Is the 2022 ILGA World Conference going ahead as planned? In short: yes. Will it be an in-person event? Yes, and.
When, in November 2021, we announced that the next ILGA World Conference would go ahead as planned from 2 to 6 May 2022 in Long Beach, California, United States, the Omicron variant had not been reported yet. We have watched it sweep across the world, and then showing some possible signs of having reached its peak in some parts of the planet– giving us hope that it would finally recede over the upcoming weeks and months. We saw major events across Southern California being rescheduled to the spring in the region – which is also when our global community will be heading there.
We have been following a contingency plan and - considering the global risk assessment and public health advice – we can confirm that the ILGA World Conference will be going ahead in May 2022.
The health, safety, and well-being of all will be at the highest priority. To make the conference safer for everyone, in fact, ILGA World may ask participants to abide by stricter regulations than will be required by local regulations. We recently published our Covid-19 safety protocol, under which we will require people to follow some simple rules - including being vaccinated, getting tested, and wearing a mask. The document will be updated periodically to reflect the latest developments. We will also be capping conference participation at 600 persons – so make sure you register now to secure your place! Registration will be open until 21 March 2022 under the current fees, or with late registration possible until 18 April 2022 with increased fees.
We are aware that the global situation is one that will not allow some people to make it to Long Beach. Therefore, our team is working hard to develop arrangements for some digital participation in the conference, to ensure virtual access to at least some parts of the event, and we will be ready to share them with you over the next few weeks. ILGA World is constantly working with the host organisation, the It Gets Better Project, to make sure that this event will be as vibrant, diverse, and empowering as it gets.
Inevitably, Covid-19 has imposed challenges on all of us. It still is and will continue to be.
And this is precisely the reason why, in such a challenging moment in history, it is more important than ever that our communities from around the world have a shared and safe space to come together, reconnect, and move forward.
We need this. For how long has our global LGBTIQ movement not been able to come together in person? We know how our member organisations and our communities at large have stretched themselves to the limit during these past two years, restructuring their work and supporting their communities on the ground - often by providing them with services whenever public authorities left us behind. Surrounded by anti-rights forces that seemed louder than ever, the isolation has at times been daunting and overwhelming - especially for those hit the hardest by the digital divide, or those who simply didn’t have the option to pivot their work to virtual spaces.
A physical gathering seems something dating back to ages ago, and yet it is not something that far away in time. Here’s a little reminder of what it felt like:
These past two years have challenged us like never before to show what we really mean when we talk about “community”. We know it is not over yet, but hear us out: we will get through this, and it is time to remind ourselves how powerful and beautiful we are when we come together as a global movement.
We look forward to meeting you at the 2022 ILGA World Conference!