Record Number of Russian Speakers To March in New York Pride 2015
June 22, 2015
New York is the birthplace of the international movement for LGBT civil rights. The first Gay Pride March took place here in 1970 with about two thousand participants. Gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender persons protested against the criminalization of homosexuality and demanded the abolition of discriminatory laws. New Yorkers walked 51 blocks through Manhattan chanting, “Say it clear, say it loud. Gay is good, gay is proud.”
According to Heritage of Pride, the organizers of the Pride March, about two million people will take part in this year’s NYC Pride March and in various Pride Week events. The Pride March will take place on June 28th, 2015.
Its theme for 2015 will be Complete The Dream — full legal recognition of marriage equality across the U.S. and advocating for laws protecting transgender individuals against discrimination.
We are expecting our Russian-speaking column in The March to have a record number of participants from the countries of the Former Soviet Union (FSU).
Co-president of RUSA LGBT Nina Long:
“This year we have invited LGBT activists from Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kiev. Our guests planned a wedding during Pride. Same sex marriages have been legal in NY since 2011. Meanwhile, the Russian Duma is considering a new discriminatory law banning transgender individuals from getting married. If this law is passed, it will be yet another human rights violation in Russia. We hope that one day Russian authorities will be held responsible for propaganda of hate.”
Human rights organizations and LGBT activists report a significant increase in the number of Russian and Ukrainian gays and lesbians who are seeking political asylum in the U.S. in the last two years.
The founder of RUSA LGBT, Yelena Goltsman:
“We are an international team. Our group will be marching in Pride, carrying not only rainbow flags but also the flags of many countries founded after the fall of the Soviet Union. We are protesting against the discrimination in any shape or form and want to express our support to the LGBT community in all countries of the FSU. For many people, taking part in Pride will be their first safe experience of demonstrating for civil rights. This year we want to emphasize out support for the LGBT youth, the most vulnerable group of the LGBT community in homophobic Russia. We will carry signs expressing solidarity with the project “Children 404”, the Russian internet community for LGBT youth which has faced ongoing persecution from the Russian authorities.
This year’s Pride Week will include many events for the Russian-speaking community. RUSA LGBT, which all year long provides informational support for LGBT individuals from the countries of the FSU, will be hosting a panel discussion open to the public with LGBT activists from Russia and Ukraine.
Yelena Goltsman, the founder of RUSA LGBT
Nina Long, co-president of RUSA LGBT