“The Best Thing About Queerfest is That You Can Go There and Simply Be Yourself”

Kris Jashina is one of the 2.800 visitors at the 2018 Queerfest.

Voices from Queerfest:
Close-up with Kris Jashina, visitor at the 2018 Queerfest.

“Queerfest for me is a space where the understanding of identity and culture is in focus. Importantly, it is a place where the visitors can come and feel safe. This, to me, is very important as it provides a feeling of comfort that the LGBT community in Russia has not had before.

I am convinced that many other LGBT people feel the same about Queerfest as I do. When we all gather here, we get a mutual understanding that we are not alone, and that our so called “problems” are not actually problems. Our “diseases” are not actually diseases.

To me, the best thing about Queerfest is that you can go there and simply be yourself. Because in Russia, it is generally very hard to be that. Yourself.”

This year, the Russian Pride Festival Queerfest celebrated its 10th anniversary. Amid repressive laws and severe homophobia permeating the Russian society, the event has continued to grow, and is now one of Russia’s most important LGBT events. This year, it gathered a record number of 2.800 visitors!

Civil Rights Defenders has supported Queerfest since its very beginning in 2009. Read more about the festival’s journey here:

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