June 1, 2010

Moscow's First Gay Pride Parade

While Memorial Day was celebrated here over the weekend, a holiday on which we remember and honor the servicemen and women who have fought for our freedoms, in Moscow a group of daring activists managed to stage the first Gay Pride Parade.  Unlike New York's parade goes on for five hours plus, this parade lasted about 10 minutes.  But that was a huge step forward considered the history of such events there recently. 

The city of Moscow's police and politicians have been incredibly hostile to gays and lesbians in recent years and all previous attempts to stage a Pride Parade have been disbanded, some ending in violence.  But on Saturday, a group of roughly 30 determined gays and lesbians, evaded the police and, through the magic of digital video and the Internet, you can watch their brave and determined efforts below.  This dramatic video  is from the Band of Thebes blog and there is is full coverage at Towleroad with more photos and behind-the-scenes videos.

I've often heard people here in the city bitch and moan about the Gay Pride Parade....that it's too long, it's too flamboyant, and, as someone recently tried to explain to me, it's "unnecessary". For those who wonder why we still march on gay pride day, this is a stark reminder that the fight for equality goes on.