As a joint project, the Rainbow Cities organises an exhibition every year on occasion of IDAHOT on 17 May. All members are requested to send in a photograph linking their city related to the chosen theme. Members can print the photographs, or display the exhibition online. Read more about these cities.
This year the theme of the exhibition is 'Families'. Families have special meanings for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people. All too often, our family of origin stands for non-acceptance, conflict and rejection, rather than for a safe haven where we find love and emotional security. The original family is a frequent source of conflict and denial, and often “belonging to a family” becomes a subject of lifelong yearning. For many of us, friends become our chosen families, our new home. In a family, people take care of each other – though many LGBTIQ people do not experience this feeling until they become part of the LGBTIQ community. The community makes us feel that we belong; it gives us appreciation, love, and a chance to talk about everything – not in spite of who we are, but on the contrary: because of who we are.
Into the open
In the past years, rainbow families have increasingly come out into the open, emerging from the shadows of a society that has long failed to see them. More and more LGBTIQ people long to start a family, with biological children, stepchildren, foster children or adopted children. They show that queer life and parenthood are not mutually exclusive, and can indeed become an asset for our society. Families are important for each and every one of us – and as different as the colours of the rainbow. But one thing holds true for everyone: family is where love is.
The theme in 2016 was 'My Rainbow City'. Eleven members contributed tot he exhibition, which can be found here.