I’m one lucky bugger. This Brighton & Hove Pride I will be dancing with my queer mates, parading proud through the city I love, kissing my missus in the park and shaking my queer thing as I DJ at the many, many fabulous Pride parties. Basically I’ll be being myself. Being queer. Being me. And not being afraid. But then I don’t live in Russia. I can unfurl my rainbow flag without fear of being beaten and arrested. I can live openly beside my missus safe in the knowledge I’m, well, safe. Thanks to the Russian parliament people just like me can’t live free from fear. Can’t proclaim their love or live their lives in peace. They can’t report homophobic hate crimes to a sympathetic police force, confide in their teachers at school, access nonjudgemental sexual health care, find LGBT charities to support them or come out without fear to their families. Think about it. This Brighton Pride think about it.
Skint as I am (printing vast amounts of posters and teeshirts is beyond my budget I’m afraid) I wanted to do more than rant on social media and sign various petitions. I don’t know about boycotts but I do know if we keep making a noise, keep drawing attention to the horrifying situation the LGBT population in Russia are living through, something has got to give. Let’s make this inequality newsworthy. Lets stand proud with those who can’t this Pride.
So together with fellow University of Brighton graduate, artist Karol Michalec I’ve come up with the following homegrown idea. We want you to take our Brighton Supports LGBT Russia design, download it and share it. Print it, make posters, make t-shirts, make banners. Display it with pride in windows, on chests, on placards, on flags, on screensavers. Make it your profile pic, add it to timelines and Facebook, Instagram & Twitter feeds. If you are a venue owner print it and pop it in your window. If you run a magazine, newspaper or website run it. If your a promoter add it to your website and social media pages. Send it to your local MP and ask them to tweet it. Regardless of your own sexuality visually support our LGBT brothers and sisters in Russia and say ENOUGH! Say to that gay teen, that protester, that campaigner that we are here – thinking of and supporting them during our Pride celebrations.
As this is a home grown skint student initiative when you download the Hi-res JPEGs, Karol and I only ask in return that you please donate what you can at www.allout.org and help them continue their work in challenging Putin and his homophobic government. Please share this blog and download pack with as many people as you can – lets make a right queer noise and here’s to seeing as many of you as possible standing proud with Russian LGBT’s this Brighton Pride.
Download your Hi-res Brighton Supports LGBT Russia Poster and social media pack here
And if you need further convincing check out this video from Brighton’s James Brooks.