LGBT activists from Vilnius visited Denmark

Two activists representing Lithuanian Gay League visited Denmark last week to talk about Baltic Pride 2013. The invitation came from Female Oxygen, a group of lesbian activists. The schedule of the visit was busy, with many meetings, interviews and fund-raising events.

Our first meeting was with Lars Aslan Rasmussen, Member of the Copenhagen City Council from the Social Democratic Party and recipient of a Danish LGBT friendly award. Among other things, we discussed reaction to the open letter sent by the Lord Mayor of Copenhagen Lars Jensen to the Mayor of Vilnius expressing support for Baltic Pride.

We had the opportunity to meet with a representative of Copenhagen Pride, who shared good practices in terms of managing volunteers, fund-raising and event-organising. Another useful meeting was with LGBT Denmark, where we discussed and compared the work and activities of our organisations, and got useful advice and inspiration. We also visited the office of Amnesty International Denmark to update their team on the court process for the Baltic Pride march and recent homophobic law proposals made in the Lithuanian parliament. We gave radio and TV interviews (see our DR2 interview here) about Baltic Pride and the LGBT rights situation in Lithuania.

On Friday we participated in a public event at the town hall square organised by Female Oxygen. We gave a speech about Baltic Pride, followed by speeches by Amnesty International Denmark and Lars Aslan Rasmussen. Then it was time to play Homonopoly, a game developed by Female Oxygen with the aim of raising awareness about LGBT rights around the world. The large board game was spread on the square, and passers-by were invited to roll the dice, land on a country and find out what it is like to be an LGBT person there.

The biggest event, a fund-raising party, was held on Saturday night. While enjoying some food and drinks, we got on stage to talk about Baltic Pride and some of the obstacles we are facing in arranging the March for Equality. Then it was time to dance the night away to good music and in good company. We chatted to many people who were interested in Lithuania, LGBT rights and Baltic Pride. We are grateful for the funds raised by Female Oxygen, which we plan to use partly for awareness-raising during the Pride and, inspired by our various meetings with Danish organisations, for community building and trainings to improve our activities.