The event, hosted in Long Beach, CA, United States by the It Gets Better Project, has been one of the first occasions since the Covid-19 outbreak in which our global LGBTIQ community could gather together again, share their best energies, and reconnect with fellow human rights defenders from all around the globe.
The hugs, the happy tears, and the conversations that started to flow spontaneously again during this ILGA World Conference are all memories that we will treasure for a long time to come.
While watching on YouTube we recommend activating subtitles, available in English, Spanish and Portuguese.
You can also access the transcription of the whole documentary below.
Text on screen: Coventry, 1978; Amsterdam, 1979; Barcelona, 1980; Turin, 1981; Washington D.C., 1982; Vienna, 1983; Helsinki, 1984; Toronto, 1985; Copenhagen, 1986; Cologne, 1987; Oslo, 1988; Vienna, 1989; Stockholm, 1990; Acapulco, 1991; Paris, 1992; Barcelona, 1993; New York, 1994; Rio de Janeiro, 1995; Cologne, 1997; Johannesburg, 1999; Rome, 2000; Oakland, 2001; Manila, 2003; Geneva, 2006; Vienna, 2008; São Paulo, 2010; Stockholm, 2012; Mexico City, 2014; Bangkok, 2016; Wellington, 2019; Long Beach, 2022.
Voice off: Welcome to the 30° ILGA World Conference!
(people cheer and clap hands)
Luz Elena Aranda: Welcome to the ILGA World Conference: we made it! There were many moments when we thought we were not going to make it. Many moments. I want to thank each and every one of you for being here.
Tuisina Ymania Brown: Despite the difficulties in organising a gathering during a global pandemic, you are here! And to the city of Long Beach and It Gets Better and our sponsors: thank you for opening your doors, your arms and your hearts to my ILGA World family, to our ILGA World family. We hope in the next week, in this week, you get to learn, you get to love, you get to dance and glow on the rainbow euphoria that we all carry in our hearts for those family members who are not here with us.
Brian Wenke: We have so much work to do to ensure that the next generation of queer people have the authority and confidence to pick up where we will ultimately leave off, and I cannot wait to connect with each and every one of you by coming together for a little bit of celebration every single night this week: the It Gets Better Project has put together a really cool slate of activities for you. We hope you enjoy that.
Julia Ehrt: My predominant experience at the conference is an experience of bonding, sharing, and engaging with others in real life. In a certain way, this conference feels like rain after drought.
Franco Fuica: Getting back together and seeing each other's faces again has been very important, especially because we have spent two years looking at each other through screens, and it is very important to know again that the people with whom we are trying to change the world exist and are real.
Jayleen Jude Chun: (the conference) has brought together so many activists from around the world who have so much knowledge and expertise to share with everybody, as well as the work that they're doing. So it's been wonderful to finally come back after, you know, a break due to COVID.
Alex Hernández: Honestly, it has been a bit difficult to adjust to something face-to-face with so many people and so many LGBT activists, compared to all the events that I have been able to attend during the pandemic digitally. To be able to reconnect, to look someone in the eye, to say hello, to hug and to talk about our experiences face-to-face and understand how the other person feels - to have that contact, the emotional part - I think it has been very overwhelming, but on the other hand, of a lot of learning.
Gurchaten Sandhu: The pandemic has impacted our communities in so many different ways, in particular those who don't have access to the internet. And so it's very important so that this conference happened,and it happened, and it was able to happen. Let's also not forget that: it was able to happen.
Alba Rueda: Are we better equipped now in a context of pandemic, in a context of war? The truth is that in that sense these conversations, discussions and questions we had can be strengthened when we meet. It is really important and fundamental to meet with everyone.
Text on screen: The 2022 conference theme – LGBTIQ Youth: Future Present Change – sought to highlight the role of young people in our advocacy, among many other intersectional issues our constituents came together to discuss.
Martin Karadzhov: Even before this multiple crises, LGBTI people have been sidelined or invisible on national, regional and international level. And quite often, we have seen them really having no voice. Across the world, we know that a wide range of violent harmful practices are still face by queer young people: they face discrimination aims at their bodies, rights, identities, and lives, such as the unethical, non-consensual medical unnecessary surgeries performed on intersex children and youth.
(people cheer and clap hands)
Denn van Wanrooij: I think for me it was beautiful also to see how much the intersex movement has grown over the years and how powerful it was to have a session that was hybrid and so many people attending, so many intersex folks attending from their countries and awaken hours that are very, you know, late for them or early for them, just to be able to be with us during that session.So it was very impressive.
Gina MacKay: We are learning from different perspectives, different identities, different - you know- laws and legislations and all of that, and it's an opportunity just in the first days to learn from each other.
Diego Quesada: Wow, this experience has been just incredible. What stands out the most is the opportunity to make connections with people working on similar issues around the world. I think that the space you give us to get to know each other and establish links that later on can be very important in our activism work, I think it is fabulous.
Jorge Garrido: I think that the networking offered by a conference like the one organised by ILGA is a unique opportunity to share your work, but above all, to learn about the realities that exist around the world and to specialise a little more not only on your local area, but how from your local area you can have an impact and help at the global level.
Dhia Rezki Rohaizad: Being able to see all these, you know, human rights defenders together in one place just gives you a sense of empowerment, it just gives you a sense of hope that, with all these many people fighting for our rights, it's got to go somewhere, you know? and it's really encouraging to see.
Karishma Richards: I feel what I have acquired from here is going to be used as a tool of advocacy, when I meet up with my fellow colleagues back home.
Anahita Sarabhai: A lot of the young feminists that we get to work with are straight from the get-go open to actually learning from the past. They're open to seeing they're open to reflecting on histories, they're not afraid of the mistakes that have been made and the mistakes that they are going to make. And we will make mistakes, and we always have, but it's made us stronger, and it makes coming together better because we're all doing it.
Text on screen: The conference served as a space not only to meet and strategise, but also to engage in international advocacy - including by interacting with UN human rights experts.
Victor Madrigal-Borloz: I am, and I speak as, the Independent Expert, which is as holder of a patrimony that was created with the wonderful energy of thousands of activists around the world that together had one of many dreams, the idea that there will be a person that will be able to listen to voices around the world, and would actually do the best to bring them to the halls of power at the United Nations.
Henry Koh: Representation is key to solidarity and solidarity is key to liberation. So, the creation of the mandate, like the IESOGI mandate, is important in enabling us to forge solidarity within and beyond our communities, so that we could build broad intersectional movements toward justice and equality.
E. Tendayi Achiume:I think there is definitely an ample room for solidarity among groups that are anti-colonial, anti-racist, and activist for gender and sexual freedom as well.
Jean Freedberg: It sends a message that at a global level there is consensus that LGBTQ+ rights are human rights, and that working to coming together as a global community to resolve the issues of violence and discrimination that our community faces is one of the priorities of the international community.
Frank Evelio Arteaga: For me, this is a powerful mechanism, a mechanism that represents us, a mechanism to which we can resort, and something that must not be lost. It is a conquest that we cannot let go back from.
Victor Madrigal-Borloz: The future that we will build together, it is something that I'm not going to describe because it is yet to be built. And it will be built by the youth. The youth is not the future: the youth is the present. I am ready to be led by the youth. I take the responsibility of being ready and delivering myself to be led by the youth. In that quest, in that task, in that trust that I built, I actually ask that we ensure that part of the future that we build together is really going to accomplish that we leave nobody behind. Not because it's a United Nations logo, not because it's actually something that we've learned to say in development dialogues: because the only thing that actually makes our journey worthwhile is if we are together. In that quest, you know that you have always the support and the accompaniment of the extraordinary office that you created: a deeply institutional office, a space that perhaps at some point needs to be disrupted by somebody who's ready to disrupt it. Until such time, you have me in it and I'm so happy to be on this journey with you. Go back home, and let's continue spreading the light that we have created together these days. Thank you so much.
Text on screen: Our host organisation, the It Gets Better Project, planned and welcomed us to a five-night social programme filled with entertainment and performances from the local LGBTIQ community. These powerful moments brought us all together to unwind and celebrate!
Andrea Ayala: After years of much isolation in global activism, being able to touch, hug, see each other's eyes, share, cry, smile, remember, has allowed many of us – many have told me, I am not the only one – to find a reason for activism again, to put a face to what we have been fighting for so hard.Particularly, I feel energised, despite the jet-lag, but I would rather sleep only 3 hours than miss conversations,than not be with the companions from so many parts of the world whose embrace has been withheld for so long.
Text on screen: At the end of each ILGA World Conference, our member organisations vote on a number of issues, from guiding documents and Board positions... to the city where we will all meet again.
Conference bid: Cape Town (Liberty Matthyse): As indicated, we are the bidding organisation from South Africa Iranti, and of course, Gender Dynamix. So, the reason why we believe that we are a good country, a good city to be able to host this particular convening is because it has been two decades plus since the last conference was held in Africa, and when it was held in 1999. It was also the only time that it was held on the African continent. And so our ask is: can we bring the conference back to Africa?
Conference bid: Ghent (Emmanuelle Verhagen) Discovering the bids from other cities and coming here and talking to a great many of you, we came to the conclusion yesterday evening that I think it would serve our movement most if the conference next time would go to the African continent.
Conference bid: Buenos Aires (Darío Arias) We would be honoured to host the next conference, but we would like to announce that we have decided to withdraw our nomination and support South Africa's bid to host our next meeting as a gesture of solidarity and sorority with Africa. So we want the conference to be in South Africa.
Oscar Fitzpatrick (reading live): The results of the election for the host organisation of the next World Conference. The result is Cape Town, South Africa.
(people cheer and smile)
Text on screen: Cape Town. See you there!
Daniele Paletta & Kellyn Botha
Kellyn Botha & Lucas Ramón Mendos
Rafael Ferrão & Kellyn Botha
Transcription and translation
Emilia Alejandra Morales Camacho, Daniel Zacariotti
Logistical and technical support
Curro Peña Díaz and Dhia Rezki
Special thanks to:
It Gets Better Project
City of Long Beach
Westin Long Beach Hotel
Conference sponsors and partners
and all our members!