Every year it seems Pride is here faster than the one before. It’s hard to believe that it has been four years since we took that epic journey from Sao Paulo to Moscow and experienced the scariest moments of our lives. Even harder to believe that it seems like Pride in Russia, and LGBT rights in general there, are in a more dire situation than they were when we visited. I continue to be amazed by Nikolai Alekseev’s tenacity, determination and commitment to the fight for LGBT rights in his country. This year he was arrested and fined under Russia’s new propaganda of homosexuality laws, yet continues to challenge the homophobic policies and politicians at every opportunity. The controversial laws will be debated at the UN Human Rights Committee in Geneva this July and although not legally binding, they carry an important and symbolic value. If Russia is reprimanded, it will be the first time that Russia is officially defeated at the UN over an LGBT issue and it will also be a precedent for the future cases at Human Rights Committee.
Our lovely friend Clare continues to raise awareness for LGBT rights at various events in other parts of Eastern Europe. She has recently been very busy at the Euro 2012 football match in the Ukraine, creating a LGBT fan embassy. You can follow her actions on the Pride Solidarity Facebook page. Another tireless fighter for LGBT rights that I am honoured to have met.
World Pride is set to get under way in London England. Sahran Abeysundara who brought many of us to tears with his wonderful spirit, determination and passion for Pride in Sri Lanka in Beyond Gay, is now serving on the board of London Pride and is fighting allegations that the event may be cancelled due to financial troubles. Now we all know that there will be no stopping the gays from celebrating Pride in a city like London, so we wish Sahran and the others our best in managing that massive event.
On this side of the Atlantic, Pride in New York and many other North American cities took place last weekend. I loved pouring over the photos and videos of the Drag March. Hard to believe its been a year since we had our screening there and re-connected with HuckleFaery Ken and many others from that wonderful community event. There is a really fun video on youtube.
Finally here in Canada we are thrilled that after years of work, waiting and patient determination the Canadian television premiere of Beyond Gay: The Politics of Pride happens tonight on Super Channel. We are so proud and excited to have a national broadcast on our country’s major movie channel, particularly on being included in their Canada Day documentary program on July 1st Documents of Canada. It will be played frequently over the Pride season on Super Channel and you can get the dates and times here. Vancouver Pride is still a month away and there are a number of community screenings in different cities across North America over the summer so check the calendar for dates and keep us informed of your local festivities on Facebook. Big Gay Ken just made a surprise appearance at Winnipeg Pride for a screening there.