Color Rainbow reports from Yangon
“Colors Rainbow’s biggest support came from different donors who have been involved with Colors Rainbow for a few years already. In addition foreign Embassies to Myanmar as well as UN agencies contributed funds (European Union for example) and raised the rainbow flag for the whole day. In total the rainbow flag flew in more than 25 locations throughout Yangon while every embassy, organization and embassy posted on Facebook a picture of their flag and staff with a supporting text!
This double campaign was really powerful! We collected pictures of the flags on Colors Rainbow’s Facebook page and made an album of all these contributions. It was nice to see the support that drew online.
Regarding the concrete event, we had fund-raised for the organization of IDAHOBIT since the previous year. We chose a very well attended location, Myanmar Plaza, which is a famous, easy-to-access shopping mall. We then worked with different partners and in particular the &PROUD team (yearly LGBT Film Festival) to reach out to the community. With them, we established a list of discussions, performances and movies we could feature on this day. Many talented individuals agreed to support the organization of the event and perform on stage. We also invited six partner organizations working on gender equality, human rights, HIV/AIDS, etc. LGBT advocates from different fields to have a booth and distribute promotional and awareness raising materials and present their work.
In parallel, the French Embassy, on behalf of the European Union, had funds and offered to screen the movie “120 beats per minute” on the night before IDAHOT in cooperation with Colors Rainbow. The movie didn’t pass the government censorship so we decided to screen it at the French Institute, which is considered as a private location. The movie was followed by a discussion on activism. Speakers were former Act Up activists (French and British) now both working for the their respective governments and younger Burmese activists (Colors Rainbow and Equality Myanmar, two Burmese organizations promoting Human Rights in the country).
On IDAHOT day, more than 2000 people attended the event throughout the day (we started at 13:30 and finished at 20:30). Colors Rainbow distributed rainbow pin’s, stickers, key chains etc. and a lot of brochures and magazines we are producing. We also sold T-shirts and rainbow scarves.
In addition, we supported IDAHOT events organized by LGBT Rights organizations throughout the country. In total eleven cities across Myanmar organized an IDAHOT celebration with performances from the community.
IDAHOT 2018 t was a great success thanks to the solidarity, involvement and dedication of the community. We managed to make this event theirs. And they felt brave and proud to show who they are to the world!”