“QueerFest”, the queer pride event of Russia, opened in St. Petersburg with a bang. Over 160 people made it, despite the last minute change of venues, attacks by provocateurs, and insults by Russian anti-LGBT activists.
The recently cancelled-but-still-held-anyway World Congress of Families is not the only LGBT-related event happening in Russia. The Russian LGBT community is continuing to gather, including at the 2014 International Queer Festival, or QueerFest.
The Gay Games are kicking off with an estimated 8,000 athletes representing over 50 countries and 48 US states. A number of participants are coming from countries where being LGBT is difficult, if not outright illegal.
The Side by Side LGBT Film Festival launched a fundraising campaign to further promote LGBT and human rights in Russia. Through the Resist to Exist initiative, individuals from around the world have the opportunity to help create change in a country where being LGBT is forbidden and dangerous.
During the 2014 Sochi Olympic, the conversation about LGBT Russians spread globally. Just months after the closing ceremony, that same conversation seems to be put on the back burner as LGBT Russians continue to struggle with safety in their own country.