As a joint project, the Rainbow Cities organizes an exhibition every year on the 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, our photo exhibition was dedicated to “Lesbian Visibility” to mark IDAHOBIT celebrations on 17 May 2020. In this edition, we had 16 cities that contributed actively with awesome and lovely pictures portraying great lesbian women.
Individual movements to promote minority and human rights, as well as queer initiatives, have a different history in every country and every city, but there are three aspects they all have in common:
Firstly, they were formed as a reaction to severe grievances – to persecution, repression, discrimination, individual and collective suffering.
Secondly, they obviously did not just come out of the blue but were usually launched by a small number of committed individuals, who made allies and found ways to highlight these grievances in society. They had the courage to fight for a better society and often did so at their own disadvantage.
Thirdly, the individual movements cannot be regarded as separate from each other, or even opposed to each other. Every liberation movement essentially builds upon and reinforces all previous and parallel human rights movements.
The present exhibition focuses on Lesbian Visibility, highlighting a topic that our patriarchal society is often reluctant to see: love between women. What does it mean to be lesbian? Is it an identity, or a relationship between women? A private matter, or part of the women’s movement? Is it feminist? Is it a concept? Part of the LGBTIQ movement? Is it queer? Is it part of the city, politics, society, the community? Is it a task and cross-sectional challenge for a modern city? – Yes, it is.
Being lesbian is what it is – let’s make it visible!
This year´s photo exhibition was dedicated to Stonewall with the title: “After Stonewall - 50 years of pride“ on the occasion of IDAHOT on 17 May 2019: Seventeen cities participate and provide one photo and/or poster each for the international exhibition.
In the night from 27 to 28 June 1969, police forces in New York held yet another raid at Stonewall Inn, a bar for homosexual and transgender people in Christopher Street. This time, however, violent clashes erupted between the police and the bar’s patrons, who refused to accept this form of homophobic and transphobic harassment any longer. This was the first of a series of violent
protests, which in turn marked the start of a new human rights movement for people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex or queer. Their initiatives developed into the modern LGBTIQ* movement, which soon created the rainbow flag as its defining symbol.
Today, this symbol is known all over the world and has become a banner for the fight against persecution and discrimination, to achieve recognition and equal rights in all fields of life.
The Rainbow Cities have organized a photo exhibition with the title “trans*gender“ on the occasion of IDAHOT on 17 May 2018: Fifteen cities participate and provide one photo each for the international exhibition. When a baby is born, we are used to ask, if the baby is healthy and „is it a boy or a girl?“. Ideas about masculinity and femininity are deeply embedded in our society and root in expectations of certain behaviours associated with it. Society likes to keep it simple: male/female. These traditional, rigid, binary, and heteronormative categories do reduce the diversity of gender identities and may be appropriate for some people, but definitely not for all of us. People who feel and identify as trans* don’t hide any longer, but have formed a liberation movement saying, “Here I am, look at me, I have nothing to hide!”.Some want medical treatment, others don’t and concentrate on their feelings and identity and some say, “I am a migrant of gender”
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 – through 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 colors 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 to the exhibition