By: Suzan Seymour/TRT Correspondent—
PITTSBURGH, Penn.—The 32nd Annual General meeting of Interpride, International Pride Organizers, took place at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh, October 22-26, 2014.
Over 200 representatives from Pride organizations across the globe gathered to the theme of “Reflections of Pride-Stonewall 45,” commemorating 45 years since the Stonewall uprising in New York.
Many workshops, group caucuses and formal elections took place at the conference ,along with speakers from OUT Media and The Task Force, and a scholarship reception welcoming individuals that received financial assistance to attend by being awarded an Interpride Scholarship grant.
One of the Scholarship grant recipients, Lewis Kunze, from GALZ (Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe), spoke regarding the plight of LGBT individuals from Africa, and the secret lives they have to live. [pullquote]”There are no parades in Zimbabwe,” Kunze said. “We have a series of events, like films or cocktail parties for supporters, where we give awards to parents who understand that their children are gay—and are there to share their experiences. It’s like a talk show—but there is no video. Confidentiality is necessary to protect us.”[/pullquote]
“There are no parades in Zimbabwe,” Kunze said. “We have a series of events, like films or cocktail parties for supporters, where we give awards to parents who understand that their children are gay—and are there to share their experiences. It’s like a talk show—but there is no video. Confidentiality is necessary to protect us.”
Interpride’s website states: that currently injustice and inequality exists around the world for LGBTI people in 7 countries where homosexuality is punishable by death and in 73 other countries where severe penalties exist.
Kunze spoke in depth about the many challenges for LGBT people in Africa, and how getting money to legitimate organizations is critical. “We need to have the support of our North American and global friends,” Kunze stated, “without endangering ourselves or our communities. We organize through word of mouth otherwise we would be at risk.”
Donations can be made to Interpride’s Scholarship and Solidarity Fund at www.interpride.org.
The next Interpride Annual World Conference will be held in Las Vegas in 2015, while Montpellier, France was awarded Annual World Conference for 2016, with World Pride Madrid following in 2017.
InterPride is the international organization that ties Pride together globally. Members of our organization are dedicated volunteers who organize and work to put on Pride events all over the world. InterPride’s Vision is a world where there is full cultural, social and legal equality for all. InterPride acts as a source of education and a stepping-stone to elevating community interaction for PRIDE events worldwide. We promote Pride on an international level and increase networking opportunities and communication among Pride Organizations.