LGBT Activists Hold First Authorized Rally in Minsk


Authorities in Minsk, Belarus approved an LGBT rally in the city for the first time ever. KyivPost reports that authorities directed demonstrators not to use the rainbow flag.

UK Gay News supplies the above photo, and writes:

The rally was seen to have created history in the country where events organised by the gay community up to now have always been banned.

And the result was that there were twice as many journalists on hand to cover the event than those taking part.

“For the first time the only thing that we feared was neither the police nor the homophobe hooligans but the cold,” said Sergey Praded, organiser of the event and co-chair of IDAHO Belarus.

“In the last six months, we have submitted dozens of applications to hold a rally.  We appealed to the court. But it seems that the dialogue that we also started to initiate with the authorities paid off.

“This is a very good first step for all of us and I hope that it will help us collect more participants to future actions.”

In addition to condemning homophobia, activists also called for equal rights for gays and lesbians.

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  1. John says

    I think sometimes it’s easy to forget how much easier it is for us (at least in the US) to be out and open with our lives. It takes a lot of bravery to come out in countries like Belarus, Russia or Uganda. I wish them luck.

  2. Feral says

    Amen, John. This is the place my grandmother was run out of a hundred years ago for being Jewish… We sure as hell are lucky over here.

  3. ratbastard says

    I admire their bravery. Do bourgeois Americans, Brits and western Europeans realize the risk people like this take?

  4. Frank says

    Don’t get it twisted Ratbastard. There are still neighborhoods in America were you can get your skull split, or worse be killed for being GLBT or being mistaken as being LGBT. Many people, can’t afford the high cost of living in the gay ghettos of America, so they chooose to try and make a life for themselves in other neighborhoods, some of them very hostile toward queer folks. It doesn’t take much reaserch on the internet to find victims of antigay hatred, it’s just that a lot of times these people don’t make national headlines because they are either from neighborhoods nobody cares about, or are belong to demagraphics who’s stories won’t sell enough papers so they don’t make headlines. (i.e. minorities, immigrants, older gays, and transgendered people) I’ll tell you what, GLBT people can walk down the streets of evey neighborhood in American and openly be themselves, then I’ll co-sign with your “Bourgeois American” sentiment.

  5. JeffNYC says

    Feral–I was about to post that MY grandparents were run out of Minsk 100 years ago for being Jewish!

    Actually, they were run out of a shtetl in a small suburb of Minsk called Bobruysk. (well, it was small then.)

    Recently I met a ballet dancer from Belarus. When I told him that my grandparents had come to America from outside of Minsk, he said that his mother’s family was from Bobruysk.

    I looked at this beautiful young blond boy and wondered if his great-grandparents had known my grandparents…and if they were part of the posse that had run them out of the shtetl.

    When I read about LGBT activists in Belarus, I always identify a little bit more than I do reading about gay activists in other places, as if I am experiencing something of a deja vu, as if they are fighting the good fight for my grandparents too.

    I wish these young men and women much love and safety.

    And I wish I could tell that my grandmother is kvelling over them!