Latest news in detail
Here you'll find all major news regarding the center in general and development of its projects.
August 15, 2005
The community center "Together" (Moscow) has resumed its work on self-help groups for gays and bisexuals
15/08/2005. Since the middle of June 2005, the "Self-help group for gays and bisexuals" continued its meetings in a new location.
The GLBT center "Together" has resumed its work on self-help groups. Since the end of 2003, the center "Together" had successfully operated four groups: A psychological group for gays and bisexuals; A discussion group called "Borders"; A self-help group for lesbians; A self-help group for gays and bisexuals. The groups had to discontinue their meetings at the center due to problems that arose after it had been visited by officials from the Tver department of internal affairs in the fall of 2004.
Beginning in the middle of June 2005, the "Self-help group for gays and bisexuals" continued its meetings in a new location, which was presented by a famous Moscow patron.
Participants of the group get together for a variety of activities, which include giving each other moral and psychological support, to exchange information, to share experiences from their own lives and to find new friends.
At all meetings the following rules apply. Meetings are conducted on Mondays in the center of Moscow every week.
During the official portion of the meeting pressing questions are discussed. The unofficial portion is devoted to informal socializing.
January, 18, 2004
Eduard Murzin and Ed Mishin have filed for a marriage certificate from a Moscow registration office
Eduard Murzin, Russian
Deputy and Ed Mishin, head of the Russian National GLBT Center "Together" and
chief editor of the Russian gay magazine KVIR, have filed for a marriage
certificate from a Moscow registration office.
A deputy in the Bashkortostan republican legislature in central Russia, Edvard Murzin, well-known for his human rights initiatives, and the chief editor of KVIR monthly publication for gays and lesbians, Ed Mishin, have attempted today to register their marriage in Butyrskyi registration office in Moscow. This civil action is the first serious grass-roots attempt to draw attention of Russian media, politicians and Russian citizens to the social status of gays and lesbians.
At the same time Mishin and Murzin aim to mobilize Russian LGBT community and encourage more well-considered actions to defend rights, which gay and bisexual people lack in the Russian Federation. This is, first of all, the right to be married (and thus to create a family and raise children).
The major goal of the deputy and the journalist is to take care about social problems of the Russian citizens with sexual orientation other than so called "traditional" one (which is 5 to 10 percent according to open sources). People with alternate sexual preferences equally participate in Russia's life, its cultural and economic development. At the same time they lack fundamental human rights, such as the right to create a family and protect mutually created individual as well as legitimate property; the right to receive aid when one's partner dies or gets killed in a military action, in an accident etc.
Current legislation, full of complicated legal aspects, makes regulation of same-sex couples' issues a hassle, discriminating around 16,5 million Russian citizens.
Edvard and Ed believe that the existing family code of the RF contradicts the Constitution of Russia and with the fundamental Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 10 December 1948, as it protects interests of one group, ignoring rights of others.
In early 2004 Murzin began campaigning for the legalization of homosexual marriages, initiating amendments to the Bashkortostan family legislation. He tried to amend the legal definition of marriage, which by law is entered into by mutual consent of a man and a woman, insisting it should be "by mutual consent of citizens". The lawmakers rejected his amendment. On Dec 20, 2004 the Supreme Court of the RF also officially refused to take up Murzin's case against Russian State Duma on legalization of same-sex marriages.
But the registration office has said it will refuse to issue a marriage certificate in ten days, because same-sex marriages are unlawful in Russia according to the article 12 of the Family Code. The document stating the refusal will become a basis for consecutive court cases (regional; constitutional; ECHR).
"Echo of Moscow", prominent Moscow's radio station, conducted a poll on this issue. Of 4800 participants, only 30% support the idea of same sex marriages. "The struggle is just coming up", - commented Ed Mishin.
Our application on HIV/AIDS prevention project has been successful and approved by WHO
Currently, sexual transmission of HIV among MSM is on the rise because of low awareness on this issue and unsafe sex practices. There is a lack of prevention projects for MSM, as there is not a single public or state organization in Russia that would comprehensively tackle medical & social problems of MSM.
The 2 year project, "Change towards safer behavior of men having sex with men through individual counseling for HIV/AIDS prevention" will create conditions for safe sexual behavior skills among MSM in Moscow region. It is funded by PAF and is to be made with the support of WHO. Thanks to their support we hope this initiative to help Russian MSM society to escape the second HIV/AIDS epidemic.
GLBT Community center project postponed - application fails
For a year "Together" GLBT Center and COC Netherlands have been working hard on our joint application to MATRA on 3 year project intended to establish Community Center for GLBT persons in Moscow. This could have been a safe and welcoming place to come to for every gay, bisexual, lesbian or transgender person in need or their friends and parents, providing non-sexual communication opportunities and psychosocial support.
A project of such scale and complexity is difficult to set up. That's why we (Russian National GLBT NGO) and COC Netherlands (the oldest and most experienced Dutch GLBT association) have joined our efforts for this project.
We had to seek for external funding as the amount of money required to fulfill the project far exceeds our possibilities. Unfortunately, this joint application has been unsuccessful. We will continue our negotiations and will be seeking for any other options for setting up the Center.
We have contributed to PSI's Summer school for outreach workers in St.-Petersburg
Ed Mishin visited Bangkok HIV/AIDS conference
First hotline for MSM (free service) started in Moscow
This hotline, a free service started by our Center, is the first hotline for gays and bisexuals in Russia. It operates by volunteers at (095) 783-8333 from 18h to 22h workdays.
Set up of the hotline has been made possible thanks to sharing of international experience by many GLBT NGOs around the world, including London Lesbian And Gay Switchboard, British Telephone Helplines Association, Terrence Higgins Trust, New York GLBT Community Center and others.
Our nearest plans for developing this service
include extending working hours and providing consultation for other target
Update: Region.gay.ru, the only directory of GLBT organizations relaunched (with over 107 towns and 500 organizations in Russia and CIS)
Region.gay.ru is the most comprehensive directory of GLBT venues in
post-soviet space. We regularly check information in the database,
remove obsolete and add new data.
With this major annual update directory offers information on over 500 venues in 107 towns of CIS.
Seven years of gay.ru: Ed Mishin thinks that everything has just begun
On 20 May in the club "Three monkeys" Gay.ru celebrated their seventh anniversary. The party was a success! The club had perhaps never seen a crowd such as the one that gathered on thursday night. Gay.ru received wishes from Barry Alibasov, Andrei Vul'f, Artemii Trotskii, from the groups "Revolvers" and "Gosti iz budushego", from Aleksandr Abrakhimov, Aleksandr Basil'ev, Andrei Bartenev, Evgeniia Debrinskaia, Aleksandr Moguchii, Vlad Monro, Oleg Kulik, Roman Viktiuk and many more.
"Everything has just begun"
said in his celebratory speech the main redactor of the website, Ed Mishin. "The
Russian gay community, that for many years has been asleep, woke up thanks to...
Raikov. If he hadn't come up two years ago with his stupid proposal, perhaps,
nothing would have happened. The Decembrists awoke Herzen; in the same way
Raikov has raised self awareness among Russian gays." "Self-help groups are up
and running, the gay magazine "Kvir" is being released, and soon we'll open a
telephone helpline for gays", said Mishin. "In this last year more was done than
in the previous seven. We hope that this is just the beginning, and that the
next seven yers will be no less fruitful".
The party was very hot. It was presented by the incomparable Laura Kolli. As usual, she heated up the audience. During the mock lottery (prizes were merchandise from the shop shop.gay.ru) there were several funny moments. An American called Johnny, who won one of the competitions, chatted with Laura. "Do you know what "Kvir" is?", asked Laura. "Yes", replied the American, "I get the magazine at work". "And what do you do?" inquiried Kolli. The American got confused and didn't reply. And Laura announced that among us there was an American spy, who is studying Russian gay community's work. By the way, as a prize Johnny got a pair of military pants, which, as Kolli noted, will help Johnny to be the winner in the most difficult situations. The first prize - an inflatable member - was given to a nice shy guy who turned as red as a ripe cherry...
A defile of male underwear was the most erotic event of the evening. The models were really to lose one's head for. The show, the drinking, the music and the dancing... it all went on almost until the next morning. We should only thank Il'ia Abaturov, Laura Kolli, Liliana Kovani and many others who have contributed in organising the party for this wonderful evening.
We've become a member of IGLYO
Jun 20 '03
We've taken part in the US-Russia Working Group Against HIV/AIDS, June 18-19, 2003 in Washington
Apr 14 '03
GayHealth.ru, a special HIV/STI website for gays and lesbians released.