- Tell us, how the list of club’s members changed during the last 10 years. What kind of people come to you? I understand that different ones, but these must be not the same girls and women that came here 10 years ago? The new features you see in them are the will to live and to create or these changes are not always measured by a positive vector?
-Actually, much water has flowed under the bridges for the last 10 years: the Club of Free Membership has turned into the Club of Loyal Couples little by little and also the age of the women, who came to us became older. Many of them live with their female partners as a family; others just date or seek for a partner for starting relations.
There are even some of the family duets - Myshka with Lala, YusenKey and other singing couples. The positive thing about it all is that after clarifying their relations, female families are no longer worried that "KSP" (Club of Free Membership) will be visited by only one of the partners: sometimes they come separately if the work or other issues do not let them come to us together. I hope this trust will not be lost in the future.
Elena, apparantly the club has become the part you for these years - it couldn’t happen another way. And, assumingly, the club has changed you as well: what influenced you the most from the club’s society and what did it give to you?
-Surely, my character has also been changing during these years: I became more tolerant towards people who are in a search and come to the club with a new partner every time. I even invented my own "classification":
CSPP - in a continuous search of a permanent partner SS - stationery single D - dating FF - fortunate family
These symbols are written by the visitors in the forms that they fill together with their contacts.
During these 10 years I have found a lot of confederates who can easily join a short suburb trip in summer or winter time. We’ve got people of all professions - psychologists, lawyers, teachers of driving and doctors - in fact we are all existing in our own "virtual state". When needed, we can always send out the notifications and we will get answers not only from close friends, but even from absolutely unknown people from all over Russia.
-Have you ever received any kind of support from the foundations or people during these years? Are there some people you can say thanks to?
-Fortunately, I’ve got enough people to say thanks to - the ones who we started all events and festivals with in the very beginning, in 2001. Tatyana Fransouis has repeatedly helped with financing, Tatyana from "Sumerki" (Twilight) band, who has paid the rent of the "AlpGalka" hall, Elena Tsertlikh has been permanently assisting with all the issues during the rallies, concerts and not only with her activities and creativity, but also with the transportation of various equipment to the women’s camp on the island.
Naming all the "auto-Ladies" who have brought us TV-sets for the club, a gas engine to the Seliger, other equipment and electronics for installing sound at the rallies, would not let any more free space in the magazine for other publications. Only the foundations of Hungary and the Netherlands have never given me any reply when I sent them official requests asking for help while organizing the Festivals. Gera (the editor of the "Ostrov" (the island) magazine) has shared her grant with us, which let us pay the year’s rent of the cellar at Alekseevskaya and it allowed everyone to come there for free.
-Festivals, rallies, dreams about female settlement... Haven’t you left the dream of the settlement yet and are there any chances to make it come true?
-The last time the idea of building a female settlement has been discussed at the VolgaVolga forum in February 2010. We have discovered 28% approval and 27% disapproval of this project. I became quite tired of hitting through the stone walls with my head alone. It’s been already three years of periodical visits to the village situated in Ulyanovsk region where three of us have paid 5000 rubles each to buy an old house and 20 acres of soil. By now we are just gathering what grows in the garden by itself, but there is enough space for farming. I invite everybody there - you can still buy houses nearby for 10 000 rubles.
- Elena, around you there is some permanent community that is growing also due to the mail notification service provided by Mail.Ru. Do you feel being the part of this community and do you participate in the gay-prides?
-As I have already mentioned, during the latest 5 years, there formed a community of the loyal and understanding people who support and develop our projects. It includes Alena Laskoronskaya and Elena Inozemtseva from Petersburg who have taken part in conducting the 5th and 6th Seliger rallies, and "Matriarkhat" by Kortney who has continued the organization of the festivals in Moscow. I no longer have any fear that everything might finish if I leave it all. No-no - everything will be even more interesting and done in a newer way.
Speaking about the gay-prides and female camps in Sweden and the Netherlands, I think at the moment it is difficult for me to say anything about this experience transfer to Russia. After the Europride in Stockholm I wanted to cry - people in our country will not have a chance to openly walk along the streets in a festive movement for a lot more years.
Actually, there are 2-3 day parties in the private hotels in the suburbs of Moscow, but unlike in the West, everything is held without any entertainment programs. People are glad JUST to hang out whereas the need of music and dance trainings, psychology seminars or health improvement procedures might appear later...
-For already several times you have been to female camps outside Russia. You must have noticed a big difference between lesbian women here and there. What would you take from the foreign women in terms of behavior and lifestyle - personal and public?
Swedish women have been constantly coming to their camp by the lake for already 25 years. The ban of smoking, alcohol, drugs is as natural for them as vegetarian food and meditation sessions. Unlike them, our women feel dull and uninterested if the trip does not include beer and shashlik. Therefore, how to say, "what would I take from the foreign girls".... I’d take the SWEDISH girls!
-The summer is coming soon, one more Seliger rally and festival - would you be in charge of all organizational procedures yourself again?
If there is one more womens’ rally this year, then it will take place on another island of the Seliger because the former Khachin island got too well-known to the local fishermen and to the journalists from Tver. I hope that new organizers from Moscow and Piter (Saint Petersburg - Gay.ru), the quantity of whom as the quantity of the lighted torches during the Gala Torch Parade Is steadily increasing, will assist in compiling the program of the upcoming summer Rally. It all began from 10 people in the far 2004 and the last time we had more than 300 participants. The sparkle gave birth to the big fire!...