Thursday, June 13, 2024

Latest TUPILAK/ILGCN Awards - London, Vilnius, Anti-HIV/AIDS Culture

Stockholm – Information has reached the Swedish capital about the handing over of the latest award diplomas from Tupilak and the ILGCN -- the "Sappho in Paradise" (for literature and publications) also supported by the Paradise Press (London) -- to Kathryn Bell, long-time secretary of the Gay Authors' Workshop (UK) and celebrating her 90th birthday! and the "Rainbow Warrior 2024" to the Lithuanian Gay League (LGL) -- now celebrating it's 30th anniversary.

May 17 Report - Awards to "HIV/AIDS" Authors/Salute to IDAHOT Day
Stockholm - A "double" ceremony took place in the Swedish capital on Friday, May 17, 2024 -- one honoring two Swedish authors writing about the situation, the struggle and the long discrimination of people with HIV and AIDS, and a salute to the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia -- finally becoming a official United Nations day.

Kathryn's award also honors her partner, writer and poet, Elsa Bechett, who died in 2015. Creating Kathryn's diploma and handing it over, Peter Scott-Presland, theater man and member of the Gay Auhors' Workshop, has also earlier received a Tupilak/ILGCN award diploma. Another Workshop colleague handing over the diploma to Kathryn was Hastie Salih.

The diploma to the LGL also salutes their annual Baltic Pride co-operation with neighboring colleagues in Riga, Latvia and Tallinn, Estonia. Information about the coming Pride celebrations in Vilnius can be seen on facebook.

The Stockholm event took place at the offices of Sweden's PositHIVa Gruppen, with a warm welcome deliverd by the PG's Ola Ståhle. The award diplomas were given to Bodil Sjöström for her long work with HIV/AIDS cases and for her books, including the latest "Där Kärlek Sker" and Steve Sjöqvist, once close to death himself and for writing a series of books including the latest," "Vägen Valde Dig."

These award diplomas are named "Phanes" -- after the ancient Greek god of birth and creation. Also reading from his book, "A Muskalisk Valp" was Jan Hammarlund, veteran Swedish singer and song writer. Music and song was provided by Swedish singer/musician, Robert Hill.

Salute to IDAHOT Day
The event also paid tribute to the originator of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia – Caribbean-born Frenchman, Louis-Georges Tin. What started as only local events, IDAHOT has finally become a official United Nations day. Louis-Georges came to Stockholm to receive the Golden Tupilak award in 2005.

At the event, members of Swedish Amnesty's LGBTI group also commented on their work for rainbow rights and identity. Bill Schiller of Tupilak/ILGCN pointed out that the legal situation for LGBT people is getting worse including the growing number of the death penalty in a number of nations, and that even where legislation is o.k., the lack of rainbow cultural workers and events can scare LGBT people into total silence and invisibility.

Bodil, Steve, Jan (by Angelo Strina)

Bodil, Steve, Bill (by Angelo Strina)

Hastie and Kathryn

Peter and Kathryn