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Monday, 13 June 2011

In Russia, Moscow Pride has changed attitudes for the better

Vladimir Ortanov
Source: GayRussia.Ru

The Veteran of the Russian gay movement Vladimir Ortanov believes that openness, which used the LGBT activists during the Gay Pride in Moscow, forced even homophobes to change their mind

Journalist and activist, Ortanov has been active in the gay movement before the fall of the Soviet regime.

In 1989, he co-founded the first gay paper “Thema” which became a year later, a full color magazine “Argo” and in 1993, he was one of those who worked behind the stage to repeal the criminalization of same-sex relations.

Vlad Ortanov has been a supporter of the Russian gay pride movement since its origin in 2005. The idea to lay flower at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in 2006 came from him. He also took an active part to the LGBT Conference in 2007 organized by GayRussia on the eve of the second Moscow Pride attempt.

In 2009, Ortanov was also a key participant of the first Slavic Pride in Moscow during which he was brutally arrested by anti-riot forces and detained for several hours. Last week, he was awarded the 2011 Russian award of the Slavic Gay Pride to celebrate more than 20 years of activism in LGBT rights.

Despite the beatings, despite the bans, Vlad Ortanov believes that the un-sanctioned Moscow Pride held on May 28 is a victory for LGBT activists. GayRussia.Ru reproduces the blog post written by Vlad Ortanov on May 30.
“The consistent, principled and open policy of the organizers of Moscow Pride has borne fruit." 
"For the first time there was a dramatic change of opinion towards the support for the gay pride movement. This is absolutely clear after analyzing the post-Pride coverage made by the media, blogs, and especially the comments made by straight people." 
"In general, the Pride movement has won an enormous sympathy in the society especially because of the sincerity and the courage of its members." 
"In terms of ideology, strategy and tactics, the organization of the Pride was absolutely perfect and no mistake was made." 
"The public statement by the organizers about the place and the time of their planned actions and their uncompromising will to exercise their constitutional rights despite the opposition received respect and support from the civil society." 
"Unexpectedly, it started to change even the position of the toughest intellectual homophobes."
"Moscow Pride organizers can celebrate their important victory."
Bravo, guys! I am happy and proud of my friendship with you!”
  • A poll published 9 June 2011 found 'less opposition and more awareness in Russia' as a result of Moscow Pride, says
"In one year, the opposition to Gay Pride March in Russia declined from 82% to 61%."
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