Brighton Beach Pride in May Some reacted as we expected — with hatred and judgement, others were surprisingly friendly and supportive. He heard an offensive comment about himself as well, and responded to the couple in Russian what he thinks about them. Harvey Milk was born here, Stonewall riots took place here; gay and lesbian studies have been initiated in the U. Is it why I came over here? Photos by Nikita Burukhin American Dream of living without fear Tolerance is one of the key difference of the United States compared to former Soviet countries. Russians bring intolerance, conservatism and homophobia with themselves from across the ocean, and it often happens that these feelings stay with them for good. Some people feared losing their job… All the fears the community had and the most popular occurrences were reflected in slogans written on the placards created for the Pride. The land of freedom is not just a name for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people from post-Soviet area.
It was extremely difficult to get people to comment for this article — most of those who are featured here, including prominent activists of the community, were voicing various reasons not to comment. Some people feared losing their job… All the fears the community had and the most popular occurrences were reflected in slogans written on the placards created for the Pride. Is it why I came over here? Stepan had a chance to meet his compatriots here: Brighton is changing anyway due to time and immigration from the CIS. In addition, you cannot just completely avoid communicating with Russian community when you arrive in the U. He settled down in New York City but tries to avoid visiting Russian-speaking neighborhoods. He heard an offensive comment about himself as well, and responded to the couple in Russian what he thinks about them. Russian diaspora is not welcoming to mavericks, and any case of silo mentality can become absolute within a closed community. However, he doubts very much he will live to the day to see it. However, the woman kept insisting that he put out his cigarette and left the store. Who else will let them an apartment without credit history and legal income? They would not want to listen, understand, or accept… But after numerous explanations by my friends that all of this did have sense, after numerous debates about it I understood the pride had to take place. I personally was insulted verbally so many times. Of course, only Russian area residents will: We are queer, we are here! Harvey Milk was born here, Stonewall riots took place here; gay and lesbian studies have been initiated in the U. And Brighton has long been deemed a veto territory. If it does not concern a Brighton resident directly, they will never even look at you. One of them anonymously told in an interview later that it was his first time showing up dressed like this in broad daylight. Some reacted as we expected — with hatred and judgement, others were surprisingly friendly and supportive. Still, on May 20, , rainbow flags were flown over amazed Brighton Beach for the first time as Russian-speaking gay pride walked along the ocean edge followed by gawkers, camera flashes, and drizzle. However, I have heard about such fights from my acquaintances. I decided we must hold the pride whatever it takes. Anyway, homophobia is inherent for newcomer immigrants who still live up to traditions of their former homeland. To be afraid again? Many asked to approach them and give a hug; they cheered when they saw the column from CIS countries.
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