The event, which took place between March 11 – 13, 2011, with approximately 40 participants and many interesting speakers in Dresden was named „United under the Rainbow?“.
The organizers of Lesbian Spring Convention 2008 used their great experience to organize this successful event: the workshops had depth, the rooms were good, all of the three simultaneous translators have done an exceptionally job. And also the catering was quite fine. Also we got a first impression of the city of Dresden: the meeting on Friday night was placed in the women’s and young women’s health centre Medea, then it went to the Party on the occasion of international women’s day in the old town of Dresden and the venue itself was in the vicinity of women’s Centre anyway, where there was the dinner Saturday.
Poland / Hungary / Slovakia / Czech Republic
Saturday began with an informative and detailed abstract of legal equality in Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, and the Slovakia. As a result of EU accession, all countries had to introduce equality for lesbians and gays. This is very different: the most modern legislation has Hungary, bringing up the rear is Poland. Very quickly the question that more moves arose: the society or the legislation.
The powerpoint file will be available here in the coming days for the download.
Then I had to decide me: there was a workshop block to Hungary and one to Poland. I chose Poland. It was a very interesting lecture about the history of lesbian women in Poland. Already in 1841, there was a well known feminist lesbian named Narcyca Zmichowska. But you know that: none known. 1885 already there was the first feminist magazine the helmet in Poland, edited by Paulina Kuczelska Reinschmit. 1932 was the decriminalization of homosexuality, so very much earlier than ours in Germany (1994). In 1995, the first pride March in Warsaw took place, in 1996, was the first time (!) to see a lesbian in the Polish television. First Internet platforms (see below) founded at the end of the 1990s and still Polish lesbians fight against Church, State and society for a discrimination-free life.
The afternoon started again with a workshop block, this time went there to „Human rights with a focus Czech Republic“ or „Movement in the GDR“. Here, I decided to learn more about the LGBT movement in the Czech Republic. This is supported by majority of lesbians (60: 40). Also it is interesting to know that Eastern European lesbians with the same topics as we deal with: the CSD in Brno (Brno) is called „Queer Parade“, the Polish lesbian magazine „The Furry“ has in its current edition one article on Judith Butler and one on „Living in the age“ and the Czech lesbians just look like the German lesbians. And partnership and sexuality are the issues, which are most of interest 😉
„The lesbian Eastern at a turning point?“
After that, it was the first panel discussion. Topic was „The lesbian Eastern at the turning point?“ We have learned much about the realities of life of the individual speakers of married (-woman and -men), children, country living, city life and internet life. Main conclusion: The Internet has changed far more lesbian life as politics. And again, the question arises: is following the law of the (Internet) society or is it vice versa.
After that, it was a great dinner in the women’s Centre * anyway *. This is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen: old Villa, wooden floor, balustrade around and totally comfortable;-)
And in the evening then we saw the
(Hungary 2009, 90 min., Maria Takacs)
«11 Lesbian women between 45 and 70 years tell about their “hidden years“: how they have discovered their own identity and how they have tried to give it a name. Later concealment from their own families and their wider environment. About partners and community, friendships.
The film shocked me: when the pride March 2008 in Budapest male viewers with stones throw to the participants. Although they are separated by a fence of the parade. Despite police. In the year 2008. In a country that is so proud of its long time culture. Incredible.
There were two workshops. One that „Intersectionality in the LGBT movement“ and one to „Lesbians and Church“. Of the latter we will publish here also soon unit (English and German).
Smart as I was I was in the early morning of my nearest and dearest via SMS enlighten me, what is exactly intersectionality. She asked Google: „Intersectionality describes the overlap of different forms of discrimination in a person.“ And as an example: „lesbian, countyside and wise – very crummy!“;-)
The workshop was pretty good. We had lively discussions in small groups and have a lot of results. Also, soon more.
then was the final panel discussion. Here were in addition to the speakers still Renate Rampf, press officer of LSVD, and Beate Ziegler of MeRSI, amnesty international, both from Berlin, with on the podium. All were in agreement that the Conference has shown a wide range of personal contacts and that a continuation is desired. Wishes were so simple things like to translate German websites in other languages or translate lesbian books. And that we all are to support the activists on the ground: to the pride marches, festivals, to the pride weeks.
And also in Germany Eastern European lesbians are welcome:
- Of the 4-8 May 2011, the European Forum Christian Gay, lesbian, bisexuals and transgender organizations meets in Berlin. In 2010 the Board of management was enhanced to a woman from Moldova, which explicitly take care of contacts with Eastern European groups, and is generally to a Christian LGBT spirit of optimism in Eastern Europe, are also lesbians under which this year, which take part.
- The Lesbian Spring Convention, which takes place this year from 11-13 June in Rostock, explicitly invites lesbians from the Baltic States. Also Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, Denmark, Sweden and Finland. Parts of the website are translated in Russian and Polish.
LGBTIQ organizations of the speakers:
- Budapest pride 2011 (engl.) 11-19 June 2011, Hungary
- http://labrisz.hu Club „The Lesbian Association Labrisz“, Hungary
- Film “Secret Years” (Hungary 2009, 90 min., Mariá Takács):
- Czech PRIDE – queer parade Brno (Engl.), Czech Republic
- Lesba.cz – bring for lesbians, Czech Republic
- lesbijka.net – portal for lesbians, Poland
- KOBIETY kobietom.com women for women, community for lesbians, Poland
- porozumienie.lesbijek.org lesbian coalition with many political actions, Poland
- Popularinnastrona.pl – portal for Lesbian and gay, Poland
- Yes – we are! A documentary film project about lesbian activists in Poland
- Duhóvý pride Bratislava (Engl.) – March for queers equalization, Slovakia
Sources and links:
- Political conference (Website)
- Flyer for the political Conference
- Women’s and young women’s health centre Medea e.V.
- Women’s Centre anyway
- European Forum of LGBT Christian groups, Berlin 2011, 5-8 May
- Topic Center on homosexuality and Church, 33. German Protestant church congress from 1th – 5th June 2011, Dresden
- Lesbenfrühlingstreffen, lesbian spring convention, Rostock 2011, 11-13th June
- MeRSI – amnesty international – human rights and sexual identity
- LSVD – lesbians and gay union Germany e.V.
- Hirschfeld Eddy Foundation – Foundation for the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender