Friday, November 5, 2010

Lesbian Teacher Receives First Honour for Pride

Quaker lesbian Clare Dimyon was presented with an MBE by Prince Charles at an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Friday 29 October.

Clare Dimyon, 45, a teacher and Quaker, is being honoured for “services to promoting the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Central and Eastern Europe”.

Clare was first inspired to take part in gay PRIDE marches in Central and Eastern C&E Europe in Riga in 2007 and has since participated in PRIDE marches throughout the former Soviet bloc. Her first parade was 25 years ago, in London in 1985.

Clare’s engagement has prompted the flying of rainbow flags from British embassies overseas and the translation of the FCO Guide to LGBT People into local languages so that it is available to young people and their parents. In her work, Clare often highlights higher levels of suicide among young LGBT people and is acutely aware of the isolation of young LGBT people in C&E Europe who have less advice and support available to them.

She has been instrumental in increasing the number of countries whose embassies routinely support PRIDE parades and the human rights of LGBT people from seven in 2007 to twenty two in 2010...and counting!. This year alone saw the first ever PRIDE marches in Vilnius and Bratislava, both with significant support from the diplomatic community... including and especially the Brits!

Clare Dimyon says: "Slovak LGBT are kind enough to call me the “mother of Slovak PRIDE” but really I am more like the delinquent aunt of PRIDE in C&E Europe. They do all the work and take all the risks and I show up in support. "

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