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Alexandra Yasharkina
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In Yaroslavl, LGBT activist Yaroslav Sirotkin held a picket on the Coming Out Day

Alexandra Yasharkina
“Come out of the closet. Don’t make a mistake”
Photo provided by Yaroslav Sirotkin

On October 10, Yaroslav Sirotkin, the leader of the Callisto LGBT Movement in Yaroslavl, held a one-person picket in honor of the National Coming Out Day — the day of awareness about the LGBT community. The picket was held in the city center, near the Znamenskaya Tower, the correspondent of 7x7 reports.

The activist held a poster saying, "Come out of the closet. Don't make a mistake" and hashtag #каминг-аут ('coming out'). According to Yaroslav Sirotkin, passers-by took his picket quietly, and several people took photos with him.

“The purpose of the action was to draw attention to the problem of the LGBT community's visibility,” Yaroslav commented on the picket. “The Russian government does its best to make LGBT+ people invisible [and does it] in various ways: by intimidation, distortion of facts, dissemination of antiscientific articles, and plain state propaganda. The invisibility of people means the invisibility of the problems they face. And this is not some problem like choosing clothes, quarreling with a friend. No, these are terrible hate crimes: the cold-blooded murder of a trans person in Chelyabinsk, the murder of [a gay man] at [Moscow] Kursky railway terminal. Therefore, it is important to be visible and declare the need to respect human rights. The rights that they so fiercely want to deprive us of.”

Coming out is the process of a person's open and voluntary recognition of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity that differs from the cissexual one.

On October 11, the International Coming Out Day is celebrated. The date was chosen in memory of the LGBT people's protest march in Washington, which took place in 1988 and gathered more than half a million people who demanded equal rights and antidiscrimination.

Yaroslav Sirotkin is the leader of the Callisto LGBT Movement in Yaroslavl. Activists have been working on LGBT issues since 2017. The first public performance of the movement was the action on the Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20, 2017. Members of the movement provide counselling to members of the LGBT community.

Yaroslav also held a picket on the Coming Out Day last year; he was wrapped in a rainbow flag and held a poster saying, "Just be yourself."


Alexandra Yasharkina, «7х7»

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