Russian International Queer Culture Festival Lives On!

September 16-25 of this year, the International Festival of Queer Culture is coming to St. Petersburg, Russia for the second time. This is a non-commercial project whose goal is to promote tolerance and diversity and to attract society’s attention to the problems of homophobia and transphobia in Russia through the language of art.

Queer Culture Festival is one of the largest openly queer events in Russia. Last year, it attracted over 3000 people and went on without any obstacles from the Russian authorities, right extremist groups, or any other interruptions.This year, the organizers hope to attract even more attention, peacefully and lawfully, to the issues that affect LGBT people. “We think the Festival is positive and valuable experience for all of St. Petersburg and Russia. Our goal is to make it happen. If it’s not allowed to proceed, it would be a loss for the city. Our message is that of tolerance and respect for human rights and each other – that should not be too scary,” says Polina Savchenko, the Festival coordinator.

“When a question if I wanted to participate in the Festival came up, there was no hesitation. I definitely said yes directly,” says Jay-Jay Johanson, popular Swedish musician and guest star of the Festival. “I wish the Festival good luck and I hope their voice will be heard all over the world.”

You can find the Festival’s program on the website:

http://queerfest.ru/?lang=en

The organizer of the Festival is the St. Petersburg LGBT organization Coming Out (http://piter.lgbtnet.ru ) with the financial support by the Swedish human rights organization Civil Rights Defenders (http://www.civilrightsdefenders.org).

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