Russian LGBTQ+ activist attended the Pride march in Moldova

Screenshot of a YouTube video about Yan Dvorkin (on the image) from the YouTube Channel MRR. Fair Use.

Newsmaker reported that the founder and head of the Russian Center T (which helps transgender and non-binary people) Yan Dvorkin attended the Pride march in Chișinău on June 16, 2024.  Global Voices translated the article, edited it for clarity and published it with permission from Newsmaker

In 2023, the Russian Ministry of Justice included Center T in the registry of “foreign agents.” That same year, the Ostankinsky District Court of Moscow fined Yan Dvorkin RUB 100,000 [1200 USD] for alleged “LGBTQ+ propaganda” on social media. On the eve of the Russian Supreme court recognizing the “LGBTQ+ movement” as extremist Yan Dvorkin left Russia.

After attending the march in Moldova, the human rights activist shared that it was his first time attending a Pride event. He was surprised by the number of participants and the police officers accompanying the parade. “The police came to protect us. It's incredible,” Dvorkin wrote on social media.

After the march, the activist went to an LGBTQ+ club and was surprised that “security forces weren't breaking in.” “It's so strange. Security forces don't break in here. It's not the bravest people in the city gathered here, just those who want to dance. Amazing,” Dvorkin noted.

On June 16, a march in support of the LGBTQ+ community took place in central Chișinău. According to the organizers, it was the largest march in Moldova's history, with over 800 participants, including two members of parliament, representatives of diplomatic missions, and international organizations. A photo report by Newsmaker is available here.

Later, however, as Activatica reported, Dvorkin was also quoted saying that he could not unfurl a flag with anti-war inscriptions in Russian in Moldova. He explained that he was advised against doing so because the flag had many Russian-language inscriptions and the large slogan Russia will be free. Moldova's relations with Russia are tense, and this could have led to conflict.

Dvorkin reported that he was finally able to unfurl his flag at Haifa's Pride in Israel on June 21.

In Israel, no one cared about the Russian text, and our flag had its first march. People took photos with it, asked to unfurl it so all the inscriptions could be in the shot,  Dvorkin wrote.  There were other anti-war posters in Russian at the pride in Haifa, as well as posters supporting trans and non-binary teenagers living in Russia.

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