Gallery: Estonian LGBT Association Hosts Rainbow Heroes Awards Gala | News

According to a press release, Kristiina Raud, communication director of the Estonian LGBT Association, said mutual recognition and thanks made everyone happy.

“The Rainbow Hero Award is a way for the community to thank those who act on behalf of the well-being of all of us,” Raud said. “It draws attention to wonderful and meaningful deeds, but also brings us joy. In fact, we could all thank each other more, for deeds big and small – it gives us strength and promotes human connection. .”

Tuesday’s awards gala took place at Sveta Bar, an inclusive venue in Tallinn’s Telliskivi district. Hosted by Association Cooperation Coordinator Anette Maletjärv, the gala was also performed simultaneously in Estonian Sign Language (ESL) and featured performances by LGBT+ choir Vikerlased, su/mi, Amory Tingz, DJ Dyke and Ikoona.

The awards were presented by drag artists Helgi Saldo, Nordika, Ms. Elsa and Eeben Früülep.

This year, the Rainbow Heroes awards were given out in eight categories:

Sara Arumetsa — for their academic activity contributing to the understanding of transgender people

Elizaveta Cheremisina – for prioritizing the welfare of young LGBT+ people in youth work

Rene Koster — as a promoter of queer and drag culture

Aet Kuusik — for their enrichment and popularization of vocabulary and LGBT+ topics in the media

Viktoria Sperova — in the category “My own voice, or the community on itself”, for sharing their story and their experiences

Gea Kangilaski — in politics, as an assessor of LGBT+ opportunities and intersectionality

Androgear OU — in business, as a business inclusive of the community

Presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award on Tuesday was Lilian Kotterone of the first LGBT+ activists in newly reindependent Estonia and one of the founders of the Estonian Lesbian Union (Eesti Lesbiliit), one of the first LGBT+ organizations in Estonia and the entire Baltic countries.

Was also honored at the gala Yuri Yourskyan activist from Ukraine currently living in Estonia, whose focus has been on LGBT+ well-being, particularly in the area of ​​health, and who raised awareness and support for LGBT+ people in Ukraine during the war .

Heroes on IDAHOT

Since 2020, the Estonian LGBT association has awarded its Rainbow Hero awards on May 17, or the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT). Anyone can nominate someone for the award, with the reasons for nomination of the nominees having particular weight in the choice of recipients.

In addition to public recognition, recipients of the award also receive a Rainbow Hero pin.

Click here (link in Estonian) to find out more about past winners, including Punch Drinks, Annika Laats, former President Kersti Kaljulaid, Heinrich Sepp aka Helgi Saldo and Marina Kaljurand.

The Estonian LGBT Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to LGBT+ people and their relatives whose mission is to influence policy and legislation through strategic advocacy work to ensure that the Estonian state offers equal opportunities to LGBT+ people.

Founded in 2008 as the non-profit Estonian Gay Youth, the organization adopted its current name and focused primarily on advocacy and training efforts in 2012.

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Andrew B. Reiter