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Failure of Belarus Gay Pride 2000

Dear Sirs from the Lambda League, ILGCN, and Tupilak,

Unlike Mr. Ivanov from Russia, I am a citizen of Belarus and I cannot ignore who and how protects - or claims to protect - my civil rights. I'd like to note that I am not acquainted with Mr. Tarletsky, I am not associated with any group opposing the Lambda League, nor do my business interests overlap with those of the Lambda League. Hence, I believe that I am entitled to express my independent opinion on the activities of this organization.

My sense is that organizers of the Minsk Gay Pride committed serious mistakes, which, taken as a whole, cast a shadow of doubt on the fairness of their intentions. There is no lack of grounds for unpleasant conclusions and allegations. I pointed to them in my article, partially quoted by Mr. Ivanov in his statement. Today I'd like to comment on the reactions to the statement.

Unfortunately, sometimes human rights organizations (and not specifically gay rights organizations) tend to overestimate their impeccability. Besides, they resort to rhetoric to substitute ideas - they misrepresent the criticism of their activities as an assault on the rights they claim to protect. In the present case, the Lambda League considers the criticism leveled at the organization of the pride as an assail on gay and lesbian rights in Belarus. Let's not distort the truth - the criticism of organizers has nothing to do with homophobic allegations.

ILGCN and Tupilak issued a press release stating that such assaults are harmful to the struggle for gay and lesbian rights in Belarus and play into the hands' of the bigots world-wide. I cannot agree with it. Not the criticism was harmful, but the object of that criticism. The very activities of the Lambda League compromise our cause and expose us to the chuckles of the 'enemy'. The fact that Mr. Tarletsky declared himself the leader of Belarus gay movement does not imply his legitimacy. Times of power monopoly are over.

Let me stress it again - I question not the usefulness of gay rights movement in Belarus, but the methods and principles used by the Lambda League. I do not understand the silence of the League in fact of the uproar caused by the failure of their event. The League has never responded to any allegations, nor has it ever tried to rebut any of the facts. Instead, the League has embraced the 'name-calling' tactics, promptly labelling Mr. Ivanov's article a 'fascist propaganda of Hebbels' style'. I'd like to remind that these methods of 'name-calling' and withdrawal from a frank and open discussion traditionally raise doubts as to the fairness of the play. We expected a motivated response, but instead we got something unintelligible in 'you-are-fool-yourself' style.

Sincerely yours,
Sergei Privalov
Minsk, Belarus


Failure of Belarus Gay Pride 2000 Was Staged to Get More Grants
The initial article, to which this statement is a response.

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