Due to the ongoing global crisis and uncertainty over the last 3 months as a result of the unprecedented situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the ILGA WORLD BOARD has made the difficult yet necessary decision to postpone the next ILGA World Conference to Spring 2022 in California. The event – to be hosted by the It Gets Better Project in Los Angeles – was originally planned for November 2021.

International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans & Intersex Association (ILGA) Executive Director André du Plessis has stated that they will conduct research to investigate how this pandemic is impacting our communities in the long run and will continue to support member organisations as they keep conducting their advocacy work. 

“We know many of you have been facing deep challenges. Many in our communities are amongst the most vulnerable during this pandemic.

“ILGA World is a global family & our family needs each other’s support right now.”

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Established in 1978, The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans & Intersex Association (ILGA) is a worldwide federation of more than 1,600 from over 150 and territories that campaigns for the human rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex communities.

Over the last 40 years there have been many political, legal an societal changes that have affected our communities and ILGA has been instrumental in addressing these changes, with their primary work focused on advocacy, research, training & communication; ultimately raising awareness about LGBTQI issues by providing visibility & support through media, resources and the organisation of regional and world conferences that provide activists, families, friends and allies of our Rainbow Communities to strategise and network.

“Each of our member organisations is focused on adjusting their strategies to the new realities of uncertainty and complexity that come with COVID-19.”

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To ensure the highest level of participation at the conference, a long lead-in period is needed and ILGA World would have needed to issue the call for scholarships and workshop applications in June 2020 to allow time for visa applications, all the while securing funds to make the event possible. 

“We can’t wait until we’ll be able to come together again”.

In the meantime, we have new ways that our global family to come together – starting from our series of roundtables and advocacy webinars, to a collection of remote working and well-being resources.

ILGA World will continue to work together with the It Gets Better Project to find viable solutions towards a thoughtful, inclusive and world-changing 31st ILGA World Conference.

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Further announcements in regards to the event will be communicated in the second half of 2020 through the website(s) and social media pages.

“We are still here. And we remind all of you – and us – that we are in this together, and that we need to keep looking out for each other and our communities.”

Many around the world have joined in solidarity with ILGA’s online  positive messages campaign using the hashtag #inthistogether by sharing  “virtual postcards” to raise the spirits of our LGBTI communities in this tough time (have you already shared yours?).

By Snezana Kosanovic

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