Sunday, December 18, 2016


Stockholm -- Discussions, cultural presentations, poetry, art, films and evaluation of the 1st Nordic Rainbow History & Art Month - October, 2016 (Umeå-Stockholm-Vilnius) took place in the Swedish capital December 10-13 -- co-sponsored by Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers), Bears International and the Nordic Association-Sweden.

The gatherings included a Swedish "skål" to the December 10th International Human Rights Day at Sidetrack pub (one of the same venues used in October) and meetings at the PositHIVa Group local, the Old Town island pub Secret Garden and the downtown offices of the Nordic Association, with a presentaton there also of Jukka Aminoff, managing director of Noak's Ark working with HIV/AIDS information and support, describing its history, use of art, music and films and future plans.

Art exhibtions included works from Belarus, Ukraine and samples from all the Nordic nations from the ILGCN/Tupilak collections as well as "Rainbow Flowers" by Sweden's Kennet Lindquist. Live music and song at the final session was provided by Sweden's Christine Zawall, singing in Polish.

It was decided that the 2nd Nordic Rainbow History Month be expanded to include other Nordic cities -- both in the western part of the vast Nordic region and all the Nordic nations on the eastern side of the Baltic -- , more LGBT organizations in the Nordic zone, more LGBT refugees and immigrants, and more programs of Nordic-Belarus co-operation. The Nordic month organizers are also to work for increased exchanges with other LGBT history month colleagues in Budapest, Edinburgh, London and elsewhere.

It was also decided to encourage the search for Nordic grants for Swedish-Danish and Swedish-Icelandic rainbow cultural exchange in 2017 and Swedish Institute support for more Swedish-Belarus LGBT cultural exchange as well as other sources.

Also at the last session, a statement was read out from ILGCN Orfeo Imago (for art and photography) 2016 award winner, Denmark's Birthe Havmöller:

"I am honoured and happy to share the award with the organisers of the Nordic & Baltic Queer Art Network. Feminine Moments is a child of the end of the 1990's and the website was born in 2003, when I finally was confident that the Internet was working well enough for my use as my main source for materials and research about queer feminist art and fine art made by lesbian, bisexual and queer women artists around the world.

"Feminine Moments (art blog and resource site) is my gift to the art world, the homosexual communities and the queer feminist artists around the world. And as the editor of the website, I still feel it is important to push queer art and the women artists as they are only marginally more visible than they were a decade ago.'

Rainbow Flowers by Kennet Lindquist (copyright)
Birthe Havmöller, Denmark   
Christine Zawall (photo by Kennet Lindquist)
More information: 

Monday, November 14, 2016


Stockholm -- Members of Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers), ILGCN (rainbow culture international) and Bears International and others saluted the victims of fascism and neo-facism at a November 9th ceremony in the Swedish capital marking Kristallnacht -- the Ínternational Day against Fascism -- with presentations, discussions, poetry, art and photography.

Swedish Tupilak member, Tomas Åberg read his moving poem entitled "Kristalnacht" and other poems, and artist Bo Bergstrand read the poem of famous Swedish lesbian poet, Karin Boje, "Nattjar" -- about a darkly feathered bird searching in the night for the blue dawn's light -- a poem read in the Auschwitz museum during the historic, first-ever LGBT official visit to the Nazi death camp in Poland.

The ILGCN Information Secretariat's Bill Schiller read a statement honoring the Amsterdam-based human right group, "United," for inspiring November 9 events all over the world, stating that the anniversary not only signaled the smashing of Jewish shop windows in Germany in 1938 but also launching the mass deportation of Jews, Roma, dissidents, LGBT people and others to Nazi concentration camps all over Europe.

The statment also paid tribute to Irishman Roger Casement, hung by the British exactly 100 years ago after his "Black Diaries" of his same-sex contacts were spread by a homophobic press destroying his appeal for clemency, Vadim Kozin -- homosexual Russian singer arrested by the KGB in 1945 and sent to Siberia, gay Belarus culture worker Misha murded by a homophobic hooligan in Minsk as well as Faroes activist Rasmus Rasmussen and Hungarian gay activist, Milan Rozsa-- both driven to despair into taking their own lives.

November 9 anti-fascist exhibition (photo by Joakim of Sweden) 
November 9 participants, Stockholm (photo by Joakihm of Sweden)

Discussion of Evaluation of the Nordic Rainbow Month 

Some discussion took focused on the planned evaluation sessions this December 10-13 of the 1st Nordic Rainbow History & Art Month -October 2016 which took place in the northern Swedish city of Umeå, Stockholm and the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius.  

The Stockholm session included presentations about Nazi and neo Nazi persecution of LGBT people presented by Colin de la Motte-Sherman of Berlin, the ILGCN History Secretariat.   Plans were also discussed about next year's Nordic History Month with hopes of including more Nordic cities.

More information: 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

1st Nordic Rainbow Month in Lithuania

    Vilnius -- The third and last stage of the ILGCN's (rainbow culture international) /Tupilak’s  & Bears International's 1st Nordic Rainbow History & Arts Month 2016 has ended in the Lithuanian capital October 29-31 with presentations, discussions, poetry, films, art and photography. This followed three weeks of events in the Swedish capital and the opening, first two days of October in Umeå in the far north of Sweden.

    Lithuanian artists and curators Karolina RimkutéGabriéle Gervickaité and Laima Kreivyté presented the often dramatic history and present the sensitive situation of Lithuanian rainbow art and photography as a powerful part of the struggle against discrimination and homophobia.

    Former Lithuanian parliamentarian, Marija Pavilioniené, who finally received in person the ILGCN's "Bifrost 2014" award diploma -- for bridge-building between the heterosexual and LGBT communities -- also praised the importance of LGBT culture, confirmed the role of the Baltic nations as part of the Nordic family and immediately became a member of Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers) which has been supporting the month-long event. 

    Ingrida Kaulinyte, working with the Lithuanian Gay League, made a thorough, photo-filled presentation of the history of the LGL -- including videos banned by the authorities for "spreading" LGBT propaganda."   She and other LGL colleagues received the ILGCN "Arco Nordica 2016" diploma honoring the organizers of the highly-praised Baltic Pride-Vilnius of June, 2016.   The award is given in honor of the late, pioneering gay activist, Rasmus Rasmmusen, of the Faroe Islands.

                                                     Bifrost Award to Swedish Embassy

    At the History Month's final day -- October 31 -- which took place at the Swedish Embassy, first secretary Susanna Hughes re-newed the embassy's support for the Lithuanian LGBT struggle against discrimination and for human rights. On behalf of the embassy, she also received the ILGCN "Bifrost 2016" award -- named after the Viking word for the "rainbow."  She also confirmed that the brand new Swedish ambassador to Lithuania will continue the strong and public support given to the LGBT community by the last Swedish envoy to Vilnius.

     "Discussions included pledges to make joint Swedish-Lithuanian efforts to include LGBT colleagues from neighboring Belarus -- the last dictatorship in Eastern Europe -- in the next Nordic History Month and other events in both countries.  Another pledge aimed at attempting to link Swedish and Lithuanian trans persons for mutual contact and support and another to seek still-hidden LGBT Bears in Lithuania -- as stereotype-breaking personalities needed on the rainbow barricades and future members of Bears International," said Bill Schiller of the ILGCN, Tupilak and Bears International.

     "Other pledges were made to work together to encourage more Nordic cities to join in the events of the 2nd Nordic Rainbow History & Art Month - 2017," concluded Schiller.  

      The 0-budget event in Vilnius was made possible by the rent-free provision of space at the Paviljonas café -- which functioned as the Baltic Pride 2016 information center -- and the Swedish Embassy situated in the historic Old Town of Vilnius.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Last phase in Vilnius October 29-31, 2016 


Stockholm -- The ILGCN's (rainbow culture international) and Bears International's  1st Nordic Rainbow History & Art Month stage in the Swedish capital has been completed with seminars, performances, poetry, film screening and art and photo exhibitions.   This followed the Month's first 2 days in the northern Swedish city of Umeå October 1,2 and is to be followed in turn by the last 3 days in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius October 29-31.

Special guest speakers were Vilmos Hanti, Budapest-based president of FIR --the international anti-facist organization David Veres -- chairman of the European Rainbow Humanists., Ulf Andersson, editor of Sweden's Amnesty PressColin de la Motte-Sherman -- secretary general of the ILGCN History Secretariat-Berlin and Andrus K. co-secretary general of the ILGCN Eastern European Secretariat-Minsk.

Brazilian ILGCN cultural ambassador Anders Ödvall made a moving tribute to the life and songs of Brazilian gay singer, Renato Russo, who died of AIDS exactly 20 years ago.  Amanda Walkabout of Sweden and Apila Miettinen of Finland presented their Nordic-supported campaign "Lilies of the Streets" against prostitution and trafficking of both young men and women, and Swedish journalist Ivar Andersen and photographer Christofer Hjalmarsson provided a powerful description of the violence-filled realities facing gays in Afghanistan.

The Stockholm stage also focused on history and rainbow culture of  Iran, Kurdistan, Kyrgystan, Kazakhistan, Hungary, Poland  Sweden, Lithuania, Finland, Latvia, Estonia, the U.K., Iceland, Russia, Belarus and Ireland as well as on the media, elderly, refugees, trans, bisexuals, HIV/AIDS, sports and Bears both in the Nordic region and beyond.

The Stockolm stage of the history month was supported by the Nordic Association - Sweden, Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers) and Nordic Rainbow Humanists,  and included the 2nd stage of this year's ILGCN international conference following stage 1 in Palanga, Lithuania last June..
ILGCN, Tupilak awards handed out, announced

ILGCN's "Clio's Silver Cup" history awards were handed out in person to pioneer film maker Marie Falksten of "Eva and Maria" fame, and LGBT book shop "Medusa" creator,  Karin Lindequist -- both of Sweden.  ILGCN's new award for international film making "Wings" -- named after the exactly 100-year-old film by homosexual Swedish film maker, Maurice Stiller  -- went to Maria Binder from Germany, and the ILGCN"Sappho in Paradise" literature award went to Greenlandic author Niviaq Korneliussen for her "Homo sapienne."  ILGCN's "Arco Imago" went jointly to Denmark's Birthe Havmöller for her art/photo archive,"Feminine Moments" and the Danish/Estonian-run "Nordic & Baltic Queer Art NetworkLatvia's openly gay Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics has received the ILGCN Rainbow Warrior 2016. 

Bears International announced its first "Bear Art 2016" awards going jointly to art photographer, Luke Darko of Paris and London-based artists/curators Mike Wyeld and Charlie Hunter.

 "We're proud finally  to join other cities running LGBT History Months such as Budapest, Edinburgh, London and some American cities," says Bill Schiller, secretary general of the ILGCN Information Secretariat - Stockholm and Tupilak's international secretary." "We're looking forward to the month's final three days in Vilnius and hope that next year´s Nordic History & Art Month will expand to include additional Nordic cities."

"Because of the 0-budget status of our Stockholm event, we are thankful for the free-of-charge venues provided by the Nordic Association, the local of the PositHIVa gruppen, the Secret Garden and Side Track pubs and Salon Lugo," Schiller concludes. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

1st Nordic Rainbow History & Arts Month
October, 2016

Umeå/Stockholm -- The 1st Nordic Rainbow History & Arts Month -- October, 2016 -- has been launched in the northern Swedish city of Umeå October 1and 2, in the last two days of their annual Pride there  -- with seminars, discussions, films, art and photography.

"This was a great feeling for Umeå Pride to have launched this historical month," says Umeå Pride project leader Mio of Queerförvaltningen, the main Pride organizer. "Making LGBT questions more visible is more important than ever with the right-wing winds blowing everywhere around us!"

"The participants of this segment of this pioneering Nordic month have made history," Bill Schiller of Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers) and the ILGCN (rainbow culture international)  told a cheering crowd from the Pride Park stage after the Pride parade marched through the city streets.  He jokingly added:  "We may be a bit slow sometimes in the Nordic zone -- perhaps because of the cold, northerly climate --  but we have finally caught up with LGBT-history month organizing colleagues in Budapest, Edinburgh, London and other southern cities."   

"Instead of limiting the event only to the capital city, the Nordic rainbow month follows the Umeå events by continuing in Stockholm and will end the month with the last three days in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius  -- since we regard our Baltic neighbors as solid members of the Nordic family," Schiller adds. "This month is a long-overdue focus on the history and art of the vast Nordic region -- stretching from the coast of North America in the West and to the borders of Russia and Belarus in the East."
One aim is to use rainbow culture and the history as powerful weapons in the battle against the invisibility and discrimination of those with HIV/AIDS, those with different abilities, trans, the youth, elderly, and refugees from such nations as KurdistanIranKazakhstan,  KyrgyzstanBelarusRussiaUganda.

Revitalizing Nordic LGBT Co-operation..?

The Stockholm stage will also include the 1st Tupilak  Art Fair, the birth of the 1st Nordic Rainbow Network (reviving the long-ago deceased Nordic Homo Council but this time also including Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania),  stage 2 of the ILGCN World Rainbow Culture Conference 2016 (between stage 1 in Palanga, Lithuania last July and  stage 1 of  2017 in Budapest, Hungary), a Stockholm meeting of the European Rainbow Humanists, a Nordic session of Bears International and a Nordic fund-supported travelling exhibition on the devastating consequences of prostitution"Lilies of the Streets,and a photo exhibit from the international Association of Anti-Fascists.

"As a 0-budget event, we are very dependent on the generosity of rent-free locales in Stockholm offered by Nordic Association - Stockholm PositHIVagruppenSidetrack pub, Secret Garden  pub and the Folklore Centrum and such NGO organizations as the Central Asia GroupCivil Rights Defenders, as well as representatives from Swedish Amnesty Press, the Rainbow Library -- Umeå, the Canadian Embassy and the British Council," concludes Schiller.  

"In Vilnius, we are very pleased to have co-operation with colleagues in the national Lithuanian LGBT organization LGL and cultural workers in Vilnius for October 29-31, the closing days of this Nordic rainbow history month, " says Schiller.  "One of our aims in Vilnius is to include colleagues from neighboring Belarus -- eager for international contacts and support in their struggle against fierce homophobia in this last dictatorship in Eastern Europe." 



 More information:

Monday, September 5, 2016

1st ILGCN/Bears International
Nordic Rainbow History Arts Month
(Umeå October 1-2, Stockholm, Vilnius October 29-31, 2016)

Stockolm/Umeå/Vilnius -- The first Nordic Rainbow History & Arts Month will take place in these three Nordic cities in October, 2016 -- with seminars, discussions, films, art, photography, poetry and performances -- inspired by similar months in Budapest, Edinburgh, London and other cities.

"We plan a long-overdue to focus on the history and art of the vast Nordic region -- stretching from the coast of North America in the West and the borders of Russia and Belaus in the East," says Bill Schiller of the main organizers ILGCN (rainbow culture international) Information Secretariat-Stockholm and Bears International -- with the support of the Nordic Association (Förening Norden)Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers)Nordic Rainbow Humanists and other organizations.

Another aim is to focus rainbow culture and the history of the battle against the invisibility and discrimation of those with HIV/AIDS, those with different abilities, trans, the youth, elderly, and refugees from Kurdistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Russia, Uganda and elsewhere.  

 Revitalizing Nordic LGBT Co-operation..?

The event will also include Tupilak's 1st Art Fair, the birth of the 1st Nordic Rainbow Network(reviving the long-ago deceased Nordic Homo Council but this time also including Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania),  stage 2 of the ILGCN World Rainbow Culture Conference 2016 (between stage 1 in Palanga, Lithuania last July and  stage 1-2017 in Budapest, Hungary), a Stockholm meeting of the European Rainbow Humanists, a Nordic session of Bears International and a Nordic-supported travelling exhibition on the consequences of prostitution"Lilies of the Streets."

"As a 0-budget event, we are very dependent on the generosity of rent-free locales in Stockholm offered by PositHIVagruppenNordic AssociationSidetrack pub, Secret Garden  pub and other organizations.  We are also proud to work together with Umeå Pride and with colleagues in Vilnius," adds Schiller, " and the Central Asia Group with Östgruppen for Democracy and Human Rightsworking with Belarus, Russia and Ukraine." 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Press Statement

Stockholm, August 2016

We are seriously troubled and dismayed over angry reactions, in Germany to our award to David Berger (Catholic Theologian); reactions which, however, seem to be part of the current atmosphere in much of Europe.

We strongly condemn all intolerance and discrimination from outside and from within the LGBT communities.

The ILGCN, (International Lesbian and Gay Cutural Network) was, as an idea, founded in Paris in 1992 when we suggested to ILGA (International Lesbian & Gay Association) that they should use culture in the fight for equality and justice for sexual minorities. They refused to do so. We said we will do what we can ourselves as a non-budget network.

Perhaps the silly rumour – totally without foundation – about ILGA making the award is based on a misunderstanding or mistranslation of this reference to ILGA.

Since then we have actively supported Queer groups in “Central & Eastern Europe” and occasionally outside Europe with small cultural conferences, talks, exhibitions with the intention of raising the self-confidence – pride – of members of the embattled but growing LGBT communities there by spreading knowledge of what LGBT people have contributed to world cultural heritage.

As can be imagined the conditions for some of the conferences were far from ideal. People afraid to be seen in such a context (nearly everwhere), authorities cancelling meeting places at the last minute (Belarus) or owners of clubs, galleries being threatened with a loss of tenancy (Lithuania) or semi-secret meetings in a cellar.

ILGCN decided to accept a recommendation in 2012 to give our annual “Orfeo Iris” diploma (for research and writing about oppression and discrimination of LGBT people) to Germany’s David Berger for his book “The Holy Glow” describing persecution of LGBT people in the Catholic Church.

Recommendations for ILGCN award diplomas (no monetary compensation is included) come from ILGCN secretariats, our cultural ambassadors, co-ordinators and friends.

That it can sometimes take years before the diploma is actually handed over is not unusual for us. As a 0-budget organisation with no travel funds, it can take some time for an ILGCN representative and the award winner to be at the same place at the same time. (We have a policy of NOT sending diplomas in the snail mail.)

Bill Schiller,
Secretary General, ILGCN Information Secretariat-Stockholm

Colin de la Motte-Sherman,
ILGCN History Secretariat-Berlin

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


  Palanga -- Presentations, discussions on the importance of LGBT culture, films and planning future strategies were part of theILGCN (rainbow culture international) World Rainbow Culture Conference (stage 1)  June 10-12, 2016 in this Lithuanian Baltic coastal town.

   "We had vauable exchanges and discussions on focusing especially on the tough battles for LGBT rights and cultural identity in Eastern Europe, says Andrus K. of Minsk, co-secretary general of the ILGCN Eastern European Secretariat,shared with Budapest.  "It's also important that journalists do not forget about their social responsibility for correct, non-discriminatory coverage of LGBT issues."

   Conference participants applauded the vieo message contribution from Ulrike Lunacek, open lesbian Austrian Green Party European parliamentarian, vice chair of the European Parliament and co-chair of the parliament's LGBT group, describing the progress made by the EU on LGBT issues and the serious challenges ahead for full equality.  

   "Canada is especialy eager to support the LGBT strugge for rainbow rights and culture in this part of the world," says Robert Milkovich, Canadian ILGCN co-ordinator from Toronto.  "Canada has had its share of discriminatory policies against various minorities.  But an evolution has taken place and it's important to understand how that evolution was able to happen."

                                                              Condemnation aimed at USA, Mexico, Bangalesh, Belarus

    The conference strongly condemned the recent murder of 49 at a gay disco in Orlando, Florida, the killing of 7 at a gay club in Mexico, the murder of two gay journalists in Bangladesh by machete-wielding religious fanatics and such psychological, verbal violence illustrated by  Belarussian Christian Democrat leader, Pavel Seviarynets, publically demanding the resignation of organizing committee member Marharyta Taraikevich simply because she openly defended LGBT rights.  

    "We're proud that the conference took place in Lithuania," says Arvydas Vogulis, ILGCN co-ordinator for Lithuania. "All international rainbow events here are an important support for our struggle against Lithuania's ban on information about homosexuality."  

   Also discussed were the important role of LGBT Bears on the local, national and international rainbow barricades to help shatter the homophobic concepts of what gays areally are in all their diversity.

      "The 2nd stage of the ILGCN world rainbow conference this year will take place October 10-14 as part of the ILGCN/International Bears organized  1st Nordic Rainbow History & Arts Month in Umeå, Stockholm and Vilnius," concludes Bill Schiller, secretary general of theILGCN Information Secretariat in Stockholm The Bears International session will take place in Stockholm on October 14.  The stages of the 2015 conference took place in Stockholm and Budapest.

More information:

International Bears Calling friends and contacts:

International Bears Calling friends and contacts:

"Bears on the Barricades/Bear Culture" discussed at the ILGCN World Rainbow Culture Conference (stage 1) Palanga, Lithuania June 10-12, 2016 
(see press release).

Bears International greetings to Kiev:  Ukrainian Bears' first anniversary July 9, 2016.

"Bears on the Barricades/Bear Culture" to be discussed at ILGCN presentation at the Warsaw meeting of Belarus LGBT journalists on July 22, 2016.

"Bear International/Bear Culture" -- seminar at Stockholm Pride on July 26, 2016.  

"Searching for Bears in the far north!" -- part of ILGCN seminar at Umeå Pride October 1-2, 2016  (opening 1st Nordic Rainbow History & Art Month)(Umeå/Stockholm/Vilnius).

"Bear on the Barricades/Bear Culture" -- seminar at the ILGCN World Rainbow Culture Conference (stage 2)  inStockholm October 14, 2016 (part of 1st Nordic Rainbow History & Art Month)  (Announcement of Bears International's art/photography award diploma winners 2016!)

"Searching for Bears in the Baltic zone" -- part of ILGCN presentation in Vilnius October 29-31 at the end of 1st Nordic Rainbow History & Art Month 

Join us...?

Your events to be added to the Bear calendar...?


More Bear art and Bear films have been added to our international Bear Culture Archives.  Do YOU have any contributions...?

Bear Hugs,

Bill Schiller, international secretary for Bears International  

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Greetings from the ILGCN (rainbow culture international) and Bears International on May 1, 2016!

It was great meeting some of you at the smashing Nordic Bear session arranged by Bearty-Tallinn in the Estonian capital April 15-16, 2016!

Thanks for the fine support and interest in the Bears International! We are still looking for more contact persons and "international secretaries" to answer eventual questions from those in your region. Interested..?

Below, the preliminary 2016 Bear International calendar:

If you can't join us in person, send us a few lines and we will be happy to read them out at our events!

Hugs, Bill Schiller, IB international secretary

Stockholm - May 18th
Post-IDAHO (May 17th, international day against homophobia) Day event arranged together with the ILGCN Information Secretariat.

Palanga - June 10-12
IB presentation at the ILGCN World Rainbow Culture Conference 2016 in this Lithuanian port town.

Vilnius - June 13-18
IB participation in Baltic Pride

Kiev - July 9-10
1st Year Anniversary Celebrations for Ukrainian Bears

Warsaw - July 21-23
Tolerance School with LGBT Belarus journalists

Stockholm - July 25-30
IB presentation at Stockholm Pride

St. Petersburg/Moscow - August 19-21
International Queer Theater Festival

Stockholm - September
Polish Bear Night, Estonian Bear Night (2017: Ukrainian Bear Night, Russian Bear Night)

Stockholm, Malmö and Gothenburg - October 1st
Nordic Rainbow Art & History Month

Visby - November 10-12
IB at memorial ceremony at the only LGBT Monument in the Nordic zone.

Maspalomas - March, 2017
BI culture program at the International Bear Carnival - Spain

Bears International, supporting Bear culture and international solidarity. Open to Ursula and other women Bears, trans Bears and Bi-sexual Bears, assisting LGBT refugees. No membership fee. Based at the ILGCN Information Secretariat, Stockholm.


Tallinn -- The second Nordic Rainbow Bear award of 2016 from Stockholm's Viking Bears has been handed over to Bearty-Tallinn at the Nordic Bear session in the Estonian capital April 15-17, 2016.

At the award ceremony held at the Estonian LGBT Center, the chairman of Viking Bears- Stockholm, Cha Wallentheim,read out the diploma's motivation which honored Bearty-Tallinn "..... for organizing this year's Nordic Bear session - the first such meeting on former Soviet territory, .....for underlining the fact that Bears everywhere are valuable and necessary warriors on the LGBT human rights barricades -- helping shatter stereotypes both within and outside of the rainbow community... for outstanding efforts to promote international contacts ... and for giving Bear culture an outstanding place to confirm that rainbow culture is a strong weapon against homophobia, intolerance and invisibility."

This year's Nordic Rainbow Award 2016 diploma is shared by the International Bear Carnival -- Maspalomas and this award diploma was handed over at that event in March.

"We are pleased to receive the award and to share it with our Spanish colleagues," says Alvar Ameljushenko of Bearty-Tallinn.

Bears International Impressed with the Estonian Bears

"We deeply impressed that it was the next-smallest Nordic nation to think so BIG in Nordic Bear terms -- for the first time putting this on in he digital world on the FaceBook map, making this a 3-day event so filled with Bear culture via discussions, beautiful art exhibits and music -- not just a closed-door meeting for a very few but open to all interested Bears -- not only from the Nordic nations of Sweden, Finland, Norway and Latvia but also from beyond the Nordic zone from Russia, Ukraine, Britain and Australia!,"says Bill Schiller of the newly-established Bears International. "This also confirms that Estonia and the other Baltic states are indeed part of the Nordic family!"

"We are also overjoyed that Bearty-Tallinn has also reached out beyond Bear borders by contributing crucially to the rent of the Estonian LGBT Center & Archives, the way that Bears-on-Ice contribute to Iceland's HIV/AIDS foundation and the Bears of Poland support the Warsaw LGBT Film Festival that reaches 8 other Polish cities as well!"

"We in Bears International are inspired by all of this and hope to contribute to relief assistance to LGBT refugees fleeing from persecution, imprisonment, murder and state execution," Schiller concludes.

More information:

Tallinn award ceremony: Cha Wallentheim - Viking Bears (far left),
Alvar Ameljushenko - Bearty-Tallinn Bears, Bill Schiller - Bears
International, and John Earhart - Norway's Bamse Bears (far right). 

Nordic Rainbow Bear award to Maspalomas: Bill Schiller (left)
Sweden, Lobo - Carnival Chief (center) and Peter Fröberg - Sweden,
(photo by Angelo of Italy)

​Calling Bear colleagues:

ILGCN's (international rainbow cultural network) newly-established Bears International aims at promoting Bear culture and international solidarity.

BI has no membership fee , does not compete with the important social events of local and national Bear organizations, and welcomes all interested -- especially Ursula and other women Bears, Trans Bears, Bear immigrants and refugees, the differently abled and HIV positives. (misogamists, transphobes, racists and intolerants are NOT welcome!)

BI aims at following the Bears-on-Ice, Reykjavik initiative to become involved beyond the Bear borders (with their major financial contribution to HIV work on Iceland) BI plans on promoting fund-raising to help LGBT refugees fleeing from persecution, violence, imprisonment and murder threats.

Bears International is located at the ILGCN Information Secretariat in Stockholm via our webmaster in Canada:

Bears International Calendar:

Tupilak (Nordic rainbow cultural workers)-hosted round-table "Bear Culture & Aging" on Friday, April 15, 2016 at the Nordic Bear session in Tallinn April 15-17 event arranged by Bearty-Tallinn of Estonia.

Warsaw LGBT Film Festival featuring Bear films and working with Polish Bears for Bear events April 17-22.

May 17 in Stockholm for IDAHO (International Day against Homophobia) together with Tupilak other LGBT organizations in Sweden and/or on May 18th -- a special post-IDAHO Day hosted by BI and the ILGCN Information Secretariat-Stockholm.

1st Rainbow Art Fair (hosted by Tupilak) -- Stockholm May 28.

ILGCN (international rainbow cultural network) World Rainbow Culture Conference in Palanga, Lithuania June 10-12.

Baltic Pride 2016 -- Vilnius June 13-17.

1st Nordic Art & History Month -- Stockholm, Malmö and Gothenburg, October 2016.

Bears International culture program --at the International Bear Carnival - Maspalomas, Spain March, 2017.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact the BI international secretary for the appropriate geographic region:

East, West, South, Belarus-Russia-Ukraine, and North America.

Bill Schiller, BI international secretary-East

NOTE: Do NOT ask for any travel grants to the above: There are none!