ILGCN & Tupilak join Minsk Pride  

ILGCN & Tupilak join Minsk Pride
Minsk/Stockholm: Seminars on Swedish legislation on homosexuality and on Homoculture = Human Rights, Swedish and Nordic gay & lesbian art, films and stage performers were all part of the Gay Pride & Cultural Festival in  Belorussia in September.
Published in ERATO No 14: Autumn 1999

hanks to a financial grant from the Swedish Institute, two Swedes were able to be on the scene for the pioneering event in Minsk, along with delegations from Russia, the Ukraine and Britain.

The event was organised by the Belorussian gay publication „Forum Lambda“(FL) despite the regime’s refusal to recognise the legality of the organisation itself and despite enormous homophobia in the country.

The festival was the target of a masked police raid, during which 3 participants were beaten. The Swedish-ILGCN Seminar "Homo-Culture = Human Rights" was cancelled at the University of Culture at the last moment by homophobic professors, despite being previously approved by the rector. The seminar was moved to the Tatyana Film Institute - which hosts international women’s and human rights film festivals - and where Swedish and other gay and lesbian feature and doc-films were screened for two days. Courageous institute employees have pledge future co-operation with similar events.

The seminars at the University of International Relations - organised with the help of a Swedish U.N. Development program employee in Minsk - were undisturbed. For the first time in the uni’s history, a series of discussions on gay rights legislation and the situation of lesbians and gays in the participating organisations, including Sweden were held. During the festival visiting gay activists were also able to visit human rights organisations in Minsk, as well as Belorussian and other cultural institutes to discuss co-operation.

Some of those who had previously hesitated due to the widespread homophobia, have agreed to support Forum Lambda.

The Belorussian Amnesty International group expressed a strong desire to co-operate and prepared a list of cultural projects involving FL, Tupilak and the ILGCN. Several programs of co-operation between organisations represented were agreed.

The small but growing number of gays emerging on the commercial scene in Minsk expressed admiration for the work of the activists and their ability to organise a Pride & Cultural Festival after only a year in existence.

The ILGCN cultural ambassador singer/musician, Peter Fröberg  joined colleagues from Belorussia and the Ukraine in a club in Minsk providing festival participants with cabaret programs.

80 - Films for Human Rights - a list

issued by the ILGCN  for activists including the AI Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, &Transgender  Network - available from

C. de la Motte-Sherman from the Berlin ILGCN for minimum 6 DM or 2 GBP inc. postage


Colin de la Motte-Sherman (1999)

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