12th Annual festival of Queer Culture QUEERFEST to be Held in St. Petersburg Amid Growing State Homophobia

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The annual week of queer culture (aka QueerFest) by Coming Out’ LGBTQ group started on 8th of October in Saint Petersburg

The festival started with launching the ‘TRANSMONGOLIAN’ ’photo exhibition by a National Geographic photographer Álvaro Laiz. The programme also includes a discussion with the exhibition author, public talk concerning the problems of LGBTQ parents, workshops, lectures with famous journalists and psychologists as well as some night parties. On Saturday night, October the 17th, it all closes with the concert of popular Russian-Tajik singer Manizha. Several renowned brands such as Lush have agreed to become the partners of QueerFest this year, and the streetwear outlet Volchok has even launched the first Pride Collection in Russia in honour of the festival.

Taking part at all events, except the clubbing part, is free of charge for everyone, yet in compliance with Russian legislation we have to restrict admission to persons above 18 years old exclusively. For all those willing to join from any parts of the world, online broadcasting is available via QueerFest website.

Participants and guests of the festival will be able to celebrate diversity, exchange their experience and points of view, make new acquaintances and receive support from opinion leaders and experts in various fields.

“We believe that in the current times of aggravating state homophobia in Russia such events are important as never before. Ongoing repressions against gays in Chechnya, hate speech on state-controlled TV, recent homophobic amendments to the Constitution – against all odds we will keep on fighting for our rights and promoting our values peacefully. And we do hope that international community & media won’t miss the opportunity to stand out in support of Russian LGBTQ,” the organisers said in a press note.

The first QueerFest was held in September 2009 and then every year at the end of summer. In 2020, due to COVID-19 pandemic, the Coming Out team had to choose between the dates changing and trying to organize the entire event online. Eventually, October was chosen as the final option.