Sunday, October 28, 2018


  Stockholm --  Presentations, performances, music, song, art, photography and film screenings were part of the 5 days -- October 15-18 and 23  -- of the Stockholm stage of  3rd Nordic Rainbow History & Culture Month - October, 2018 going through Nordic cities and towns on both sides of the Baltic Sea.

   At the presentations, Australian  Ambassador  Jonathon Kenna described the advances of LGBT rights in his country, including the recent referendum and law reform legalizing same-sex marriages. He also commented on Australia's decisions to grant asylum to LGBT people persecuted in their home countries because of their sexual orientation.

   The Canadian Embassy's political counselor, Eric Petersson, spoke about the LGBT struggle in his country and presented a detailed written report of the history of LGBT culture workers -- both native Canadians and immigrants -- in the fields of art, sculpture, music, literature and film making -- adding that "queer artists have played an integral role in the movement for LGBT rights in Canada and continue to challenge not only homophobia but also colonialism, rascism and sexism." 

    Veteran Austrian activist Kurt Krickler related Austria's slow, years-long process for each stage of progress in LGBT history. He also described Austria's historic, pioneering co-operation with Eastern Europe helping bring these newly-established LGBT groups into the international forum.

     Sidnimax,  a gay refugee from Belarus, commented on the increasinly tough homophobic regime in this the last dictatorhip of Eastern Europe  while Sweden's Anna-Maria Sörberg, author/journalist commenting on the role of LGBT journalism and the fears that nationalism and populism could use the LGBT movement for undemocratic gains.

     Swedish gay policeman Göran Stanton described the history of the Swedish Gay Police -- which he founded -- and international contacts with police in other countries, plus his continuing work on hate crimes. He added that his next gay police conference will be in Vilnius this November with Lithuanian policemen.

    Fecundo Ortiz of the Argentine Embassy spoke about the progress made in the LGBT struggle in his country, including the success of achieving Argentina's  same-sex marriage law -- which he described as being the "most liberal and inclusive in the world."

   Victor Adeniran, artist/dancer and new ILGCN cultural ambassador from Colorado, USA, commented on his colorful art work often including black Americans and native Americans as well as his support for the ILGCN.  He also participated in the Stockholm session's LGBT art exhibit at the Gallery Mellanrum in a near-by Stockholm suburb.

      John Earhart, head of the Bamses Norweign Bears, commented on the growing importance and visibility of Bear culture and co-operation and exchange with Russia and Ukraine -- part of the 2nd Bears International 4-day Festival included in the 3rd Nordic Month -- and concentrating on Bear culture and co-operation with Eastern Europe.  Written Bear messages of Bear solidarity  from MoscowMinsk,Tallinn and Kiev were read aloud.

                                                  Invitation from Budapest

    The ILGCN co-secretariat for Eastern Europe in Budapest also sent greetings to the Stockholm stage, emphasizing that the homophobic and anti-immigrant regime in Hungary is increasing its threats against human rights and the LGBT community.  They added that they hope that future ILGCN and Bear cultural festivals will soon come to Budapest.

     Another message of support came from Eddy Kalyanga, ILGCN's "Uganda ambassador in exile" living in northern Sweden but still working with  political support and handicraft cultural fundraising for his organizaation, RADO (Rainbow and Diversity Organistion Uganda).  He also aimed sharp criticism at Swedish and other embassies abroad refusing to grant visas to Ugandan LGBT activists and culture workers to come to such events at the 3rd Nordic Month.

   Rolf Solheim, Norwegian LGBT activist and veteran of the Norwegian Humanists described his nation's history and progress in the LGBT struggle and the pioneering support of the international Humanist movement for LGBT rights around the world. 

   Ulf Andersson, editor in chief of Amnesty Press - Sweden, described the LGBT situation in many countries such as the worsening situation in some parts of Africa and the former Soviet Union and the recent success of India's supreme court finally ripping up the colonial, British-instituted ban on homosexuality.  He also reiterated his determination to continue to give ample coverage of LGBT issues in his publication.

    Songs and music were provided by Sweden's Elise JohanssonPeter "Xeller8" FröbergJan Hammarlund. Poetry of Tommy Åberg, Sweden and, international LGBT poetry from Iran, Greece, Finland, France, China, Spain, USA and the U.K..
Art and photography was displayed from the ILGCN/Tupilak international exhibition with works from over 50 countries.

   Films screened included  "LGBT Monuments" by Swedish/Austrian Willi Reichhold who has been adding new photos of the growing number of such monuments around the world,"  "Narcissus" -- a ballet film by award-winning, gay Canadian director, Normal Mclaren and "Frans & Hans" with music and song by Jan Hammarlund and actor Robert Fux and drawings by Bitte Andersson about two Swedish gay lovers of the turn of last century, imprisoned for their homosexuality.

     Retired Swedish journalist Hans Nordh emphasized the importance of weekly social get-togethers for elderly Swedish gays.   Swedish travel agent Henrik Husgafvel described the strong relationships between LGBT sports and culture -- especially at international LGBT events such as the Gay Games. 

    Bill Schiller of the ILGCN Information Secretariat - Stockholm asked why the Nordic region has no approved LGBT monuments except for the ILGCN/Tupilak "peoples´monument" made out of stones on the Swedish Baltic island of Gotland.  He also spoke of the power of LGBT history and culture vs. homophobia, silence and invisibility.
  The 3rd Nordic Month started for the third time in Umeå in the far north of Sweden, continuing to Tallinn and Rakvere in Estonia, Södertälje in Sweden and Bergen in Norway.   After Stockholm, the 3rd Nordic Month continues to Helsinki (October 15-November 15) , Espo and Turku, and Oslo on October 30.  Vilnius will be in November, and Riga in February, 2019.
More information from the ILGCN Information  Secretariat   (face book,

Photos:    Festheart film festival organizers in Estonia.  Victor Adeniran at Gallery Mellanrum, Stockholm

Monday, October 22, 2018


“Найлепшы журналіст-барацьбіт з
дыскрымінацыяй у Беларусі – 2018”
Культурніцкая ЛГБТ-арганізацыя Паўночных краінаў ТУПІЛАК сумесна з
ініцыятывай “Журналісты за талерантнасць” і сайтам Gaypress у сёмы раз абвяшчае прафесійны
конкурс на найлепшы журналісцкі матэрыял на антыдыскрымінацыйную праблематыку.
Аўтары найлепшых друкаваных і iнтэрнэт-артыкулаў і/ці фота-аўдыё-відэа рэпартажаў,
якія прасоўваюць ідэю роўнасці і недыскрымінацыі ўразлівых сацыяльных групаў у
беларускім грамадстве, будуць абвешчаныя ў Міжнародны дзень правоў чалавека — 10
снежня 2018 года.
Пераможца конкурсу атрымае адмысловую ўзнагароду, а таксама будзе мець магчымасць
наведаць ЛГБТ-арганізацыі ў адной з краінаў Скандынавіі з мэтай падрыхтоўкі
тэматычных публікацыяў на працягу 2019 года.
Чакаецца, што конкурсныя матэрыялы павінны з’явіцца ў прэсе ў перыяд з 1 лістапада
2017 г. па 31 кастрычніка 2018 года.
Матэрыялы конкурсу маюць быць скіраваныя на разгляд журы на электронны
адрас з паметкай «Конкурс» не пазней за 30 лістапада 2018 года.
Сярод пераможцаў конкурсу мінулых гадоў – Наталля Касцюкевіч, TUT.BY , Улад
Швядовіч, “Наша Ніва” , Вікторыя Біран, Makeout


    Stockholm -- The 2nd Bears International Culture Festival has ended after four days  -- October 15-18, 2018 -- as part of the ongoing 3rd Nordic Rainbow History & Culture Month - October, 2018.

      The themes included the importance of Bears on the rainbow barricades, co-operation with collleagues in Eastern  Europe, Bear culture in art, photography, poetry, films and music and future plans for Bear activities both in the Nordic zone and beyond. 

    The highlight of the Bear discussions was provided by visiting Norwegian John Earhart, head of the Norwegian Bamse Bear organization, and his focusing on exchange with Norway and support for the Bear organizations in Ukraine and Russia and elsewhere in Eastern Europe (see statements below). 

     "We also plan a future visit to colleagues in Belarus and want also to bring Bears in Poland into our activities," Earhart said.

    The session was also informed about information efforts by Nordic Bears-Sweden -- providing a web portal for all Bear organizations -- both in the Nordic region and beyond -- displaying information on their coming Bear events.

    Concerning future events, Earthart also encouraged participation in the next Bearty-Tallinn days in the Estonian capital -- April 11-14, 2019 -- which annually promotes different aspects of Bear culture -- art, music, films -- and attracts Bears from Estonia, Russia, Ukraine, Finland, Sweden, Norway and elsewhere and has guest Bear culture workers participating from France, the U.K., Canada,  USA and other countries.  The theme this time will again be Bear art and photography.

     This 3rd Nordic Rainbow History & Culture Month October 2018 started in the northern Swedish city of Umeå, continued to the Estonian cities of Tallinn and Rakvere, followed by the Swedish city of Södertälje and then to Stockholm including the Bear culture festival..  3rd Month events will continue in Helsinki, Åbo/Turku,  Espo, Riga, Vilnius, Bergen and Oslo.
   The next  Bear International Bear Culture & History Festival will take place in Budapest, in mid-April, 2019 -- following the Bearty-Tallinn days in Estonia.  

    More information coming on the exact dates and programs .

Bill Schiller, international secretary for Bears International

Written Statements from Bear organizations in EstoniaRussia and Belarus read out at the Bear Festival:

     "Dear friends, we wish you wonderful days and sessions ahead, hearing and discussing how culture is and should more than anything else be used to stand proud and help spread the pride - especially for those who cannot speak openly for their own rights. 

     Tallinn-Bearty keeps going because our mission is to advance equal rights, both within the Bear community and beyond its borders. 

     Let’s do it!”   Have a great session these days and let us know how it goes, hugs!

Akvar and Dimitry  +372 56 155494  TALLINN BEARTY team   +372 5615 5494

"Hello everybody, who takes part in the 2nd Bear Cultural Festival in Stockholm - October 15-18, 2018
and the 3rd Nordic Rainbow History & Culture Month - October, 2018.

We are Moscow Bears Club - the first Bear group in Russia since 1999.

Next year we will celebrate our 20th anniversary. And we are so proud to have a big friendship with other Bear clubs in Europe.

We do a lot for Bears in Russia to feel more freedom, for more communications. Organizing weekly and monthly Bear meetings and parties in Moscow. For the last 2 years, we are also having elections of Mr Bear Russia.

So, we need more support and are ready for working together with other Bear organizations.

Together we are power! And welcome to Moscow! Woof!    

Vladimir Bob Lyssenko, Moscow Bears   

  ( editor's note: Photographer Vladimir is the co-winner of the Bears International Arts Diploma, 2018 
    and will receive it in person at Bearty-Tallinn 2019)

    From all my heart I would like to send greetings to all the participants of the 3rd Nordic Rainbow History and Culture Month!

    Living in highly homophobic realities here in Belarus, LGBTQ journalists and human rights defenders get united in modest efforts to improve the situation in our country with the support of all good-willing people and initiatives from Belarus, Sweden, Canada, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Great Britain, the United States and other countres of the world. 

    Supporting each other, showing our personal stories and achievements, as well as highlighting the achievements of highly remarkable LGBTQ people in history, such as Leonardo da Vinci, Hans Christian Andersen, Piotr Chaikovski, Paul Verlain and others we contribute to making the global community friendly and supportive to the LGBTQ-people. 

    Little by little, in small steps, for the future generations, we are dropping the truth and kindness onto the stone of xenophobia, hatred, and disrespect. Sooner or later we will celebrate the complete destruction of the stone that will leading to equality and non-discrimination of LGBTQ-people all over the world!

     Let's stay strong and be diligent and persistent in meeting our goal!   Truth and wisdom are on our side!

Andrus'Journalists for Tolerance' human rights initiative and Lokys - Belarus Bears
Photos:  Alvar and Dimitry in Tallinn.  "Loved" by Canadian/UK artists Mike Wyeld and Charlie Hunter at exhibition in Tallinn,  "Bears" by Victor Adeniran - USA