On the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT or IDAHOT), Belgium-based LGBTQIA+ organisation Forbidden Colours put the spotlight on its extensive work to help LGBTQIA+ persons living in Ukraine.
“Through our and our partner organisations work, and your donations, we were able to help over 500 refugees from Ukraine to find a queer safe space in the European Union“, Forbidden Colours director Rémy Bonny writes.
“Our partner Lambda Warszawa in Warsaw in Poland has already helped hundreds of LGBTQIA+ refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine. Next to providing a safe space for queer refugees, they also provide legal and psychological help. On the picture you see Lambda Warszawa teaching Polish to the refugees – which is essential to integrate into the Polish job market.”
“Our Romanian partner ACCEPT Romania is also providing safe spaces for queer refugees arriving from Ukraine. They cooperate closely with the Moldovan GenderDoc-M since many of the refugees first arrive in Moldova. Currently, they are working hard to find long-term solutions for the refugees, such as integration in the Romanian job market.”
“Our Hungarian partner Budapest Pride is providing queer refugees with host families in Budapest. In Szeszgyar, they have also opened a community center for the refugees. There they can go, drink a coffee and rest. Budapest Pride also helps (and pays for) the refugees by arranging further travel when they don’t want to stay in Hungary. They also give SIM-cards to the refugees so they can keep in contact with their peers in Ukraine that weren’t able to flee the war.”
“Our advocacy works. Through our fundraising efforts, we already supported projects helping LGBTQIA+ refugees for €40,000. But we are doing much more. Through advocating with policy-makers and media, we have worked on lifting the ban for trans persons that didn’t legally change their gender yet to flee Ukraine. Our sources tell that several European governments have requested this from the Ukrainian Interior Ministry.”
“Besides this, we are working on a list of Russian individuals that are linked to anti-LGBTQIA+ initiatives in the European Union and have supported Russia‘s aggression in Ukraine. The list will be communicated with European governments so they can sanction these individuals.”
Brussels-based Forbidden Colours is a LGBTQIA+ fund aiming to support LGBTQIA+ struggles. The fund was started in 2020 by Gabriel Goffoy, Benoit Vancauwenberghe, Gregory Hye, Didier Brouwers, Peter de Caluwe and Olivier Onghena ‘t Hooft. Political operator and LGBTQIA+ activist Rémy Bonny is its executive director.
“We want all LGBTI people to be able to get up every morning feeling it is okay to be who they are. But what we want is far removed from reality because too many still face discrimination or exclusion because of their sexual orientation”, Forbidden Colours says.
“Our name is inspired by the Hidden Flag organisation, an international group of LGBTI activists exposing the rainbow flag in countries where our community is heavily repressed, by wearing coloured football shirts.A life without the freedom to love and live as you are born, is a life without colours. We stand up against any kind of repression, discrimination and exclusion of LGBTI people so that their sexual orientation is no longer a restraint.”
Forbidden Colours is the first LGBTQIA+ fund hosted by the King Baudouin Foundation, founded in 1976 by the late King of the Belgians, Baudouin.
The selection and follow-up of projects is carefully implemented by the Management Committee composed of the representatives of the King Baudouin Foundation, the founders of Forbidden Colours and three external advisers.
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