Strengthening the LGBTQIA+ community in Latvia
Inspire ACTiON is a Solidarity Project that was organised between January 2021 – January – 2022 by members and volunteers of our organization.
The idea of the project was to bring together young LGBT+ and allies people, to strengthen the building of the LGBTQIA+ community in Latvia through peer learning and active participation.
The project through a series of activities (7 monthly camps, follow-up event and Online Youth Forum) offered a platform- a safe and brave space – for the youth to explore different topics related to the LGBTQIA+ community, such as mental & physical health, pride, gender, sexuality, coming out, trans/non-binary visibility, queer relationships, LGBTQIA+ history and culture of Riga, and more.
During the Online Youth Forum, the two panels about trans/non-binary visibility and queer relationships in Latvia were recorded and are available to watch.
Follow the link to Resources to find the videos.
A podcast episode within the Generation ACT series has been recorded by part of the team, reflecting about the project, their experience, its impact, and the next steps.
Follow the link to Resources to find and listen.
Got to accept myself more
This whole project was such a great experience. I both helped to organize and participated in the events. I met so many new people and made new friends. It was so nice to get out of the everyday routine and to spend quality time with the community whether it was to do something physical or artistic. It definitely helped my mental health during the period when we had lockdown due to the pandemic. During this project, I got to know myself better and I have accepted myself more. My highlights are the mental health event where our lovely psychologist Lika helped us discover tools on how to help our mental health during these times. Another highlight was that during the event ‘Take part, make art’ a lot more people showed up than we were expecting. Most importantly after each event, people were super grateful for such an opportunity and so thankful for these events and we’re asking for more.
Elza | Latvia
Building our community
These events have been really helpful with education about the lgbtq+ community, as well as discovering really cool people. I also love how safe this environment feels because there’s no judgment and everyone can express themselves and can be heard.
The most important part of this project for me has been building our community. I have met many inspiring people during the project. Projects like these show the growing need for the lgbtq+ community to have a space where they can be together, meet new people, partake in activities together.
Alise | Latvia
A wholesome feeling of not feeling alone
I think that projects like Inspire ACTiON are important to the LGBTQIA+ community because it creates a safe, brave, and welcoming space for everyone to join and express themselves selfs however they want, it can be an emotional expression, creative expression, or other skill development. For me, this project has brought many colorful emotions, new friends, organizational experience, great ideas and beginning of new projects, and overall happiness. I have learned how to communicate and listen better, I have gained skills in social media, I have seen more insights into project creation and execution, and most important – I have remembered that we don’t need that much for a great quality time and simple things like listening and supporting each other can bring you happiness and inspiration.
My highlights of this project were that I organized mental health camp and whole another new project was born out of it, as well as a wholesome feeling of being accepted and not feeling alone in this world. I definitely recommend to others join projects like these because it can brighten your horizons, bring new ideas, give a great quality time and bring communities closer together.
Patricija | Latvia
Met many local queers
I have attended a youth forum with 2-panel discussions about transgender people in Latvia and the queer relationship. It was such a valuable experience for me, as I participated in an Active Rainbow hosted event for the first time and this allowed me to get to know many new people from the local queer community, listen to their stories, and get inspired. I would like to thank the organizers for this beautiful experience.
The feeling of belonging
It sucks to be alone while you are discovering your queerness. That’s why projects like these are needed so queer people can truly understand and fully feel like they are not alone. That’s why I’m talking all the time about me being trans and embracing inner (and outer) queerness. I have been in one Youth Exchange Project created by Active Rainbow and I would do it a thousand times over. The inner peace and harmony that a queer person feels when they are surrounded by other queers can’t be put in words. Young people need it so they know the feeling of belonging. That’s why projects like this one are massively needed
The project Inspire ACTiON was funded with the support of the European Commission’s European Solidarity Corps program, which is administered in Latvia by the Jaunatnes starptautisko programmu aģentūra.
Disclaimer: The information and views set out in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.