The Austrian organization NPO One has launched a new initiative: The Vienna International Pride Awards. This annual campaign is meant to recognize and thank people worldwide who are making a difference in the area of LGBTIQ+ equality. Anyone from anywhere in the world can nominate someone for this international rainbow award.
“Equality is a fundamental right for all people. Yet, hundreds of millions of people who identify as LGBTIQ+ still face inequality, rejection, poverty, violence, torture, and even murder worldwide. The fact that equality is not a given for everyone was once again proven when Russia adopted a controversial new law last November that prohibits the spread of ‘LGBTIQ propaganda’. The law criminalizes all LGBTIQ material that Russia views as an attempt to promote ‘non-traditional sexual relationships,'” says the organization.
“Because equality for minorities is still not a given, the Vienna International Pride Awards puts the spotlight on people who are doing incredibly important work in the area of LGBTIQ+ equality, inclusion, and rights. The goal is to motivate and inspire more people to take action and support global LGBTIQ+ equality.”
The Vienna International Pride Awards will be presented in early June during a livestream event in Vienna. Nominees will be selected by an experienced and diverse jury of LGBTIQ+ experts, led by Senior Advisor LGBTI Inclusion Africa for the United Nations Development Programme Jeffrey O’Malley. Awards will be given in different categories, including ‘political champions’, ‘citizen activists’, and ‘storytellers’. Nominees do not have to be LGBTIQ+, but must have shown a special vision, courage, or commitment to the fight for equal rights for the LGBTIQ+ community.
The public, from anywhere in the world, is encouraged to nominate equality heroes who are making a big difference in the area of LGBTIQ+ equality. Details on the voting process will be announced soon.
In addition, until the day of the awards ceremony, a social media campaign is running that encourages people to say “thank you” to someone from their own environment who has made a difference in the area of LGBTIQ+ equality under the hashtag #ThankYou. These very personal and emotional posts set the tone for the awards.
The Vienna International Pride Awards is a project of One Life, a non-profit organization in Vienna. One Life was founded in May 2020, with support from the City of Vienna to support campaigns for global equality and anti-discrimination.
The idea for the International Pride Awards comes from Tony Gregory, a multi-award-winning television producer, and Niclas Schmiedmaier, founder of One Life and former CFO of the Life Ball. Official partners of the campaign are the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the MTV Staying Alive Foundation, and ILGA-World (the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association). Gregory describes the goal behind the Vienna International Pride Awards as follows: “Realizing a world where the rainbow of differences is accepted and celebrated by everyone.”