On July 14, the Russian government approved a new bill regarding the banning of “gender reassignment”. It was approved by the Federation Council on July 19. In a matter of days it will be signed by the President, and will be enforced immediately after his authorization.
The Sphere Foundation considers this ban to be a continuation of the states persecution of LGBT+ people in Russia. The Russian authorities, through this law, has ostracized a large group of their own people, citizens of their country. This will lead not only to mass immigration, but an increase of unsafe and shady surgeries, as well as an increase in the number of suicides.
In addition, officials again stressed that Russia is a different world. A world where everyone can’t be themselves. A world in which there is no place for “otherness”. A world in which the authorities are so desperate to defend the image of a special country – a stronghold of “traditional values” that they are ready to feed this illusion by sacrificing the rights and potentially the lives of their own citizens.
It breaks our hearts that with each new law we are not just erased, but dehumanized by having even those few rights and opportunities that we had taken away. It’s okay if you’re scared, in pain, and don’t know what to do next. But try to remember that we have each other. Let it bring us together. Staying angry will help you fight or at least help in staying true to yourself no matter what.
We, as representatives of the LGBT+ community and allies, declare that no prohibitions and laws will shut us down. We will continue to live and do what we think is right. And we will celebrate the lifting of this and all inhumane laws.
As the Sphere, we declare that we will continue to help the entire queer community. We will continue to provide free legal advice and psychological sessions, we will continue to defend our rights in courts and tell the world community about the problems in Russia. We won’t give up and you please don’t give up!