, taking a positive stance against discrimination and violence towards LGBT people, promotes their self-affirmation, increases their visibility as a social group, builds community, and celebrates sexual diversity and gender variance! Pride, as opposed to shame and social stigma, is the predominant outlook and stance bolstering most LGBT rights movements throughout the world.
In order to achieve these goals, for the first time in our national history the International Forum-Festival «KyivPride2012»
will be organized to take place in Kyiv, the capital city of Ukraine, Saturday through Monday, 19-21 May 2012.
Saturday, May 19
– cultural events, including exhibition, film screening, and more.
Sunday, May 20
– Mass street march «KyivPride2012»
, a peaceful demonstration under the empowering slogan «DIGNITY, EQUALITY, DIVERSITY».
Monday, May 21
– Forum with live discussions about the situation of LGBT people in Ukraine - and the crucial activist measures strategically necessary to transcend outdated legislation and social policy oppressive to our daily lives!
Now days Gay parades move through the major cities of North America and Western Europe, for they harken back to the times of Stonewall in 1969. Through recent years gay pride parades and marches have proven to be a vital method to declare and authenticate our existence, to provoke change through public discussions, to draw attention to existing inequality, stigma and discrimination, and to consolidate the LGBT community. Gradually such parades and marches have begun to take place in countries of the former Soviet bloc. Demonstrations have already passed through the streets of Bratislava, Bucharest, Warsaw, Zagreb, Prague, and Riga. Several bold attempts to hold a public Gay pride event in Moscow have – so far -- all been banned by local authorities. In 2011 a tiny but innovative demonstration indeed took place on the outskirts of Minsk itself.
At last the turn of Kyiv has come this spring in May! – under International Forum-Festival auspices.
Why is May 2012 chosen for Gay pride events to be held in the Ukrainian capital? Because this opportune time is the focal eve of the widely anticipated European football championship «Euro 2012»
. Your «KyivPride2012»
organizing committee predicts that the authorities will refrain from spoiling the image of modern Ukraine in the eyes of the European community by regressively banning a minority's peace march, or opting for its inadequate protection. A further coordinating factor is that «KyivPride2012»
event is timed to coincide with the established International Day Against Homophobia.
On the face of it, though, most people well recall how difficult Gay pride public events were to organize in Eastern Europe in recent years. In places, they were banned outright by the authorities. Elsewhere, participants of peaceful demonstrations were bitten or attacked with smoke bombs. And so with no guarantees, but with a wary attitude of ongoing suspense, we caution that «KyivPride2012»
may be not entirely immune from how such courageous ventures have fared before.
Here is what is to be done regarding all the planned activities of «KyivPride2012»
– so that they can occur openly, peacefully and safely for the participants:
1. In mass is our strength!
The more people who go to the march, the stronger our one common voice will be. Your organizing committee is now making every effort to mobilize the LGBT community of the capital city and across the country to take part in the events and show maximum unity and strength through attitude and 'boots on the ground'.
2. The participation of VIP persons
(foreign politicians, representatives of the diplomatic corps, international organizations, and ordinary foreign guests) certainly will make the Ukrainian authorities and police pay due civil attention to protecting our procession from any foolhardy attacks by extremist groups. So your organizing committee calls upon our foreign friends each and all, “Come to Kyiv and march together with us in the united ranks of «KyivPride2012»
! We invite you as well to take part in the forum, cultural events and gay life venues of the city.
3. Your organizing committee needs financial support,
to subsidize travel costs of activists from all across Ukraine coming to Kyiv, to rent space for hosting forum and cultural programs, for security arrangements, to equip demonstrators with rainbow symbols, etc. We kindly ask those who can provide cash amounts and in-kind assistance, to please contact us now.
4. You have the assurance of the organizers of «KyivPride2012»
that we are committed to this mission: to do everything possible to present an interesting program, to coordinate the events for convenience of attendance, to advocate before the authorities the legitimate right of LGBT people for peaceful demonstration, to ensure the protection of participants, to explain to the citizens of Kyiv and all Ukrainians the aims and objectives of our action, and to achieve our goals!
The organizing committee of «KyivPride2012»
consists of the representatives of the leading LGBT organizations of Ukraine – Avante, Gay Alliance of Ukraine, Gay Forum of Ukraine, Insight, Nash Mir, New Wave, Our Centre, and a friendly organisations from Belarus – Gay Belarus.
Overview information about the situation of LGBT people in Ukraine can be found at http://www.gay.org.ua/pride/lgbt-ukraine.pdf
Updated program and other relevant information about the events of «KyivPride2012» (in English) will be posted at http://lgbtua.com/pride/en/
LESBIAN AND GAY RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS!
Don't be silent! Say "YES! to Demonstrating"