolf Solheim of Norway, art & photography of Elisabeth Wallin Ohlson of Sweden and Pave Leszkowicz of Poland, films of Willi Reichhold of Sweden and others, rainbow humanist cabaret numbers and monologues, etc.)

  2. To meet once a year (via internet if face-to-face conferences can not be arranged) to exchange experiences and plan time schedules and target events. (Possibilities for 2013: on the sidelines of Montenegro Pride - May, Budapest Pride - July, Belgrade Pride - September, Oslo -- autumn)

  3. To require NO membership fees but to accept donations and to seek funds and other support where appropriate.

  4. To minimize bureacracy and administrative work.

  5. To hand out an annual ERH award -- the "Priapus" to some one on the national or international scene notorius for anti-LGBT work and propaganda (a complement to the annual Nordic Rainbow Humanist award for positive support of LGBT rights.)

NOTE: Some of the preliminary steering committee members
(until the first yearly meeting):

Chair: Rolf Solheim - Oslo, Norway
Finance secretary: Colin de la Mottte Sherman - Berlin, Germany
Polish secretary: Pawel Leszkowicz - Poznan, Poland
International secretary: Bill Schiller - Stockholm, Sweden

Please get back to us with any feedback, questions, suggestions or comments. Recommendations for the Nordic Rainbow Humanist and Priapus awards welcome!

Bill Schiller, Stockholm -- also via Nordic Rainbow Humanist link on Tupilak/ILGCN

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

ILGCN CALLING: Coming events for 2013

ILGCN CALLING: Coming events for 2013

Saturday, February 2, 2013: ILGCN Happening in Rio de Janeiro

The 2nd ILGCN event in Brazil and the first of annual ILGCN celebrations in Rio! International get-together, discussons, drinks in the evening and participation in the giant, pink-ballon and gay-filled, pre-carnaval parade "Simpatia é Quase Amor" (Sympathy is Nearly Love).

In Rio: Anders Ödvall
In Stockholm: ILGCN Information Secretariat

Saturday, March 30, 2013: The History of the ILGCN in Stockholm

A multi-media presentation at the Living Rainbow Museum, part of the rainbow cultural evening at Café Mannekäng (18:00 – 22:00).

Other ILGCN Happenings, to be confirmed:

Montenegro Pride May, 2013
Belgrade Pride September 28, 2013

More information coming.

Bill Schiller at the ILGCN Information Secretariat, Stockholm