Sunday, September 9, 2018


Stockholm -- Preparations continue for the ILGCN's (international rainbow culture network) 3rd Nordic Rainbow History & Culture Month -- October, 2018 again in a dozen Nordic cities on both sides of the Baltic Sea -- from Umeå in northern Sweden and again in the southern Baltic capital of Vilnius in Lithuania.
The Nordic Month begins for the third time in Umeå -- this time as a "curtain raiser" part of Umeå Pride. The 2018 Month again includes the 2nd Rakvere Festheart LGBT Film Festival in the northern Estonian town of Rakvere -- this time the 2nd festival --  and for the first time, the Estonian city of Tartu -- with a focus on rainbow art and the Finnish painter/ author, Tove Jansson of Moomintroll fame.  

The Nordic Month's 2018 events include the 2nd LGBT culture program at Södertälje Konsthall (art gallery)  in this city just south of Stockholm and for the first time, the day-long Södertälje LGBT Film Festival at a city cinema. 

At the Stockholm stage, special guests from outside of the Nordic region include Kurt Krickler of Austria, making a presentation both in Södertälje and Stockholm about early Austrian co-operation with colleagues in Eastern Europe. Others are American artist, Victor Adenian -- new LGCN culture ambassador from Colorado, the Australian ambassador to Sweden, Jonathan Kenna and a representative of the Canadian Embassy in Sweden.

Nordic speakers will include Swedish journalist Anne-Marie Sörberg, Johan Earhart of the Norwegian Bamse Bear organization, GöranStanton of the Swedish Police talking about hate crimes against LGBT people, Rolf Solheim of Norway on humanistic support of LGBT rights, Sarah Florén, chair person of Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers)Ulf Andersson of Amnesty Press, Swedish veteran activist, musician and song writer,  Jan HammarlundAnders Paulsson soprano saxophonist and diver to save coral reefs, Swedish musicians Dosan Johansson and Peter Fröberg, etc.

Outstanding immigrant/refugee input is coming from Sama Abdelsamie of RFSL newcomers and RFSL trans persons, Swedish/Iraqi artist David Amin and Belarus activists/ LGBT refugees in Sweden.

The Stockholm stage of the Nordic Month also includes the 2nd Bear International Festival October 15-18 -- discussing Bear solidarity, culture and co-operation with colleagues in Eastern Europe.  
Month-long History & Culture Events in Finland

"We are so pleased that our colleagues in Finland have decided not to have only a day or two for LGBT culture and history, but a whole month--  from October 15-November 15," says Bill Schiller from the ILGCN Information Secretariat-Stockholm. 

The ILGCN also plans meetings  with the prize-winning Bear Park Café in the Finnish capital, Helsinki Gay Theater and a Russian-speaking meeting in the nearby city of Espo.

New for this year is an event in the Norwegian city of Bergen with the "queer training" of museum staff by the Skeivt Archive (rainbow archive) of the University of Bergen and ends in Oslo at the end of October during the Nordic Council sessions with invitations to Nordic Council parliamentarians meeting to discuss Nordic LGBT co-operation -- and support for  rainbow culture and identity.

More information:  

Sarah Florén, Month co-ordinator for Södertälje , Tupilak     facebook
Sander Cecilia Neant Falk, Month co-ordinator for Södertälje,     Tupilak     facebook
Bill Schiller, Month co-ordinator for StockholmILGCN   facebook    www.ilgcn,

Tuesday, September 4, 2018


Stockholm -- Music, song, poetry and cultural presentations were part of the program at the ILGCN´s "International Rainbow Event - beyond Europe" celebrating this "Pride in the City" part of Stockholm Pride & Europride 2018 in the Swedish capital.

The star performer of the event was Lynx Dean, an LGBTQ artist from Canada, proving that music is indeed the universal language. Lynx had the entire room clapping along to their song "10 Things" - a song that is performed every year at Toronto City Hall for "Trans Day Of Remembrance." Following the performance, people expressed that they were "impressed, inspired and moved."

The event took place at the Whippet Lab & Social Justice Club in the Swedish capital -- a venue promoting LGBT culture and international solidarity.

Following this successful performance and a second "Pride in the City" performance at another Stockholm venue, Lynx Dean has been invited to return to Stockholm for a performance in January, 2019.

Photo by Mita Hans

More information:
ILGCN Information Secretariat-Stockholm "facebook"

Wednesday, August 15, 2018



Works of Bear International art award diploma winners were displayed at the Stockholm,  August 12 celebration of the ILGCN-initiated 1st International Day of Rainbow Culture/birthday salute to Finnish/Swedish author/painter Tove Jansson.

This took place at the Wippet Lab/Social Justice Club along with LGBT poetry, song and music and other LGBT art works.

Adding to the international greetings came from Mike Wyeld and Charlie Hunter of Toronto/London, winners of Bear International annual Bear art award diplomas. (see "ILGCN," "Tupilak," "Bill Schiller" facebooks)


(part of the 3rd Nordic Rainbow History & Culture Month taking place in a dozen Nordic cities.)

Monday, October 15:  --  "Why Bears on the Rainbow Barricades?" --panel with John Earhart of Norwegian Bamse BearsBears International written statements from Andrus K. of Lokys Bears - Belarus, Andrew of Ukrainian Bears, Vladimir of Moscow BearsAlexei of Petersburg Bears

Tuesday, October 16  "Nordic Co-operation with Bears in Eastern Europe: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus" -- panel discussion

Wednesday, October 17 -- Bear art and photographty exhibition of Bear International annual art award winners
(from Spain, France, Toronto/London,  New Zealand, Australia, Russia.)
Bear short films from Denmark, Iceland, Norway
Announcement of Bear International art award winners -- 2019

(Alas we have no travel funds but hope to provide private accommodation for visiting Bears!)



More Bear art and photos from Spain, Russia, Ukraine and other  countries have been added to the ILGCN (internatonal rainbow culture network) and Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers) international travelling ILGCN/Tupilak art and photo exhibition.


New proposals are wanted for winners of the 2019 annual Bears International art diploma winners -- to be announced at the Bears International Bear festival in Stockholm in October, 2018 (see above) and hopefully handed out at the next Bearty-Tallinn session in March, 2019 in the Estonian capital.


Bill Schiller, Bears International Stockholm  (facebook and e-mail)
Andrew Cy-Bear Netic,  Bears International Kiev (facebook)

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Stockholm -- The ILGCN-declared 1st International Day of Rainbow Culture and the birthday of Finnish/Swedish author/painter, ToveJansson (of Moomintroll fame) was celebrated in a number of nations all over the world -- from the August 9 Tove Jansson's birthday anniversary to the 12th in the Swedish capital.
A "skål" with Finnish beer in Helsinki on the 9th -- to honor the home country of Tove and her American-born, Finnish woman, Tuulikki Pietilä, and their 40-year partnership --  a Finnish"skål" at the Gay Games in Paris on the same day, an Estonian rainbow "skål" in Tallinn on the 10th. .. a Belarus vodka "salute" in Minsk, a Bear burger-&-beer salute in Moscow, a birthday skål with red Hungarian wine in Budapest, a Canadian "birthday" picnic and literature reading in Vancouver, a rainbow salute from Uganda and Armenia ..and more.
In Stockholm on the 12th, the day was honored by a poem from Tupilak's "house poet," Tomas Åberg dedicated to one of Moomin's famous cartoon character friends and Sweden's Peter Fröberg sang "Autumn Song" ("Höstvisa") -- the beautiful text by Tove Jansson urging everyone to live life to the full and love each other before the bright, warm "summer" turns into the Nordic cold and darkening autumn.   The event also included art and photos of LGBT people from a number of nations and other works of  LGBT poets.
"The United Nations and other organizations have daily salutes to different aspects of the human struggle -- anti-racism, discrimination, IDAHO anti-LGBT discriminaton, women and children's rights, anti-AIDS hysteria -- and even salutes to nature such as to the environment, the oceans, the tree, the elephant and the cat!   said Bill Schiller of the ILGCN (international rainbow culture network) Information Secretariat-Stockholm and Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers) at the event at Whippet-Lab/Social Justice Club in the Swedish capital."  
"We feel that it is high time that we honor the rainbow LGBT culture workers of the world -- both of the present and past -- as vital contributors to LGBT identity, visibiity, human rights and creativity," Schiller concluded.
Some of the Written Greetings to the International Day and Tove Jansson
"Although "Höstvisa" is one of my favorite songs I am too busy with work for the coming issue of Amnesty Press to be able to celebrate Tove Jansson (at the event).
By the way, Amnesty Press published several (LGBT) articles during Stockholm Pride week. Have a nice Tove Jansson-evening!"

-- Ulf Andersson, editor of Sweden's Amnesty Press

"I've sent an earlier email with a couple of 'prelude' photos (from Vancouver Pride, August 5th), promoting the International Day of Rainbow Culture.

These additional forwarded pics below illustrate celebration of the 9th, captioned thus:

"ILGCN secretary general for literature, Ian Stewart, in Vancouver, Canada reads aloud to Wordpress Music Blogger Richibi some early published works from Sappho in Paradise Book Prize awardees, Elsa Wallace and Michael Harth (both recently deceased), in celebration of the August 9 International Day of Rainbow Culture.

Best greetings on this truly fabulous initiative!"

-- Ian Stewart
From Switzerland:

"Dear friends and colleagues,

I wish you all the best in the celebration of the International Day of Rainbow Culture and, of course, a happy birthday to Tove Jansson!

We have made so much progress towards equality in recent years, but there is still so much to do. The role of arts and culture is key, because legislative change can work only if arts and culture have been successful in changing a society's hearts and minds. Keep up the good work and I hope to join you in person on a future occasion.

Hugs to all of you"

-- Renato Sabbadini , former co-secretary general of ILGA

"Today is the first annual ILGCN-declared ‘1st International Day of Rainbow Culture” celebrating this year with a tribute to Moomins creator, Tove Jansson. It’s their first year and we wish them all the best for the future. 

Galleries still are not collecting and exhibiting queer work; it’s something community groups will have to do. Let’s do it!" 

-- Mike Wyeld and Charlie Hunter of Toronto/London (creators of the "Loved" Bear art exhibit which has toured internationally and winners of Bears International annual art award diplomas for Bear culture!)


Photos available.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

ILGCN Co-ordinators 2018


Slava Bortnik --
Vladik  of Minsk --
Slava Bortnik
Slava Bortnik


Svetlana Dirkovic
Vanja Hamzic


Monika Pisankaneva


Paul Lee
Arsham Parsi (Iranians in Exile)


Zvonimir Dobrovic


Birthe Havmoeller
Birthe Havmoeller.jpg
Birthe Havmöller

Iran in Exile:

Arsham Parsi (Toronto)
Arsham Parsi
Arsham Parsi


Renato Sabbadini


Eri Chimoto


Armins Ozolins
Andrejs Visockis

Arvydas Vogilis, translator


Ninoslav Mladenovic


Rod Evan


Rolf Solheim


Angie Umbac


Pawel Leskowicz
Marchin Omietana (Krakow)

Pawel Lskowicz


Celsio Junior ilga-portugal@ilga.or


Octav Popescu


Alexander Kukharsky (Petersburg)
Nicolas Alexeyev --  (Moscow)

Nicolas Alexeyev
Nicolas Alexeyev


Dusan Maljkjovic camp@beotel.yu
Bobo Stojanovic
Dusan Maljkjovic
Dusan Maljkjovic


Igor Spanjol


Bill Schiller
Arsham Parsi
Bill Schiller


Ismail Alacagoglu


Andrij Maymulakhin

United Kingdom

Ian Stewart 


Robin Tyler

Dennis L. Brown

LGCN Cultural Ambassadors 2018

Robert La Bua - journalist (Sydney)

Robert La Bua

Peter Jobst - film and theatre lecturer (Salzburg)

Alexander Plisecky - cabaret performer (Minsk)
Vladik - photographer (Minsk)

Vanja Hamzic - artist (Sarejevo)

Raimundo Pereira - singer (Rio de Janeiro)

Vnna Hem, film maker

Paul Lee - film director (Toronto)
Michael Gfroerer (Toronto) musician/composer michaelgfroerer@yahoo.caKloi Picot photographer (facebook)

Anja Tollan - photographer (Copenhagen)Birthe Havmoeller -- Photographer / "Femine Moments"

Birthe Havmöller

Erkki Otsman -- cabaret singer (Tallinn)Keio Sommelt -- Film festival organizer (Rakvere)

ERI Dance Company (Turku) 

Tiina Lindfors

Vladimir Kara - artist (Paris)

Christiana Lambrinidis - theater director (Athens)

Tomas Lovas - Hungarian Trio, bass
Karoly Varga - Hungarian Trio, flute
Sandor Fehér - Hungarian Trio, singer

Hördur Torfason - singer, musician (Reykjavik)

Iran in exile:
Arsham Parsi (Toronto) hrc@pglo.neti

Arsham Parsi

Carlo Beltrami - actor, performer, poet beltramic@hotmail.comFrancesco Brunetti -- artist

Carlo Beltrami

Koichi Imaizumi -- film maker

Armins Ozolins - video artist, painter (Riga)

Ninoslav Mladenovic

Iurie Matei of Genderdoc - artist (Chisenau)

APU Theater Company (Amsterdam)

Oyvind Rauset - musician, artist (Oslo)

John Ryan Mendoza -- journalist

Marcin Omietana (Krakow)
Oga Chajdas - film director (Poland)
Pawel Leszkowitz -- author, art curator

Celsio Junior - artist (Lisbon) ilga-portugal@ilga.or

Octav Popescu -- human rights worker

Victor Kuznetsov, Oleg Maslov - artists (Petersburg)

Jovana Dimitrijevic c/o

Igor Spanjol

Isaías Fanlo - journalist, writer (Barcelona)

Isaias Fanlo

Bitte Andersson -- film maker, cartoonish
Willi Reichhold - photographer (Stockholm)

Mike Wyeld -- on Facebook for Bear Culture

Ismail Alacagoglu

Steven Hornby -- film maker

Edward Sen - singer (Kiev)

Erica Eaton - video film artist (New York)
Robin Tyler - comedian (California) robintyler@aol.comP J Raval - film maker


Note: Some ILGCN cultural ambassadors are also functioning
as ILGCN co-ordinators and may be on both lists.

Saturday, June 16, 2018


This year's Bears International Art Diplomas honour Bear artists in Russia, Spain and Australia:

This year's award diplomas go to photographer/Bear activist Vladimir Bob Lysenko of Moscow, Russia, Venezuelan-born artist, Juan Antino, resident of Madrid, Spain and Albert Koomen ("Bear in the Bedroom" film) of Melbourne, Australia. 

The winners are invited to submit a photo/sketch/film poster of their work for the growing "travelling" international exhibition of Bears International award winners over the years. (previous award winners are from France, Spain, U.K., Canada).

The exhibition is available for Bear events wishing to add a focus on award-winning Bear art
and photography at their events.

Alas, the diplomas include no monetary renummeration but are awarded with golden appreciation for work well done and for the confirmation that Bears are indeed important contributors to LGBT culture. The diiplomas are also not sent in the snail-mail but are to be handed out in pe
rson at some appropriate time and place.)


Bears International plans on joining August 9 -12, 2018 events in Helsinki, Tallinn, Stockholm, etc. to mark the 1st International Day of Rainbow Culture.

The 9th is the birthday of Finnish/Swedish author/painter and former Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers) member, Tove Jansson. More information coming.

Bears International plans on joining events in the Nordic area for the 3rd Nordic Rainbow Culture & History Month -- October, 2018. More information coming.

Bears International supports the creation of Tupilak/ILGCN rainbow culture pods. Now in preparation.


Friday, March 30, 2018


Liverpool -- ILGCN's "Wings 2018" award (for outstanding contributions with films to LGBT culture) ceremony  to Stephen "Unchechen" Hornby, UK -- at LGBT History Month- UK conference, March 16-18 (press release coming).

Riga -- ILGCN/Bears International participation in Baltic Pride- Riga - March 3-June 10.

Stockholm -- ILGCN/Tupilak event for March 21 UN Day against Rasicsm & Fascism/United's European Week against Rascism & Fascism -- (press release coming).

Södertälje --  ILGCN participating in Tupilak Art Exhibit - Södertälje City Hall April 9-29 (vernissage April 9) 

Tallinn -- ILGCN/Bears International participating in Bearty-Tallinn international Bear culture meeting  April  20-22

Budapest -- ILGCN Rainbow Culture Conference - May 8,9 (press release coming) (With Nordic & European Rainbow Humanists, anti-fascist movement)

Riga -- ILGCN participating in Belarus Journalists for Tolerance conference - June 9  (press release coming)

Stockholm -- ILGCN participating in EuroPride-Stockholm - July 27-August 5

World-wide -- ILGCN-declared "1st International Day of Rainbow Culture" - August 9 (birthday of Finnish-Swedish writer/painter Tove Jansson of "Moomin" fame) -- salutes planned in over 30 countries so far, from Canada to Finland to Uganda. (2nd press release coming).

Gothenburg -- ILGCN participating in EuroPride-Gothenburg - August 14-20

16 Nordic cities -- 3rd Nordic Rainbow History & Culture Month - October, 2018  (2nd press release coming)



ILGCN's "Orfeo Musica 2018" to veteran British singer/song writer, Tom ("Sing if Yoúre Glad to be Gay!") RobinsonUK.

ILGCN's "Orfeo Iris 2018" (for research and information work on Nazi and neo Nazi persecution of LGBT people) to Professor Rainer U W Schulze(editor of "The Holocaust in History and Memory") of University of EssexU.K.

ILGCN's "Rainbow Warriors 2018" -- Simon Gärdenfors and Frej Larsson,Sweden (sued unsuccessfully by Russia for creating a musical gay club on Russian property on Finland's Åland Islands -- previously part of the Czar's empire)

Other award proposals...?  Other information for the next ILGCN web publication, "Erato"...?

Get back to me!


Bill Schiller of the ILGCN Information Secretariat-Stockholm   Facebok: "ILGCN," "Bill Schiller"

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Stockholm -- LGBT organizations, individuals and supporters in a number of countries -- from Canada to Estonia, Finland to Romania, USA to Norway, Sweden to Spain -- will celerate the 1st INTERNATIONAL DAY OF RAINBOW CULTURE - August 9, 2018 -- a day launched by the ILGCN (international rainbow culture network), Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers) and Bears International.

Some are expecetd to honor the event with a simple "skål" (a Swedish "bottoms-up" toast) with a glass of wine on or around the day -- while others will arrange programs of poetry, music, song, art, photography and films.

The date of August 9 has been chosen as it is the birthday of Finnish-Swedish author/painter Tove Jansson of "Moomintroll" fame -- a mega figure in the Nordic region and even beyond. She was a highly respected cultural personality who "came out" late in life (Finland has traditionally been a rather macho, difficult place for LGBT people) but who gladly received a Tupilak award diploma, became a member of Tupilak, and was publically proud of her 40-year partnership with artist/ teacher/author Tuuliki Pietiläa (a relationship often "overlooked" in many books and plays and films about Tove and her work, even today!)

"The aim is to salute rainbow cultural workers of the past -- from Sappho to Pyotr Ilyich, to Oscar to Hans Christian, to Tove to Magnus, to Christopher to Tom of Finland -- and salute those of the present day -- those creating rainbow culture reflecting the lives and identity of lesbians, gays, trans, bi, interex, Bears, the differently-abled, the HIV positives/negatives, the young and the elderly and friends," says Bill Schiller of the ILGCN, Tupilak and Bears International.
Helsinki, Tallinn, Södertälje, Stockholm, Gothenburg

In the Nordic zone, we plan to celebrate August 9 in the Finnish capital -- since Tove and Tuuliki were Finnish -- with discussions, Tove's literary quotations, films, art and music, then move over the Baltic waters to the Estonian capital of Tallinn on the 10th, to Södertälje, Sweden on the 11th, Stockholm on the 12th and to Gothenburg on the 14th (helping inaugurate the EuroPride 2018 stage in this Swedish west coast city).

"Please let us know if YOU or YOUR ORGANIZATION plan any kind of "birthday celebration" on or around August 9," Schiller adds. "Photos and reports of your events are very welcome for ILGCN's web publication, 'Erato.' Beautiful quotations and poetry from Tove Jansson, films, art and photos are available on the internet!" Facebook: "ILGCN" "Tupilak" "Bill Schiller"

Photos: Tove Jansson. Tove and Tuulikki on their island home, "Moomin"