This article was originally published on Gay Times.
“Дорогая Россия! Tы можешь стaть частью нашей большой семьи! Отпразднуй с нами Стокгольм Прайд!”
Understand what that means? Well, neither do we. But if you’re Russian, you may see it as an invite to Stockholm Pride.
The Swedish Pride celebration won both the gold and People’s Choice award at the Lovie Awards for its viral campaign #GoWest, and have sent their prize, a golden heart statue, to Russian President Putin.
In May, the group launched a twitter and gowest2013.com campaign, which highlighted the situation of LGBTQ people in Russia.
In June 2012, a Moscow court rejected the petition from activist Nikolai Aleksejevs to celebrate Pride in the capital of Russia and will continue its one hundred year ban.
In May 2013, dozens of LGBT activists were arrested in Moscow protesting against the court’s ruling. In the same month, one young man was found brutally murdered in Volvograd, raped with a glass bottle and his genitals slashed. Murdered because he was gay.
Peter Rimsby, President of Stockholm Pride said the golden heart statuette with the inscription ‘To a man with a heart of stone, here’s a heart of gold’ was ‘a tribute to all LGBT activists in Russia, and all the organisations and people in the world cooperating with and supporting the Russian LGBTQ movement.’
Celebrities like Boy George, Darren Hayes from Savage Garden, Canadian indie pop group Tegan and Sara, and Nicole Fiorentino from Smashing Pumpkins have already become involved in the campaign and was picked up internationally by the media.
To support Stockholm Pride’s aim visit the Go West site .