Monday, December 21, 2020


Co-secretaries general Alvar and Dmitry at the international Bear gathering, Bearty-Tallinn, in the Estonian capital:

 Alvar Ameljushenko


co-secretary general John at Norwegian Bears, Oslo:


John Earhart  

      to help monitor the growing amount of Bear culture in art, photography, films, music, poetry around the world. 

      and to make recommendations for the annual Bears International award diplomas for art and international solidarity -- along with the Bears International award team.

   Working with the ILGCN Information Secretariat and other secretariats, this new secretariat aims to help challenge the homophobia of politicians, church leaders and media -- especially in Russia, Belarus and elsewhere -- insisting that all gays are skinny, misguided teenagers living on bar stools, contributing nothing to a nation's culture and identity, deserving no human rights and no protection from violent attacks from neo nazis and hooligans.



 1.Vladamir Bob Lysenko (Moscow, Russia)Bears International award-winning photographer, 
holding up the Bear International award diploma to Moscow Bears.
 2. Bear International award-winners Mike Wyeld and Charlie Hunter (UK/Canada) with Alvar (middle) at their "Love" exhibition in Tallinn.  
3. Albert Koomen (Australia)Bear International award-winner for his film, "Bear in the Bedroom"
4. John Earhart (Norway) receiving his Bear International diploma at a Bearty-Tallinn event.
Albert Koomen (Australia)Bear International award-winner for his film, "Bear in the Bedroom"

John Earhart (Norway) receiving his Bear International diploma at a Bearty-Tallinn event.

Bear International award-winners Mike Wyeld and Charlie Hunter (UK/Canada) with Alvar (middle) at their "Love" exhibition in Tallinn.

Vladamir Bob Lysenko (Moscow, Russia)Bears International award-winning photographer, 
holding up the Bear International award diploma to Moscow Bears.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

TUPILAK & ILGCN 5th Nordic Rainbow Month Over

Stockholm -- The 5th Nordic Rainbow History & Culture Month - October, 2020 started at the Hanninge Culture House in a suburb of the Swedish capital with Swedish performer, Louise Blad exhibition of pioneering UK lesbian Jackie Forster, followed by the Heartfest LGBT Film Festival in the Estonian towns of Rakvere and Tartu.

At Stockholm meetings filled with presentations, poetry, film screenings and art work from Tupilak's (Nordic rainbow culture workers) and ILGCN's (international rainbow culture network) 70-nation rainbow art and photography exhibition, a number of Tupilak and ILGCN awards were presented.
ILGCN's "Arco Nordica" (the blue rainbow) awards for 2020 were handed out to Petter Wallenberg and Vincent Ferrigan and his Sidetrack bar staff for starting and helping fund the first LGBT Rainbow Riot community center in Kampala, Uganda. The ceremony took place at Sidetrack bar.
Tupilak's awards for men "Thor's Hammer" were handed out to Swedish poet/performer/artist Leif Holmstrand, Sweden's Peter Roth for songs/lectures on HIV, addiction life and death, Jan Göransson of the Swedish Film Institute for supporting LGBT films, film screenings and film makers.
Tupilak's Sowelu award winners for women cultural workers, Kaisa Färlin and Moa Lingnell, Swedish singers and Catarina Harline, Swedish photographer, are to receive their awards later on.
One of the most impressive presentations by Ida Måwe of Ottar, publication of RFSU -- internationally pioneering Swedish organization promoting sexual education and often focusing on LGBT questions.
Other remarkable presentations came with Sweden's Christine Zawall playing the piano and journalist Kirsti Kajanne of Finland, singing the text of Finnish writer, Tove Jansson. Swedish artist Kennet Linquist provided live painting actions at several events during the Month.
Solidarity salutes to Polish, Belarus Colleagues
Also discussed future Polish-Swedish LGBT co-operation and exchange hopefully with support from the Polish Institute in Stockholm, and Belarus-Swedish exchange -- hopefully with support from the Swedish Institute -- which has earlier supported Swedish-Belarus projects.
One meeting during the month took place at the Stockholm City Hall with Tupilak graphic artists and Torun Boucher, (Left Party), vice chair of Stockholm Cultural Council about her highly praised plans to paint the thousands of dull grey, electricity boxes in the city.
Events were small in size and a number of guests were not able to attend in these virus times, but greetings to the "Nordic Month" came from Iceland, Lithuania, Latvia, Denmark, Norway, Finland and others.
One gathering during the Month sent a message from its October 24 event at Stockholm's Hjorthagen Culture House to the MIX LGBT Film Festival in Copenhagen -- hosting on that same day one of the series of Nordic rainbow seminars -- arranged by the Nordic Council of Ministers -- taking place in a series of Nordic cities and focusing on Nordic LGBT co-operation.
Tupilak also announced the 2020 Golden Tupilak went to the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court for her support of LGBT rights -- the first time the award has gone posthumously and to the USA.
The Bifrost (the viking name for "rainbow") award linking the homoseuxal and heterosexual worlds has gone to Costa Rica for being the first nation in Central America legalizing same-sex marriage.
In neighboring Norway, one event during the Nordic Month included the presentaton of a book by the late British writer, Elas Wallace from the Paradise Press-London, as part of the ILGCN "Sappho in Paradise" award to the LGBT Archives in the city of Bergen. The book was handed over by ILGCN Norwegian ambassador, John Earhart -- president of the Norwegian Bears.
Month Events Postponed Until 2021
Two of the Month's planned events had to be postponed until early 2021 -- discussions of Swedish-Estonian LGBT co-operation with the visiting head of the Heartfest film festival and the 1st Estonian LGBT choir -- Keio Soomelt -- also receiving the ILGCN's "Orfeo Zelim" music award.
And Greenlandic-Swedish co-operation, with visiting Greenlandic activist, Nuka Carmen Bisgaard -- who has also received the Tupilak's "Loke's Sister" award for promoting trans culture -- a visit to Stockholm to be made possible with contributions from FPES -- Sweden's trans organization, and the Nordic Institute in Nuuk.
"A third event planning in early 2021 was inspired by the excellent film, "If I Could Speak" screened on the last day of the Month and from the national LGBT organization of SETA-Finland about elderly LGBT people in Finland," says Bill Schiller of Tupilak and the ILGCN.
"We will call this the "Elli's Rainbow Festival" -- films, poetry and presentations focusing on the often-ignored and yet enormous contribution of the elderly to each nation's LGBT culture, identity and history in the Nordic region and beyond."
Elli was the female goddess of Old Age of the Viking sagas, who wrestled the macho god, Thor to the ground.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020


The 8-nation award diploma team of Bears International has awarded the 2020 Iolaus diploma to Aleksei Grachev of St. Petersburg for outstanding courage and bravery, with the motivation: 

"... for strong determination to defy homophobic attitudes of Russia´s political and religious leaders, a hostile media, intolerance and even violence from hooligans and homophobes, .... for the pioneering creation of SP Bears and SP Leather Club, and organizing Russian Leather Prides with both local, national and much international participation, .... for illustrating that a so-called "handicapp" -- hearing or otherwise -- need not be a hinder to great works and initiatives but can be an ignition to accomplish even more."

" -- and for confirming that Bears are a vital element of the LGBT struggle – proving that gays come in all sizes, all ages, all professions, all races and ethnic backgrounds, all nationalities, native-born and refugees and immigrants,  all religious or non-religious backgrounds."

The award diplom was presented in an usual venue -- a Moscow Bear sauna party -- by Bears International-award winning photographer Vladimir Bob Lysenko from Moscow.  

St. Petersburg Bear event, with Moscow activist Vladimir Bob Lysenko reading the motivation for the Bears International Iolaus 2020 award diploma to Bear activist, Aleksei Grachev.

The "Iolaus 2020" is shared with  Belarus LGBT Journalists for Tolerance and the Lokys Bears of Belarus.


Ancient Greek Male Lovers

The award diploma is decorated with the beautiful drawing of ancient Greek heroes, Iolaus and his lover, Hercules provided by Spanish artist, Manolo Yanes from his series "Ancient Friends" -- a series of drawings of male homosexual lovers of ancient Greek gods and heroes -- rekindling sometimes forgotten names of the past and confirming that gays not only have a proud and dignified history, but are indeed every where and every when.

  This 2020 award diploma joins the other Bears International awards: the "Calais" (the ancient Greek lover of Orpheus) for international travel and networking and the "Hyacinthus" (the ancient Greek lover of Apollo -- god of art and light) for Bear art and photography. 


2019 Iolaus Award to Bears in Moscow

As earlier reported, Bears International presented the 2019 Iolaus award to the Moscow Bear Club in connection with their 20th year anniversary.
The motivation was: "…in this their 20th anniversary year -- for strong determination, bold insistence on surviving and flourishing despite the homophobic attitudes of the nation’s political and religious leaders, despite a hostile media and despite the intolerance and even violence of Russian hooligans and neo Nazis."

"... and for confirming that the colors of the rainbow stretched over geographic and psychological borders do not grow dimmer but stronger and more brilliant."

Aleksei Grachev 
Aleksei Grachev 
Iolaus and his lover, the bearded Hercules by Spanish artist, Manolo Yanes

Iolaus and Hercules

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Swedish LGBT Delegation to Polish Embassy in Stockholm

Stockholm -- A LGBT delegation met with the head of the political and economic section, Iwona Jablonowska,  of the Polish Embassy in Stockholm recently to protest over the arrest and detention of Polish activists placing rainbow flags on statues in Warsaw and on the growing number of Polish towns, cities and provinces declaring themselves "LGBT Free" and setting up border signs to this effect.

Dr. Jablonowska promised to check on the legal proceedings against well-known Polish activist, Margot Sztowicz, which she insists was the only activist involved still jailed for the event with rainbow flags and was arrested because of violence and damages caused in the event.

EU Cities Break with Polish "LGBT-Free" Cities and Towns

She also insisted that the "LGBT Free" declarations have no legal consequences and that the civil rights of LGBT people in these some 100 zones have not been diminished, but agreed that they had serious psychological effects.  Noting that a number of European "twin cities" have broken off  relations with their partners and that the European Union has severed financial support for local projects in these "LGBT Free" areas. 

She also promised to provide the full list of the Polish "LGBT Free " areas in order to inform those 36 Swedish cities and towns with twinning projects in Poland about the possible status of the "LGBT Free" zone  there.

Several of the Swedish delegates emphasized that the concept of "LGBT Free" was reminicent of the "Juden Frei" policy of Nazi Germany in Poland and the rest of occuppied Europe, and these days promotes hatred and violence against LGBT people.

The diplomat was also informed that the once lively exchange of LGBT culture workers between Sweden and Poland supported by official institutes disappeared several years ago, and she promised to investigate how this could be re-established.

The delegate from Queer Amnesty, Réne Prada,  handed over a statement to be delivered to the Polish minister of justice to guarantee the human rights of LGBT persons in Poland, with demands for en end to anti-discrimination rhetoric in Poland encourging more violence and hatred, for the adoption of punishment for anti-LGBT hate crimes such as legislation existing in Sweden and many other European countries and pointing out that surveys show Poland as the worst place in Europe for LGBT people.

The Swedish LGBT delegates came from Amnesty InternationalTupilak (Norddic rainbow culture workers) and the ILGCN (international rainbow culture network) Information Secretariat.
Photos: Warsaw mermaid statue with rainbow flag, Polish town sign "LGBT-Free"

Saturday, September 19, 2020


Stockholm -- Representatives of Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers) and the ILGCN (international rainbow culture network) Information Secretariat-Stockholm joined with Dr. Anna Hájková, Czech/UK from her home in England with a Zoom connection, presenting some of her research into "Queer History in the Holocaust" -- describing the challenges and the difficulties in finding materials and working in areas not always supported by universities and other institutions.

The September 15, 2020 event also included the award to Dr. Hájková of the ILGCN's "Orfeo Iris 2020" award honoring "outstanding contributions to research on LGBT people in Nazi and neo Nazi times."

The motivation reads: "for the crucial, often ignored research -- also with books and numberous articles -- on the fate of LGBT people in the Nazi death camps."

The award is named after "iris" -- the rainbow, and the ancient Greek musician, Orpheus, whose powerful music could calm elven the demons of the underworld and who was proud of his male lovers, including Calais -- a fellow sailor on the Argos.

Earlier winners of the Orfeo Iris include the U.S. Holocaust Museum which had a gay researcher stationed in Europe to carry out work on homosexuals in the Holocaust, the Malmö City Museum in southern Sweden -- for arranging an exhbition on neo Nazi attacks and murders of homosexuals and immigrants, a controversial German ex-priest and author - revealing discrimination of LGBT people in the Catholoic Church, German and Austrian university students carrying out research on homophobic atrocities by the Nazis -- defying professors who insisted such work was unimportant, and the Museum of Auschwitz in Poland -- for including homosexuals in the list of those imprisoned and murdered there -- unlike many other museums, exhibitions, documentaries, news programs and anniversary events leaving out LGBT people in their lists of victims of the Nazis.
One of the important paricipants in the Zoom was Barbara Frölich of the Anti-Fascist organization in Vienna -- who will meet Dr. Hájková during her October visit to the Austrian capital.
The Zoom event was arranged since the virus has made planned travel to Sweden impossible at this time, but Dr. Hájková will come to Stockholm next year -- for more discussions and face-to-face questioning.
The Tupilak/ILGCN presentations planned for September 16 as part of the "Holocaust" event -- including comments on the Swedish-led LGBT official visit to Auschwitz 20 years ago, Franco's gay concentration camp Tefiá on Fuerteventura 10 years after Auschwitz was liberated, and the recent gay concentration camps in Checnya -- will be delivered in Stockholm on October 17 -- as part of the 5th National Rainbow History & Culture Month.
More information: facebooks "Tupilak" "ILGCN"

Photos/art: Orpheo and his Calais, Anna Hájkova, award dip

Monday, August 17, 2020



Stockholm -- August 9, the ILGCN (international rainbow culture network)-initiated International Day of Rainbow Culture -- was marked in the Swedish capital, in the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Argentina, Denmark, Canada, Spain, Italy and other places.

The date was chosen also as the birthday of well-loved Finnish painter and author, Tove Jansson, creator of the internationally-known figure of Mumintroll. The event in Stockholm included literary quotations from Tove Jansson read by Swedish singer and musician, Jan Hammarlund, also singing some of his own songs. And Christine Zawall reading her own poetry -- both members of Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers).

"We had the keep the events on line or small gatherings in the days of the virus, but we are pleased a few of us could get together to salute the day and to honor Tove Jansson, who received a Tupilak award diploma and was a member of Tupilak in the last years of her life," says Bill Schiller of Tupilak and the ILGCN Information Secretariat-Stockholm.


"We are also very proud that the Gay Authors Workshop in London chose this date for its reading of works from its members in a session chaired by Rosemary J.! Based in London, the group has members all over the United Kingdom and in Canada and New Zealand. The GAW has also created the Paradise Press publishing books and poetry from LGBT authors.

Together with the ILGCN, the Paradise Press has created the "Sappho in Paradise" award diploma -- honoring authors, poets, publishers, libraries and archives -- this year going to the Skeivt Arkiv -- the LGBT Archive -- of the University of Bergen, Norway."

The Stockholm event also saluted the 100th year anniversary of the birth of internationally-known Finnish artist, Tuuoko Lakssonen, (Tom of Finland,) whose internationally-known art work has changed the way gays looked at themselves and how the world looked at gays.


Members of the Stockholm event also united in a strong protest to the Polish Embassy here over the arrest and detention of Polish transgender activist, Margot of the "Stop Bzduron -- Stop the Nonsense" -- detained with activist lesbians for placing rainbow flags on public statues in Warsaw -- including the legendary mermaid who 'saved the city from attack.' Following violent clashes with police by those defending Margot and others defending LGBT rights has resulted in many injured and some 50 arrested.

"These arrests are an exaggerated reaction of censorship and a brutal violation of freedom of expression. A rainbow flag does not damage a statue but only gives it some well-needed color," says Schiller.


The event also announced the winners of the ILGCN "Orfeo Imago 2020" award diplomas honoring outstanding LGBT artists and photographers. They are Sarah Jane Moon, painter from New Zealand/UK, Victor Adeniran - painter from Colorado, USA and Patrick Mc Donald -- German photographer, model and publisher of the high-quality male art magazine "Juturna" -- giving space to veteran and new-coming rainbow artists and models.

The award is named after the ancient Greek musician, Orpheus, whose beautiful music could calm even the demons of the underworld and who was proud of his male lovers, including Calais -- a fellow sailor on the legendary Argo.

In Canada, the ILGCN secretary general of the Literature Secretariat, Ian Stewart, read up an apology from the Canadian government he and others received for the earlier dismissal of LGBT members from the military:

" On behalf of HER MAJESTY'S CANADIAN GOVERNMENT the Canada Pride Citation is hereby granted to you in recognition of your valuable service to Canada and the hardship you endured as a result of the historical policies and practices in connection with the LGBT Purge.

The Stockholm event also included a musical greeting from the ILGCN cultural ambassadors of Argentina -- Juliette Brizzi and Marysol del Pablo -- with a salute to ILGCN colleagues all over the world and with the song ending with a Swedish toast" - "Skål!"

More information: facebooks: "ILGCN," "Tupilak" "Bill Schiller"

Photos: Argentine singers, Swedish singer Jan Hammarlund, poet Christine Zawall, Polish rainbow flags, Work/portraits of Sarah Jane Moon, Victor Adeniran, Patrick Mc Donald. Tove Jansson, Mumin, Tuuoko Lakksonen, Tom of Finland, Ian in Canada, August 9 wine and food served in Stockholm by Willi & Shahram, Tupilak logo, ILGCN logo

Friday, July 24, 2020

ILGCN Calling -- July, 2020

Hello ILGCN cultural ambassadors, co-ordinators, secretary generals, friends and contacts:

A reminder:  August 9  International Day of Rainbow Culture/Tove Jansson's birthday.   Make a "skål" to the day and to Tove and maybe to Touko Laaksonen (Tom of Finlandis this the 100th anniversary year of his birth.   Maybe read a line from Tove ("All things are so very uncertain, and that's exactly what makes me feel reassured.")...?   A photo of you on your own (or with friends) for ILGCN facebook  and/or webpublication Erato..?

Proposal for Clios Silver Cup (for LGBT history) ´(named for Clio - ancient Green muse for historic peotry and the Warren Cup --ancient Roman silver cup decorated with male homosexual pairs.) Sam Hultin (Sweden) (she provides audioguide historical LGBT trips, guided tours and  seminars and donates profits to refugees in Sweden.)


Other, coming ILGCN awards:

"Arco Nordica" (for Nordic co-operation)  Petter Walllenberg (Sweden - for starting "Rainbow Riots" 
Uganda's first LGBT community center), Vincent Ferrigan & Side Track (Stockholm bar -- fundraising 
for Uganda's Rainbow Riot center.) (Presentation:  Stockholm.)  August.

"Sappho in Paradise" -- ILGCN/Paradise Press - London (for authors, publishers, archives) for the Skeivt Arkiv (Queer Archive - Bergen, Norway).  (Presentation in Oslo or Bergen.)

"Orpheo Iris" (for research in LGBT presence in the Holocaust, neo nazi activities)  Dr. Anna Hájková (Czech/UK) 
"Queer History of  the Holocaust."  (Presentation: Stockholm)  September 15-16  

"Orfeo/Zelim Bakeav Musica" (named after murdered gay Chechnyan singer) -- 1st Estonian LGBT
 Choir   (presentation in Tallinn during the Rakvere Heartfest LGBT Film Festival)  October

Latest additions to the ILGCN/Tupilak International Rainbow Art & Photography Exhibition:

Claude Cahun (France -- artist, anti Nazi activist)

Krisheel Othman (Fiji)

Önder Özgenc (Konya, Turkey)

appho and Erinna (by Simeon Solomon, UK)

Sarabindu (Bangladesh)

Troy Jamison (Brisbane Australia)

Troy Jobson Bolt (Kenya)

Leon Espinosa (Mexico/Norway)

Future events:

ILGCN co-operation with HOSI-Wien - solidarity salute to rainbow colleagues in Poland and Hungary.
               Vienna   September or October.   (ILGCN colleagues welcome!)

ILGCN/Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers) 5th Nordic Rainbow History & Culture
 Month OctoberTupilak award: "Loke's Sister" (promotion of trans culture) to Nuka Carmen Bisgaard(Greenland).   

Thursday, April 30, 2020


In this time of the virus hindering get-togethers, Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers) and the ILGCN (international rainbow culture network) Information Secretariat-Stockholm join the world-wide celebration digitally on facebooks, websites, etc. -- honoring IDAHO DAY on this anniversary of the World Health Organization's declaration that homosexuality is not an illness:

"Breaking the Silence! Smashing Invisibility!"

Rainbow art & photography, film, music and future events:

TOM OF FINLAND -- a special birthday salute to Touko Laaksonen, on the 100th anniversary of his birth in Finland on May 8th -- a tribute to the man who changed the way the world looked at the gay man.

Latest additions of more LGBT art and photography to the Tupilak/ILGCN International Art and Photography Exhibition -- now with works from over 70 nations. (available on request!)

Felix Garmendia (Puerto Rico), Sergei Dudik (Russia/Berlin), Tupilak award ceremony at Norwegian Embassy in Kiev, Alirezan Shojainan (Iran/Paris), Lynx Dean (Canada), Alaa Haziem (Syria/Sweden), Zelim Bakeav (Chechnya), Barbara Hammer (USA), Wenjie Ding (China).

Song: "Race Against Time" -- Peter Fröberg, former Swedish ILGCN cultural ambassador

Coming events:

August 9 -- International Day of Rainbow Culture (birthday of Finnish author Tove "Mumintroll" Jansson!).

September 15 - Stockholm, etc.:

"Queer History of the Holocaust," (often ignored by other researchers, exhibitions, media coverage) -- Dr. Anna Hajkova, Czech Republic/UK (winner of ILGCN's 2020 Orpheus Iris award for research in this field)

"1st LGBT Delegation to Auschwitz -- 20 year anniversary," An internatonal delegation led by Tupilak/ILGCN (outraging right-wing Polish parliamentarians and media and a homophobic pope demanding in vain the dismissal of the Auschwitz Museum chief). Bill Schiller - Tupilak/ILGCN

"LGBT Monuments around the world -- but none in the Nordic region. Why?"

Film: "LGBT Monuments around the World" -- Willi Reichhold, Tupilak, Sweden in this the 75th year of the liberation of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz.

October -- 6th NORDIC MONTH of RAINBOW HISTORY & CULTURE -- in Stockholm and other Nordic cities on both sides of the Baltic Sea. Including:

-- the 2nd NORDIC PRIDE -- focusing on Nordic rainbow culture, history and solidarity often lost in other national and international Prides.



Stockholm -- The ILGCN (international rainbow culture network) 2020 ORPHEUS IRIS award diploma goes to Dr. Anna Hájková, the Czech/UK researcher looking at the victims of the Holocaust and especially the ILGCN victims of oppression and extermination.

The award diploma notes that many other film, exhibitions and other presentations of the Holocaust deliberately ignore the LGBT element . This included many media presentations even of this the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz," says Bill Schiller of the ILGCN.

"We hope to hand over the award diploma at a Stockholm seminar this September," says Schiller.

The award has gone earlier to German and Austrian historians and researchers discussing LGBT presence in the Nazi concentration camps and neo-Nazi persecution afterwards -- and the Auschwitz Museum -- receiving the first ever LGBT delegation to the outrage of right-wing Polish parliamentarians and press and even the homophobic pope demanding in vain the dismissal of the museum boss.
The award is named after "Iris" -- the rainbow -- and Orpheus, the ancient Greek hero of astounding music soothing even the demons of the underworld -- proud of his love for both women and men -- something condemned by the younger, homophobic religions both east and west.

Dr Anna Hájková is associate professor of History at the University of Warwick. She is a Holocaust historian who explores queer desire in the Holocaust. As a first one, she has suggested we explore same sex relationships between Jewish victims in the concentration camps and ghettos, and examine the wide-spread homophobia in the prisoner society.

She has introduced the topic to national newspapers and radio in Germany, US, Israel, and the Czech Republic, as well as academic articles.

Currently, she is writing a book on an enforced relationship between two women in a Hamburg concentration camp: a guard and a Jewish prisoner. Hájková also serves on board of the Czech Society for Queer Memory

Sunday, March 15, 2020

TUPILAK/ILGCN Salute to Anti-Discrimination Day, 75th Anniversary of Auschwitz Liberation


The cultural event of Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers) and the ILGCN (international rainbow culture network) Information Secretariat-Stockholm on March 7, 2020 in the Swedish capital was a salute to the coming annual United Nations Anti-Discrimination Day -- the anniversary of the Sharpeville Massacre in South Africa -- on March 21st -- and the 75th anniversary year of the liberation of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz in Poland.

The event included strong music of Elise Street of Sweden and a video greeting from Polish gay art historian, Tomasz Kitlinski, facing a 2 year-prison term for publically defending LGBT people, Jews, women and others from attacks from Polish neo Nazis. His message came from Lublin -- one of a 100 Polish cities putting up signs declaring the place to be "LGBT Free" similar to the "Juden Frei" signs of the Nazi occupation of Poland.

Part of the event's art exhibit included "The Polish Table" with posters, books and catalogues of LGBT art of Poland and Eastern Europe created by Kitlinski and his partner, Polish art historian Pavel Leszkowicz -- works both from modern times and centuries past.

The Polish Table

Another presentation was made by Anna Giertz of Sweden about the new "Rosa Brus" project collecting sounds, poetry, music of the Swedish LGBT community in the past and present -- a project working in collaboration with Tupilak. Future Rosa Brus events will take place in Gothenberg and the northern Swedish city of Umeå.

Anna Glertz
Elise Street
Rolf Solheim

First Official Rainbow Visit to Auschwitz

A number of events in many cities have marked the 75th anniversary of Auschwitz, but few have mentioned that LGBT people also perished in that Polish and other Nazi camps," says Bill Schiller of Tupilak/ILGCN. "We were proud to have been the first official LGBT delegation to Auschwitz several years ago -- handing over a diploma to the head of Auschwitz Museum for mentioning LGBT in the information listing the category of prisoners. 

"Our members also played the first music in the camp since WWII -- when prisoners were commanded to play music to calm the frightened inmates coming off the train cattle-cars delivering victims to the camp," Schiller added. "Our visit outraged the right-wing Polish parliamentarians demanding in vain the dismissal of the museum chief, some right-wing Polish media and even the pope!"

Future Tupilak Events in Gothenburg, Estonia, Stockholm

Tupilak chair, Sarah Florén of Sweden, described coming events such as participating in the international Bear event in the Estonian capital of Tallinn in April, in the WestPride event in Gothenburg in June, the International Day of Rainbow Culture, August 9, the LGBT Heartfest Film Festival in Rakvere, Tallinn and Tartu in early October, the 5th Nordic Rainbow History & Culture Month - October, including the 2nd Nordic Pride event.

"We were pleased to be informed that the ILGCN cultural ambasador of Hungary, musician Thomas Lovas, is to be honored with an award diploma in Budapest on March 21 by the Anti-Fascist Movement of Hungary," Schiller added.

Alex Colard

Art work of high quality was displayed by French New Yorker living in Stockholm, Alex Colard, and examples from the Tupilak & ILGCN international rainbow art and photography exhibition -- with works from over 70 countries.

"We were also pleased to be informed that the ILGCN cultural ambasador of Hungary, musician Thomas Lovas, is to be honored with an award diploma in Budapest on March 21 by the Anti-Fascist Movement of Hungary," Schiller added.

Iranian Salute to Lebanese Singer, Egyptian Protesters

Another written contribution came from most recent addition to the Tupilak/ILGCN exhibition, Iranian, Paris-resident Shojaian Alirezan, sending a message to the meeting describing how he has replaced the classical 15th-century two women in a bath tub -- one pinching the other's nipple -- with two males -- one the openly gay Lebanese singer, Hamed Sinno of the Lebanese band, Mashrou Leila, pinching the nipple of man with a jackel´s head -- the Egyptian god of the underworld, Anubis!

"This is a tribute to the gays who raised rainbow flags in Cairo during a Mashrou Leila concert only to be quickly arrested by the police," writes Shojainan. "This is the situation in much of the Middle East." Some of these flag wavers have received asylum in Canada.

Alireza Shojainan and his painting

Bill Schiller (photo by Alex Colard) 

More information: