A new gay rights movement is stirring in Belarus and 19 year-old Sergei Androsenko is helping to lead it.
At a conference on the topic ‘Do radical organizations have the right to exist?’ held in Minsk on Tuesday, Androsenko found himself seated with members of Bealarus’ far right organizations. The conversation quickly turned to the topic of homosexuality and Androsenko, a member of the Belarusian Initiative for Sexual and Gender Equality argued strongly on behalf of equal rights for LGBT people living in Slavic Europe.
Even the right-wingers were impressed. A member of the Pravyi Alliance said: â€œThis young guy certainly came and got what he wanted â€“ everyone is discussing homosexualityâ€.
After the conference, Androsenko spoke with the press and spoke passionately about how the gay community must engage homophobia head on:
“We, the representatives of the movement for the rights of sexual minorities, should not be scared to come to the events of our opponents.
We must go to them, we must knock on their doors, we must try to tell them about homosexuality what they don’t know.
Participation in this event persuaded me that phobias of far right radicals are mostly due to the fact that they donâ€™t know anything about homosexuality, they follow well known rooted stereotypes.
I heard absolutely illiterate and ridiculous accusations towards people like me, towards homosexuals.”
A week ago, Belarusian and Russian gay activists met in Minsk and pledged to form a Slavic Gay Pride movement.