Importance of parents’ involvement in bringing about change
Russia is a highly homophobic society. LGBT people are exposed to everything from discrimination to attacks and insults. In recent months, Russia has adopted laws at the regional level that prohibit “propaganda of homosexuality” and at the beginning of summer Russia adopted a federal law that prohibits “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships“.
In this situation parents, and mothers in particular, can be important agents of change because of their relatively high status in Russia. Several organizations for LGBT rights have recently started parental clubs. These participate in street actions, they are being interviewed in the media, and write letters to authorities and decision makers. It has been shown that parents are more likely to reach out and get stronger public support than leading LGBT activists.
Parental clubs also work to reach out to other parents whose children are gay, bisexual or transgender. There are studies that show that one in five LGBT people in Russia have attempted suicide. Support and acceptance from family is crucial.
During Stockholm Pride, Civil Rights Defenders, supported by the Swedish Institute, organises an exchange of experience between two groups of parents from Russia, the Swedish network Proud parents lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender children, and RFSL (The Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender Rights). As a part of the program, a panel discussion will take place at Pride House on 2 August.
Time: 2 August, at 13:00 – 14:45
Location: Pride House, Kulturhuset (The Studio)
Cecilia Rosing, Civil Rights Defenders
Ulrika Westerlund, RFSL
Dima Musolin, Coming Out
Elena Musolina, Coming Out
Elisabeth Grafström Network Proud parents
Organizers: Civil Rights Defenders, Network Proud parents, and RFSL
The seminar is free and will be held in English .
The Swedish network Proud parents of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender children was founded in 1998 and became a branch of RFSL in 2006. The Network works to support young LGBT people and their families, and organizes various outreach activities, especially during Stockholm Pride festival.
RFSL – The Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender Rights is a non-profit organization that works with and for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT). It is non-partisan and not affiliated with any religious organization. RFSL was founded in 1950 and is one of the world’s oldest LGBT organizations. It currently has approximately 4,000 members.
Tags: Law on foreign agents, Law on propaganda of homosexuality, Pride, Proud parents of LGBT children, RFSL, Russian LGBT Network, and Stockholm Pride.