Press Release – Brighton Beach Pride

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Russian-Speaking American LGBT Association

Date of event: Saturday, May 20, 2017
Time: 11:30 a.m. (step-off at noon; rally at 1 p.m.)
Place: Brighton Beach Boardwalk and Ocean Parkway, 3 Riegelmann Boardwalk
Details: Brighton Beach Pride March

Friday, May 19, 2017

New Yorkers to Gather at Brighton Beach for First-Ever Russian-Speaking Pride March in the United States

Brighton Beach Pride Calls for an End to Anti-LGBT Discrimination in Russian-Speaking Communities and Demands Equal Rights for All

Brooklyn, N.Y.—New Yorkers will gather on the Brighton Beach Boardwalk on Saturday, May 20 to celebrate the LGBT community and protest discrimination, as well as to show support for immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees. Brighton Beach Pride is organized by RUSA LGBT, a New York City-based network of Russian-speaking LGBT immigrants and allies, and it will be the first Russian-speaking pride march in the United States.

For years, New York City has welcomed newcomers leaving the repression of the Soviet Union and subsequent post-Soviet countries. Brighton Beach has particularly become a center for individuals looking to maintain a connection to Russian language and culture.

“Unfortunately, Brighton Beach and other neighborhoods attracting Russian-speaking émigrés remain very homophobic and transphobic,” says Lyosha Gorshkov, co-president of RUSA LGBT. “Every day, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex individuals face discrimination in their homes, workplaces and medical facilities. Many of our members even encounter physical and verbal abuse.”

Concerns with immigration status, especially under Trump, compound problems for this already-vulnerable community. Many LGBT people from Russian-speaking nations immigrate to or seek asylum in the United States to escape persecution, and anti-immigrant policies and rhetoric threaten their safety.

The local authorities of the Russian republic of Chechnya torture and murder LGBTQ people. RUSA LGBT demands that the U.S. State Department issue humanitarian visas to LGBTQ people fleeing brutal persecution in Chechnya. RUSA LGBT asks the international community to continue speaking up about human rights violations in Chechnya. President Donald Trump’s administration should strongly condemn persecution of Chechen queer people and request that Russian authorities investigate the crimes.

The goals for Brighton Beach Pride are:

  • To break through the silence and taboo in the Russian-speaking community. “We are queer and we are here!” is a relevant slogan for today. It is time for the Russian-speaking community to join other New Yorkers in acceptance and tolerance of minorities.
  • To march in celebration of diversity and to demand equal rights for all people regardless of their sexuality, gender identity, ethnicity, race or religion.
  • To march against discrimination, hatred and hostility to “others” in Brighton Beach.

RUSA LGBT invites all New Yorkers to join the march and support their efforts to create a tolerant environment free of bigotry, hatred and hostility toward LGBTIQ people as well as immigrants, ethnic groups and cultural communities. Other groups supporting Brighton Beach Pride include Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, ACT UP, Rise and Resist, The Alliance for Positive Change, The Caribbean Project, Fast & Fabulous (LGBTQ cycling club), Queens Pride, Rockaway Pride, Queer Nation, and Rude Mechanical Orchestra.

Event link:

RUSA LGBT is a U.S.-based network of Russian-speaking LGBT immigrants and their friends, allies, and loved ones. Formed in 2008, RUSA LGBT has welcomed many LGBTIQ immigrants, including asylum seekers, from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and other countries of the former Soviet Union.

RUSA LGBT’s mission is to connect Russian-speaking LGBT people throughout America, building a strong and supportive network grounded in shared values, experiences, and culture. RUSA LGBT stands committed to fighting for social justice, and human and civil rights for all LGBTIQ individuals in America and the countries of the former Soviet Union.

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