An LGBT organization in Saint Petersburg, Russia has launched a poster project about lesbian families—and it’s worth a look. The posters, produced by the Rainbow Parents project of the LGBT group Coming Out, with the help of the Heinrich-Böll foundation in Moscow, will be distributed among community organizations in St. Petersburg, the regional offices of the Russian LGBT Network, and anywhere else people wish to hang them.
You can view them in the original Russian or via Google Translate for a (more-or-less accurate) English translation. Either way, they are terrific photos of families and adorable kids. The love comes through, even if the words don’t.
More importantly, they are a way of raising awareness about lesbian families. The PR manager for the project, Alisa Zhabenko, explained to me an e-mail, “Homophobia is a huge problem in Russia and be out at all is a brave idea for the families on our posters.” From the little news we get here in the U.S. about the LGBT community in Russia, I believe her. As much as we may complain, with justification, about our rights here in the U.S., the level of visibility, understanding, and rights is even less over there.
A press release described more about the project:
There are five topics in the project: “Courage”, “Dignity”, “Rights”, “Happiness” and “Coming out”. Five lesbian-parent families with children tell about themselves and important family values on the posters in short phrases: “Our children will be proud of their parents,” “Love in the family is the happy children”, “… So we want shared parental rights, a common last name, the march of Mendelssohn and world peace “,” Two mothers will grow the strong son”.
The aim of the project is to present short stories from the life of gay families, to show their existence for the Russian society. The current threat of homophobia makes many gay families in Russia hide their sexual orientation from children, relatives and friends, from the society.
The authors of the project claim that same-sex couples have grown-up children who don’t have any problems with socialization and acceptance of gender standards of the society. Each of these families has their one unique history, full of difficulties, contradictions and also happiness. Each family is unique, which is why we shouldn’t rule out some types of families. We should judge people by their own personalities.
The English may be rough, but I really couldn’t have said it better myself. Kudos to the brave families in the posters, and to the organizations that are supporting them.