Belarusian gays rescue on the south. Ukraine demonstrates Euro-diversity and tolerance, while Russia it’s narrow-mindedness and prejudice. LGBTQ-news, May 2017, №2
In Ukraine, the most popular among LGBT community international song contest Eurovision-2017 was held.
“They are following this contest for many years,” — says Ukrainian participant Zhenya Galich, the leader of O.Torvald band. “There are people who do not have the same sexual orientation as I do. There are people who are striving for power and money, not like me. I take it easy,” — he adds.
As a part of song festival, a travesty show was performed, where the first Belarusian gay activist Edvard Tarlecki participated. Edward made a coming out in 1998, in 2008 he emigrated to Ukraine because of the persecution. There, Edvard, known as Madame Zhu-Zhu, succeeded as a drag artist — a new art direction derived from a gay subculture. He shared his life story, his views on art, and compared attitude towards gays in Belarus and Ukraine in the interview with Radio Svaboda.
In line with the slogan of the event “Celebrate Diversity”, the Friendship of Nations Arch in Kiev was repainted in colors of the rainbow. Homosexuals, who constituted a significant part of the audience, arranged their traditional “unconventional” party.
On the occasion, LGBT activists of Kyiv introduced a map of LGBT-friendly public places with more than 50 restaurants, cafes, shops and clubs.
A similar project Safe Space was launched in Chernivtsi. The project united 10 institutions, which placed a rainbow sticker to indicate the support of the idea of tolerance. Chernivtsi patrol police appears as a project partner.
Deputy Head of the Central Election Commission of Ukraine Andrei Magera believes that politicians in a law-governed state should not avoid the “unpopular in society” topic of LGBT rights.
“Human rights either protected, or not.” This is the matter of principle: there are no exceptions,” — the official said in an interview with Mir.
The team of KievPride-2017 is raising funds for the organization of the International LGBT Forum, which will be held in the capital from 9 to 18 June under the slogan “Country for All”. Money is needed to cover the expenses of volunteers and pride participants, as well to rent a Pride House, where seminars, lectures, workshops, roundtables and discussions will take place.
Russian authorities are not so friendly towards LGBT community.
The information of persecution of LGBT citizens in Chechnya has not been confirmed based on the investigation by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the republic. Interior Minister Ruslan Alkhanov called the situation a provocation and promised to file a lawsuit in court.
Earlier this week, the Basmanny Court dismissed the appeal of Novaya Gazeta against inaction of the Russian authorities in a point of gay’s torture in the North Caucasus since “…the applicant did not provide information whether the head of the department has gave the instructions to investigate the fact of crime disclosed in media”.
“We are the native residents of the Chechen Republic and are aware of all the events of social importance taking place in the republic, therefore we have reason to announce that the accusations against the Chechen Republic about alleged cases of illegal actions against non-traditional citizens are absolutely baseless and untrue.”
The writers demanded “to stop the persistent campaign against the Chechen people.”
Regardless Russian official stance, the campaign in support of gay men in Chechnya is increasing both within Russia and internationally:
- An online petition calling for the official investigation into the alleged torture and killing of gay people in the North Caucasus has already collected almost 500,000 signs.
- In Moscow, the activists tried to take the petition to the Prosecutor General’s Office, but were detained by the police.
- The Prime Minister of Great Britain, Teresa May, spoke about exploring possibilities to provide support to the LGBT community in the region.
- A campaign under hashtag # kiss4lgbtqrights has been launched in Instagram — people post photos of same-sex kisses with check in the Moscow Kremlin. There are more than five thousand pictures already.
- The issue is also widely covered by the international media. The famous French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo is no exception. The head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, became one of the cartoons character.