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Parents of LGBTI kids from former Soviet countries key to ending homophobia

Parents of LGBTI kids from former Soviet countries key to ending homophobia

A group in the Ukraine is helping train parents from former Soviet countries be better allies for their LGBTI children.

Tergo is the first official organization in the Ukraine providing support and training to parents and families of LGBTI people.

The group acknowledges that ‘Ukraine is far from being an ideal place to live for LGBT+ people’. But it also knows it’s much luckier than other former Soviet countries in that it’s allowed to exist at all.

For five years, Tergo has endured ongoing attacks from right-wing groups and runs completely without any government financial support.

‘We realize that people and relatives of LGBT+ people in other Post-Soviet countries such as Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia do not have the privilege to meet openly and regularly with other families where there is an LGBT+ person, discuss their problems and share their joys,’ Tergo said in a statement.

Tergo helps parents in Eastern Europe be better allies to their LGBTI kids. | Photo: Tergo

Happy 5th Birthday Tergo!

So to celebrate its fifth birthday it wants to bring some LGBTI family members to Kyiv for a training workship.

‘This is why for the fifth anniversary of TERGO we want to bring at least three family members of LGBT+ people from Post-Soviet countries to Kyiv not only to celebrate together but, more importantly, to support each other, share our experience, and work for development of common strategies to advocate for LGBT+ rights and to create more tolerant and democratic society in our countries,’ it said.

But to be able to afford to pay for the workshop, travel and accommodation of the family members it has started a crowd funding campaign. The group is hoping to raise €6,000 (US$7,046) to cover costs.

‘Having zero state support, TERGO continues its activity thanks to generous funding of international donors who do not, however, cover such thing as international cooperation and cannot help parents’ initiatives and groups on Post-Soviet space who are not registered as a civil organization,’ it said.

‘This is why, the first time in five years, TERGO’s members have decided to reach out and ask for international community support.’

Tergo knows parents are the best advocates for LGBTI people. | Photo: Tergo

Tergo wants to bring at least 12 parents from former Soviet countries and 25 parents from around Ukraine to Kyiv.

It launched its crowdfunding campaign to coincide with the global Pride Month. Which is a time that is usually volatile in Ukraine.

Last year’s Kyiv Pride was marred by homophobic and far-right protesters,  as was the 2015 Kyiv Pride parade.

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