A LETTER FROM
In keeping with BENT's practice of
bringing readers perspectives on queer and disability activism
worldwide (previous items originated in England,
Sweden and Ireland)
we offer the following opportunity for international queer
to all those who might read my (long) letter! I'm writing to you
on behalf of an Estonian organization called MeaCulpa. Just in
case you have no idea what I'm talking about, Estonia is a tiny
European country situated by the Baltic sea, with a population
of 1.4 million. Yes, it is extremely small.
year from 12 to 15 August we are organizing our very first Baltic
Pride celebration, for all three Baltic States (Latvia, Lithuania,
Estonia). Being former Soviet countries, homophobia and discrimination
are a big problem here,
as you can imagine. Called
Moonbow Pride,our event is intended to raise general awareness.
It will be be a noncommercial, cultural event, meant to declare:
"We are here and it is OK."
physical abuse and attacks against gays have diminished significantly
in the last few last years, mental violence still
makes it very difficult for most to come out. Even these days it
means very likely losing your job, being separated from your relatives,
and losing rights to your children (in custody cases, homosexuality
of a parent automatically brands the parent as a person of no moral
standards, as a pervert, and, if you are a lesbian, labels you virtually
Scandinavian neighbors have promised us moral support and to participate
in the march, so that next year our own people will have even more
the courage to come out and march with us. Most events will be open
for all publicjust to give them and easy and friendly way
to see gays and to get used to them not being possessed, diseased,
aggressive, or otherwise a threat
The first day, Thursday, will be a literature day, including poetry
readings. Friday will be dedicated to homo-related movies, both
entertainment and documentaries. On Saturday the actual march will
take place, and in the evening concerts with gay performers from
classic to pop. Sunday is dedicated to art, both done by homosexuals
or expressing homosexuality.
I am writing to you? We need all the support we can get. It would
be fantastic if you could publish information in your publication.
Our people are afraid to go out in the streets and get "labeled,"
so we are trying to get as many guests to support the event as possible.
If there are more people marching, it will be easier for all of
us to join in.
you are interested in making history with us, please feel free to
To reduce the costs of traveling, we will organize accommodations
with families, and provide information on traveling, hotels, etc.
Also, we are trying to get people whose words have greater meaning,
who, themselves being known and gay, would be willing to speak up.
Of course, traveling costs, etc. would be covered and we would gladly
assist in any other possible way to make them feel comfortable.
and ideas are more than welcome. We'd be glad to give you detailed
information about life in former Soviet countries, our organization,
and the Pride event. etc.
Website is available at www.meaculpa.ee,
though not much in English, sorry. You can also reach us by telephone
you for your help.