• Международный фестиваль Квир-культуры в Санкт-Петербурге

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Ian McKellen will open QueerFest: "Some people are gay. Get over it!"

Famous British actor who performed as Gandalf and Magnetto, open gay and entitled as a knight, sir Ian McKellen "sends a message of hope" to the LGBT community of St. Petersburg, Russia and criticises the homophobic law.

"QueerFest is a very important event. And I hope you have a successful festival, - Ian McKellen says in his video address, - 20 years ago in the UK a law was passed similar to your own which prevented us speaking to young people positively on gay issues. This was an unnecessary law. A cruel law. Contradicted any sense of human rights. And it was a work of a government that was a bully."

 

Let us be reminded that QueeFest 2012 - the festival in support of LGBT rights - will open in St. Petersburg on September 20. Besides Ian McKellen's video, guests of the Festival will be greeted by the Minister for integration and gender equlity of Sweden NYAMKO SABUNI, Flemish Minister for Education, Youth, Equal Opportunities PASCAL SMET, also invited are the Consuls General of Sweden, the Netherlads, United Kingdom, Norway, Finland, France, Germany, Belgium and USA.

 

Ian McKellen's video address:

Full text of address:

Hello! It's Ian McKellen.

I am speaking from my home in London and I am wearing my favourite t-shirt: "Some people are gay. Get over it".

I'd like to start first with thank you for your invitation and I'm so sorry that I can't be with you. I'd love to return to St. Peterbsurg - the beautiful city which harbored the talents of Tschaikovsky, Diagilev and Nureev and many other less celebrated people over the years.

QueerFest is a very important event. Not just for you locally but for us outside Russia who care about civil rights. And I hope you have a successful festival.

I'd like to send you a message of hope. 20 years ago in the UK a law was passed similar to your own which prevented us speaking to young people positively on gay issues. This was an unnecessary law. A cruel law. Contradicted any sense of human rights. And it was a work of a government that was a bully.

But over the years, as individual gay people and straight people gathered together and made their views clear we managed to persuade the politicians one by one that they were wrong. So now we are in the happy situation that that law has been repealed. And we are close to having same gender marriages in the UK. I just hope that similar progress is possible in Russia.

I'll end by sending you all my love.

Good bye!

 
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