IGLYO memories 1994-1998

1994

Members of the Bureau from this year include Thomas Thichelmann, Willem Anne Hoekstra, Erik Paul, Espen Trulsen, Andrea Spehar, Suzanne Weigl, Dennis van Der Veur, and Remco Van Dam.

Projects and Collaborations

From October 1993 to March 1994 the main secretariat was established in Malmoe, Sweden. Unfortunately the resources in Sweden proved insufficient and the Bureau decided to move the secretariat to Amsterdam in March. It was the first time that the secretariat was not hosted by a member organisation. While during the first four months the group operated without an office, and the archives were housed at private addresses, a space was found in July for the organisation to stay. Nine official secretariat meetings took place that year

The organisation executed a public campaign in Central Europe to inform LGBTQ youth about the existence of lesbian and gay youth groups in or near their hometowns, and to generate positive material about homosexuality in countries where the situations still remained dangerous – leaflets containing information about homosexuality were produced in different languages.

IGLYO returned to publishing regular editions of Speak Out in this year in May, August, and November. The 1994 issues featured articles of different international interest (about the situations in countries like China, Slovenia, and Poland), background articles (commemorative articles on the Stonewall riots), reports on different lifestyles within the homosexual community, interviews with filmmakers, and information about the annual IGLYO conference. The identity of Speak Out was given more profile with regular columns, a short news-section, and a note from the bureau.

The organisation collaborated on a number of significant projects in this year: a Youth Campaign against racism, Anti-Semitism, Xenophobia, and Intolerance with the Council of Europe, a Global Policy Statement on Equal Opportunities and policy on homosexuality within the Youth Forum of the European Community, and a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots at a march at the United Nations.

Protests at 11th Annual Conference

The eleventh IGLYO conference entitled 1 & 1 was held in Dublin, Ireland. An article from Gay Community News (Ireland’s Gay and Lesbian Newspaper) reports that the conference that took place from July 31 to August 6, 1994 in Dublin. On the agenda for the conference were issues surrounding racism, HIV/AIDS, and developments in countries that positively and negatively affected gay and lesbians. The article includes mention of protests by “Wicklow politicians” who took issue with the conference being funded by the EU, but concludes that the protests were not able to negatively affect what was an extremely successful conference. On the inner page of the publication, Ahtenal Munroe pens a compelling first-hand account of his experience at the conference. Monroe describes the feelings of community that were cultivated over the week, the various workshops and discussion of issues affecting the LGBTQ youth community, and in particular, an Irish perspective on the contributions of IGLYO. The subject of the conference from this year was meant to question how gay and lesbian couples are viewed in the eyes of the law and in the public sphere. Hans Ytterberg, later to become an ombudsman for discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, spoke at the event.

Also in this year, IGLYO took part in a Dutch/Polish Media Exchange financed by the European Commission’s Tempus program.

1995

In 1995, social worker Kevin Shumacher investigated the history of IGLYO and its role in supporting International LGBTQ youth. In addition to charting the evolution of IGLYO, from its formation in 1984 to its present makeup when the essay was written in 1995, Shumacher describes the political structures, internal workings, and purposes that guide the organisation. He describes the Penpal scheme and the letters the organisation has received as an extremely significant initiative. Schumacher’s report also includes the organisation’s statutes. These statutes have only small changes from the previous 1989 document in relation to the makeup of the Bureau and the following of specific UN conventions. IGLYO continues to have the office in Amsterdam with fifteen volunteers, and an American Secretariat that dealt with membership in the USA, Canada, and South America. Also in this year, Thomas Tichelmann was elected to the bureau of the European Youth Forum – the organisation viewed this as a strong endorsement of IGLYO’s approach to youth politics. Bureau Members for this year were Suzy Weigl, Suzy Byrne, Eric Paul, Thomas Tichelmann, Dennis van der Veur, and the Secretariats were Remco van Dam, and Barton Gamber.

All Different, All Equal

As the annual report of that year indicates, 1995 was extremely busy for IGLYO. In addition to its annual conference, IGLYO participated in the Council of Europe’s All Different All Equal Campaign. A representation from IGLYO also attended the first ever conference in Romania on Gay and Lesbian issues as an international observer. In the autumn edition of SpeakOut there are a variety of issues that receive attention: Romania’s adoption of laws prohibiting sexual relations between persons of the same sex; representations of LGTBQ people during pride celebrations; human rights news from around the world; and a report about the annual conference in Manchester. IGLYO also distributed condoms in Eastern Europe, and applied to run an RAIX (anti-racism, anti-Semitism, intolerance, and xenophobia) campaign in Ireland. Other initiatives in that year were a “Coming Out” counseling study session in Strasbourg, France, and the Shabab Akalyat study session together with the European Union for Jewish Students (EUJS).

Celebrating Diversity

The twelfth IGLYO conference entitled Celebrating Diversity was held in Manchester, United Kingdom. The Lesbian and Gay Youth Manchester (LGYM) was the host group for the conference. At this conference the women participants prepared a message to be brought to the United Nations’ Women’s conference in Beijing, human rights issues from around the world were presented, and the Lesbian and Gay Youth Manchester performed a memorable concert.

1996

The IGLYO offices in New York and Bratislava closed making Amsterdam the main office for the organisation. In this year, the organisation developed its first website, continued to increase the successful Pen Pal campaign, and made plans for the 1997 conference to be held in Pisa (the first time in the Mediterranean). The annual report of the board details the connections IGLYO was continuing to make with European governmental bodies (Youth Forum of the EU, Intergovernmental Conference of the EU). Of concern to the committee during this time were the efforts to develop contacts outside of Europe, and financial constraints that limited the abilities of the already overburdened volunteers.

Let’s Get Organized

An IGLYO conference entitled Let’s Get Organised was held in Budapest, Hungary. This was the first year the organisation did not hold an international conference, but instead held one for Eastern and Central Europe. The four themes of the conference were Youth Work, International Youth Work, Human Rights, and HIV/AIDS. Amnesty International presented a seminar on human rights violations and author Charles Silverstein spoke to the assembled participants.

CEMYC and IGLYO organised a Shabaab Akaliyat Seminar at EYC in Budpest of this year.

1997

Interfaith Dialogue

The thirteenth IGLYO conference entitled Homophobia and Fascism was held in Pisa, Italy. The European Youth Foundation, the City Council of Pisa, and the Regional Government of Tuscany supported the event that was hosted by ArciGay/Arci Lesbica, Pisa. During this conference the video “Just happy the way I am” was produced by Klaus Müller and Miha Lobnik. The video portrayed the realities of young European LGBT people.

Also in this year was an interfaith dialogue study session held in Strasbourg, France. Joining IGLYO in hosting this event was the European Union of Jewish Students and the International Movement of Catholic Students. Twenty-four young people from various religious backgrounds and also differing sexual orientations gathered for discussion and dialogue.

Homophobia and Fascism

The thirteenth IGLYO conference entitled Homophobia and Fascism was held in Pisa, Italy. The European Youth Foundation, the City Council of Pisa, and the Regional Government of Tuscany supported the event that was hosted by ArciGay/Arci Lesbica, Pisa. During this conference the video “Just happy the way I am” was produced by Klaus Müller and Miha Lobnik. The video portrayed the realities of young European LGBT people.

Also in this year was an interfaith dialogue study session held in Strasbourg, France. Joining IGLYO in hosting this event was the European Union of Jewish Students and the International Movement of Catholic Students. Twenty-four young people from various religious backgrounds and also differing sexual orientations gathered for discussion and dialogue.

1998

Study Sessions

In addition to the annual international conference, the organisation held a seminar on setting up youth groups in Antwerp, Brussels, a conference on health in Driebergen, Netherlands, and a diversity study session together with Mobility International and IYNF in Budapest, Hungary.

Time for a Check Up?

The fourteenth IGLYO conference entitled Time for a Check up? Young Lesbian and Gay Men and our Health was organised in tandem with the Gay Games festivities in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The conference took place one week before the start of the major international sporting and cultural event.

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