Russian LGBT Community to Have First-Ever Float in NYC Pride Parade


Russia's LGBT community will have its first-ever float in New York City's LGBT Pride parade on June 30, Radio Free Europe reports:

The parade's message has long resonated with Pasha Zalutski (above), a 31-year-old native of Belarus who won the U.S. green-card lottery in the early 2000s. While attending the parade last year that message, carried on the rhythms of dance music, resonated loudly enough to spur him into action.

He and a group of gay and lesbian friends, all from the former Soviet Union, decided to do something that he says would be "impossible" back home. A year later, they are scrambling to collect the money and finish preparations for what will be the parade's first-ever Russian and ex-Soviet float.

The float has its own website, where it is seeking donations, ideas, and suggestions for the design.

Said Zalutski: "Of course I wish I could tell you that we're going to have this fabulous theme [and] a statue of Lenin dressed up as a drag queen! No, we're not having that. Due to budget constraints we're keeping it rather modest. Our motivation is to truly celebrate our freedom here. We are not in it to try to transmit some very crafted message outside of the United States."


  1. Rick says

    All you need to do to understand why the Duma recently voted unanimously for the anti-gay bill recently–and why throughout the former Soviet Union, gay rights protests have been met with mob violence–all you have to do to understand that is look at this photograph.

    Globally, “gay” has come to mean the culture of effeminacy associated with the West–which has created a backlash that will be difficult, if not impossible, to ever recover from.

  2. Chris says

    Lol, Rick, you troll…

    I think it’s a beautiful thing, this float celebrating the freedom that these individuals have here that they can’t have back home. Makes me proud of my country.

  3. says

    if only the effeminacy-haters were man enough to, you know, be Out.

    alas, ya AINT, Blanches.

    because they’re wimps. and they’ll die wimps. and that’s grand.

    kudos to the brave men and women, the world over, who continue to defy prejudice and bigotry by living out loud.

  4. MateoM says

    I wish Rick would move to Russia. He’d be so much happier there. Because Putin hates LGBT people almost as much as Rick does.

  5. tinkerbelle says

    I’m thinking of that “super-gay” singer’s (I can’t remember her name and the archives here oblige you to have a good memory) comments last week about waiting for the day that being gay is not an issue, that you don’t have to justify or defend your sexual identity, it just “is”, you’re just considered a normal person. I have to agree with Rick (I’m sorry, his is totally not a troll comment) that the stereotypes of gayness kind of camouflage the reality and promote an untruth. Not all gay people are determined to dress in drag, many (most?) gay men just want to live their masculinity in a male way. Men with men. Not men with pseudo-women. We like men for being men, that’s kind of the point. Well, a point. Heteros have many dispositions about their sexuality but I get the impression they just don’t talk about it as much. i guess it’s this “in your face” thing that bothers me, but that’s just me, I’ve always been uncomfortable around guys in drag. And i’ve known some of the most well-known drag-queens and transsexuals around today. I don’t judge, to each his own, but I understand, like Rick, the additional barriers this puts up when dealing with the big picture. Time for another vodka, darling.

  6. says

    the problem is, “tinkerbelle” (oh, the IRONY!) is that the insecure gay men who take issue with gender-nonconformity, or en embracement of the Camp Aesthetic, are complete wimps who refuse to represent themselves.

    Of course you’ve always been uncomfortable around men in drag. Every gay man who lives in fear of What The Straights Think has that reaction.

    Doesn’t mean your reaction is valid or justified, however. It just means you live with a fear that gender-nonconfortmists, or their (our) allies DON’T.

    the “in your face” people don’t live in cowardly fear. so why do you?

    be the change you want to see. or be silent.

    i have straight male family members, including my rockin’ father, and friends who take no issue at all, and are in no way “uncomfortable” around gender-nonconformists, or drag queens, or any of that stuff you listed.

    how can this be? simple- confident and secure people tend to not take issue or offense or get “uncomfortable” by those who are “different.”

    your post was full of stupid strawmen.

    yes. most gay men dont’ do drag. and most who do drag don’t “live” in drag. it’s a performance.

    but only insecure wimpy gay men take issue with it.

    to prove my point: not one “anti-drag, anti-effeminacy” commenter will be able to put a face to their comments.

    checkmate. as usual.

  7. Randy says

    If the claim made by some commenters is that some people are against gay people because the haters are also against gender non-conformity, and they think gay people are non-conforming, then that is all the more reason TO support non-conformity.

  8. Isaac says

    Just let people be who they are already! We can’t all behave the same way and people are just going to have to get over it. If some d-bag wants to deny my rights or justify the denial of my rights because he take offense or is uncomfortable around a drag queen that person has some issues.

  9. JMC says

    Why are there always so many gay men with internalized homophobia commenting on Towleroad? Is it because the readership skews older? You don’t see a lot of it on other gay blogs.

  10. BRAIN says


    Do not confuse transsexual, transvestite, gay, lesbian, and bisexual. You need to understand that these groups are all part of the LGBT community , but they are not all gay or lesbian.

  11. Tom Cardellino says

    Just one moment there, JMC! What’s with the ageism so cavalierly thrown out to explain the idiots herein who are self-loathing? I am 60-years-old. I’ve lived through the HIV Epidemic from its earliest days as an out moderately masculine blandly “normal appearing” suit-and-tie lawyer who nonetheless would speak my mind whenever the occasion presented itself, and have volunteered many hours to the fight against AIDS as well as marching in demonstrations both in Washington, DC, as well as my present home of San Francisco. I have had to accompany many friends through their last days as multiple infections ravaged their family-deserted bodies. You have quite a nerve to wholesale lump an entire generation of LGBT elders into a camp of intolerance, especially considering the decades of bashing we have endured, being considered utterly ridiculous to demand equal rights, and being left abandoned by our government to die en masse from a merely “gay disease!” You remind me of the conservative African-American clergy who may claim to have worked alongside Martin Luther King, Bayard Rustin, Julian Bond, et al, but now spout vicious lies and damnation upon their very own congregation members who are also LGBT folks. Grow up, JMC, learn to read and then read some accurate history about the generations preceding you who risked it all to betaken seriously as full and equal American citizens. You owe 10’s of 1,000’s of LGBT folks a sincere apology for your ignorance and present complacency with a political culture you must believe has always been the same old same old. You benefit tremendously today because of the bravery, embraced diversity and tenacity of elder LGBT folks worldwide.

  12. JMC says

    Uh lol chill out Tom, I didn’t so much as suggest that all old gay guys are self loathing and I’m well aware of my gay history.

  13. ratbastard says

    In a society like Russia where Gays are trying to break down stereotypes, is this the wisest thing to do?

    I will never, ever understand why gay=guys thinking they’re girls, acting more fem than 99% of most real women, and dressing up in drag. Sorry, I really don’t get it. Anymore than I get people into S&M, bondage and wearing leather harness and chaps. Sorry, don’t get it. Unfortunately, MANY people around the world really do think this is stuff average gays are into.

  14. Andrew says

    A flamboyant gay pride parade is not suitable for all cultures, and we need to recognize what works in the United States does not necessarily work in other countries. We need more diversity of thought in our celebration of diversity.

  15. jamal49 says

    Rick and Tinkerbelle, darlings, here’s the deal: the greater the oppression or repression, the more outrageous one becomes–especially if your “gayness” aka as “humanity” is so honest and uncompromising that you will do anything and act anyway to let the powers that be KNOW that your gayness and your humanity tells truth to them and exposes their rank and brazen hypocrisy.

    It’s that simple. As an out and very secure gay man, and one who knows the history of the gay rights movement here in the U.S. (for the record, it was the drag queens who fought back first, violently with a kick-ass attitude), I think Rick’s fretting constantly about masculinity shows that Rick knows nothing about what makes a man a man.

    Rick and Tink are obsessed with IMAGES, with superficiality, with role-playing. Neither knows anything about truth, honesty, integrity or courage.

    So, let our two trolly-boys/girls post their silly comments here. I’d remind Rick that I once saw a drag queen, by herself, in f*ck-me, killer stilettos take down two, taunting @$$holes down on 10th Ave. and 16th St. one night many years ago and stomp their stupid @$$es into the sidewalk (I and two friends offered to help but she said “f*ck off! I want these two! They’re mine!”).

    It was breathtaking. Later, she did a show at the Anvil and was absolutely fabulous!

  16. UFFDA says

    Rick and Tink and Ratb all have a good point. How smart is it to flaunt yourself in front of those who hate you? Russian resistance in based in fear, leave, and leave it at that. Gay drag-style resistance – noted by Jamal – is indeed a reaction, suitable to some, but idiotic and pointless to most of us.

    The Stonewall resistance may have made a difference, but only to those few who keep insisting on its overdramatised significance. It will never make me feel grateful to drag queens etc. whose needs and manner are repellant and incomprehensible. Neither do I think that men who dress up like exaggerated women should be resisted. They are harming no one and delighting many. I do resent, however, the false equation between being gay and being an outlandish freak. Happily, the real liberation is beyond all this as gay men are increasingly accepted into society as both couples and family people. First you pass through the mire, then you ascend.

  17. Tom Cardellino says

    JMC, you are a fraud caught in expressing your prejudice against older LGBT folks, and your lame counterpoint to my calling you out is as dismissive as I would expect from an ageist arrogant know-nothing whose first knee-jerk reaction to an article that had NOTHING to do with the age of the players in question was to BLAME an “older skews” readership. How the f#@k do you “divine” the age bracket of commenters here on Toweleroad unless you have deep rooted prejudices about the first scapegoat that comes to your shallow mind? Your denial is as much an admission as if you begged for a stigmata. Do I need to explain what that adult word means to you, you trifling snipe?

  18. Derrick from Philly says

    @ “I’d remind Rick that I once saw a drag queen, by herself, in f*ck-me, killer stilettos take down two, taunting @$$holes down on 10th Ave. and 16th St. one night many years ago and stomp their stupid @$$es into the sidewalk”

    Thank You, JAMAL49. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

    Often it is the gender role non-conforming Gays who are the first to step up to the plate.

    We can’t hide in any damn closet.