Moscow, 30th November 2003.
Several months ago GLBT Center "Together" started monthly gay magazine, ‘KVIR’ (www.kvir.ru), (the only non-online source of information for Russian gays, bisexuals and those interested in LGBT issues).
The initial idea of this project was to make the diverse and reliable information about health, entertainment, human rights, politics and other issues related to LGBT life in Russia available to all interested people (especially living in rural parts of Russia with low living standards).
We were going to disseminate the magazine for free or for the token price. Due to lack of financing, the Centre is regrettably forced to charge a nominal fee for it and it cannot cover the expenses even close. That's why we have decided to organize a fundraising party to help this project survive.
The party took place on November 29th in 12 Volt Club and was open for everyone. It collected more than 40 friends, readers and supporters of this magazine and our Center. Willing donors got a special "thank you" subscription to KVIR for one year.
Prof. Kallings said:
"I sincerely hope that the gay community in Russia could be more visible and would be able to step forward to participate openly in the efforts to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS. Fighting discrimination and stigmatisation is key to reach that goal. That fight figures high on the UN agenda. I hope that you are not feeling abandoned but embraced by a global solidarity.
It was encouraging that people living with HIV/AIDS had the courage to appear and speak from the rostrum at this years World AIDS Day in Moscow. I hope that we can work together to increase the visibility step by step."
Dr. Chequer continued:
"In many countries worldwide, human rights of minorities are not considered as an important issue to be addressed. In some of them, despite existence of national laws that guarantee respect and protection as well as punishment in case of violations, the law is rarely enforced and in some situations, human rights violations are silent supported by politicians, authorities and important segments of society. This happens frequently when is related to sexual minorities in conservative societies.
In the Russian Federation, despite clear improvement observed, human rights of gays, lesbians and transsexuals are far away of the desirable level. A lot need to be done in this field. The existence of some initiatives such as the Magazine Kvir deserves our full support and recognition. In addition to this specific issue, Kvir Magazine has systematically discussed topics related to HIV/AIDS in terms of prevention and care as well as rights of people living with HIV/AIDS. This is a very important step in order to raise awareness among highly vulnerable population. UNAIDS fully support this initiative as part of a comprehensive approach to face the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Russian Federation."
GLBT Center "Together" is very grateful to Prof. Kallings and Dr. Chequer for their visit, support and kind words. On behalf of KVIR's staff we would like to hearty thank all of you donated for the project and especially Jan Van Esch for his great help in organizing the event. It really means a lot for us! With your support we hope to make the publication even better and are always open for suggestions.
GLBT Centre "Together" is a non-profit public organization whose aim is to fight for equal rights for Russian gays, lesbians & transsexuals, to secure the right to privacy, to help create long-term relationships, and to promote involvement in gay community life. We are the only GLBT community-based organisation, working exclusively with GLBT in Russia at the national level.
KVIR monthly periodical, the only Russian magazine for gays, bisexuals and those interested in gay issues (www.kvir.ru). This magazine is aimed at the "non-online audience", people living in regions, and those who visit www.gay.ru rarely. This non-profit project is designed to provide society with correct and diverse information on homosexuality, to increase public tolerance of homosexuals, awareness on safer sex and HIV/AIDS issues, as well as to provide support to and unify the gay community.