1. Mexico City, Mexico; Lars Ivar Owesen-Lein Borge, firstname.lastname@example.org ; [+52] (155) 5547 2276
2. New York, NY; USA; Brendan Fay, email@example.com ; 1-718-721-27803. San Diego, CA; USA; Michael Mussman, firstname.lastname@example.org. San Francisco, CA; USA; Michael Petrelis, email@example.com ; 1-415-621-62675. Stockholm, Sweden; Bill Schiller, firstname.lastname@example.org ; 46-8-784 7240
As we have expressed before, in Mexico City, we are very much in favour of 4 August as the International Day of Solidarity. What we want to do here, is to organise a large outdoor community event on Saturday in the heart of our pink neighbourhood during the day with many different activities, artistic events and information stands by different groups and organisations.
During the month of July the participating organisations, will collect signatures via their webpages, and on 4 August, we will collect signatures all day long in the actual event.Then, on Monday after the event, the committee (which now has representatives from 10 different organisations in Mexico City) will go to the Embassy and deliver our letter.Here in Mexico City we now have a web site for our 4 August event as well as a new banner in the front page of Enkidu Magazine which takes you to the new page, which still is under development. More information will be added in the next days.
We had an emotional, but very productive and interesting debate here about how to call the event, and we have ended up with this title in Spanish for the event in Mexico City: Dia de Solidaridad Global de las Diversidades.
Mexico has an overwhelming cultural diversity, and many ethnic and cultural communities in Mexico have various traditional gender and sexual identities, which cannot be easily fit into the label LGBTTTQ. The most well-known example are the Muxe in Oaxaca in the south of Mexico, where local Muxe activists often have felt intimidated and threatened by westernised urban middle class activists who have attempted to integrate them into one of the trans-categories.Many Mexican regions also have several categories of homosexual men with traditional identities in their communities that reject being labelled as "gay" because this is an imported and alienating term that for them refers to the shining westernised gay subcultures of the big cities and not to anything related to their realities.
I think that we all share the hope that the Global Solidarity Day will develop into something really global, which hopefully in the future also will be celebrated in places like India, the Middle East or Africa with multitudes of traditional sexual and gender identities that may not fit into any of the Western LGBTTTQ categories, but should definitely feel included here.Therefore, we wanted to share this reflection with you, and tell you why we will promote this day in Mexico as "Global Diversities Solidarity Day" rather than Gay Solidarity Day or LGBT Solidarity Day this year.
If anyone has any thoughts about these issues, please let us know. Our discussion here will certainly continue since we also consider it important that this day, being a Global initiative, also has a global identity and more or less the same name in all languages, so we definitely appreciate global input on this.
Dear Mikael and colleagues!
Thanks for the flood of e-mails concerning August 4 as a day of international rainbow solidarity! Great to see new cities and new ideas jumping onto to the list!
I think the planned salute to South Africa is a smashing idea -- a healthy balance of praise and outrage -- showing what has to be done and what is being accomplished!
Would only like to comment that from our Nordic/Baltic perspective, the reluctant decisions to finally give green lights to pride parades in Poland and Latvia are very new -- with enormous homophobic forces trying to turn back the clocks -- so a "well done" message to Polish and Latvia consulates and embassies could be good "pats on the back" for those progressive elements facing much resistance at home.
If you're making placards or signs naming countries, of course Russia should be high on the list after this year's renewed anti-pride violence. And Belarus (White Russia) -- the last dicatorship of Eastern Europe -- where rainbows are in chains and where prides and international rainbow gatherings unthinkable.
We also urge you to put Lithuania on your list if you can. Their request last month to unfurl a big, rainbow flag in a downtown square in Vilnius during their first "Rainbow Days" in Vilnius was rejected by the city authorities for "security and moral reasons." Lithuania also then became the first European Union member to ban a travelling EU information bus handing out leaflets against discrimination because it included rainbow rights. "No Pride" religious fanatics and other homophobes were allowed to demonstrate in Vilnius against a pride event that never took place! Our colleagues in Vilnius could really use an international boost and a cheer from somewhere like Mexico City or San Francisco!
The list of "candidates" is long. But every nation mentioned on August 4 of course also stands for those next door or on the other side of the globe.
Proud to be with such an international crowd who cares.
Bill Schiller, for the International Lesbian & Gay Cultural Network Information Secretariat in Stockholm