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Russia's LGBTQ Conference for Families in Works Amid Homophobic Regime

 Fifth LGBTKIAPP+ Family Conference

Organizers and activists reached out to the international community to fund the Moscow gathering that flies in the face of the anti-LGBTQ regime.

Russian activists continue to raise funds for an LGBTQ conference in Moscow to fight discrimination and homophobia, held in the capital of a homophobic regime and the geographically largest nation in the world. But organizers need to raise a substantial amount of funding in a short period.

The Fifth LGBTKIAPP+ Family Conference, a three-day event scheduled to begin November 9, will bring together LGBTQ individuals, families, psychologists, sexologists and educators, according to Nadja Aronchik, part of part of the NKO Resurs LGBTKIA Moscow

"Our conference is a unique platform for an exchange of unbiased information between specialists of helping professions (psychologists, educators, pedagogues etc.)," Aronchik writes on the group's English-language IndieGogo page. "It is the only platform in the [Confederation of Independent States] that addresses the problem of homo-, bi- and transphobia among psychologists and provides guidelines on working with vulnerable groups."

Russia remains one of the most infamously anti-LGBT world powers, something organizers remain completely aware of as they prepare to gather 500 people together for an event in the seat of government. The group's website notes the notorious "gay purge" in Chechnya.

This year's conference will focus on the "value of family and partnership. Ethics and politics."

Parenting by gay people is legal in Russia, but any promotion to minors of "nontraditional sexual relations" runs counter to Russia's gay propaganda law, creating a messy legal area for parents. Meanwhile, studies show hate crimes continue to rise in Russia following the passage of that law in 2013.

But conference organizers vow they won't stop meeting. In addition to the annual event, the group holds small events around Russia throughout the year, where materials gathered in the annual event get dispersed to members of Russia's LGBTQ community.

The group does need additional funding.

Yulia Malygina, director of Resource LGBTQIA Moscow, and Anna Golubeva, who runs psychological services there, recorded a funding video online and seek to raise 10,000 to 12,000 Euros (about $11,400 to $13,700 in U.S. currency) to run the event on the cheap.

"We believe that this conference is especially relevant in Russia today," says Malygina. "LGBT families are among the most vulnerable members of the LGBTQIA community. They have nowhere to turn for help and support. Our Conference is an attempt to give LGBTQIA families access to psychological support."

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