RUSA LGBT was founded in 2008 as a support network for Russian-speaking individuals who identify with the LGBT community. The group consists of people who represent the diverse world of Russian-speaking cultures. RUSA LGBT regularly holds cultural and social events that bring together Russian-speaking American LGBT and their friends and family.
Since 2013, the group has been joined by a large influx of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender individuals from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan who fled these countries due to violence and persecution. These young, gifted, and educated people have now become part of the New York City talent pool, contributing to the city's innovation and growth. By marching in the world's largest Gay Pride Parade, we are sending our message of support to everyone in the world who is persecuted for their sexual orientation or gender identity.
In response to Russia outlawing "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations," RUSA LGBT is sending a message through its participation in the parade that "gay propaganda" does not exist. One's sexual orientation cannot be changed due to outside influence. The word "propaganda" comes from Latin and means "that which is to be propagated." It can also mean education and dissemination of knowledge among the population. This is why RUSA LGBT will march in this year's Pride with slogans such as: Propaganda of Freedom, Propaganda of Equality, Propaganda of Family, Propaganda of Kindness, Propaganda of Hope, Propaganda of Honesty, Propaganda of Happiness. and many others.
RUSA LGBT is asking the media to support this action in order to raise public awareness of the ongoing human rights violations of the LGBT population in the countries of the former Soviet Union.
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