May 17th was the final day of the 10-day-long Family Equality Festival that took place in Moscow from May 7 to May 17.
Over 300 people attended the Festival.
The Festival was a platform for five seminars covering an array of topics: legal support for LGBTQIA families, Assisted Reproductive Technologies for LGBTQIA parents, trans* issues, resources for couples living with HIV, non-monogamous relationships and unions. Other events included a round table discussion for journalists, an art therapy workshop, a film showing, a Forum theatre performance by the “Play space” personal development club where they presented a story of coming out to a conservative family, a “Living library” event where visitors could meet various families and ask them questions, fellowship for Rainbow families where we discussed pressing issues, a talk show about the rights we have in our family, “Rainbow fun runs” (a family sporting event), as well as several artistic performances: “Love wins” (a literary evening by the “Rainbow lamp” literary club), a “Rainbow fashion” catwalk show where participants could “change themselves without cheating themselves” and, of course, a fantastic party.
On May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, we held a ceremony to recognise and present awards to different kinds of families as a sign of respect to all types of families, regardless of the gender identity or sexual orientation of their members. The ceremony sent a message of the equality of all families built on love, acceptance and mutual respect.
Sixteen families took part in the ceremony and spoke about the things they had in common and shared their dreams, hopes and life stories.
The main idea of the Festival was to bring together different families – Rainbow families and heterosexual families, monogamous and non-monogamous, with or without children – and help them get to know each other better, to spend time together, to learn about their rights and opportunities when it comes to having or adopting children, to figure out some issues they have and see what support they can get in times of trouble, to express their creativity and rethink their life and just to have some good old fun and show off their talents.
We believe that all of this (and much more!) did work out!
We at “Resource LGBTQIA Moscow” would like to express our gratitude to our partners:
—the AIDS.Center foundation for people living with HIV
— the Russian LGBT Sports Federation
— the “Transgender” foundation
— the “LaSky” project
— “Stimul”, the Moscow LGBT Initiative Group and to Tatiana Glushkova personally
— the Alliance of Heterosexuals and LGBT for Equal Rights (Moscow).
We would also like to thank the Moscow Community Center and the Rainbow Association for information support. Also, a heartfelt thank you to Mikhail Tumasov, member of the Council of Russian LGBT Network, for spreading the word across all of Russia and to the Give a Damn Foundation for very timely support of our project.
This was our first Family Equality Festival and it is going to become an annual event. Next May we will once more open our doors to all those who care about family, love and mutual support!
We can do more together!
Give a Damn Foundation