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The Your Stories section is all about you! Please take a minute to tell visitors of the ILGA website about what LGBTI life is like in reality. Please submit your personal story and share your experience!

Share your experiences in BELARUS - Let others know what it’s like to be LGBTI in your country! If an experience is meaningful for you, it will probably be meaningful for someone else. On whatever topic, whether good or bad, your story is how the world knows about your country and LGBTI life. By selecting tags that mark the topic your story, others can learn from your experience.
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Readers Experiences

This is what people are saying about life for LGBTI people in BELARUS...
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Siarhei Androsenka (user currently living in BELARUS) posted for gay readers on 01/06/2010 tagged with human rights +12
Arrested, Beaten, Threatened, Jailed and Sent for Trial Just for Taking Part in Slavic Gay Pride

By Sergey Yenin (probably the most dramatic 1,000 words written about a Gay Pride event anywhere in the world this year)

There were four of us in the taxi. Myself, Logan (and Australian filmmaker), Jack (his boyfriend) and Chad (a photographer working on a project Walk with Pride). I couldn’t help shivering in anticipation of the upcoming Pride march and the possible extreme few hours that I would probably face. But I couldn’t let my friends worry as well. The taxi driver noticed that something was really wrong with the place he had to drop us off.

“What’s going on here? Who are you?” – the taxi driver asked me. “Just tourists going to the hotel” – I responded. It was the place where the Pride was going to take place and was situated near a hotel.

Logan prepared his camera and Jack took a paper notebook and a pen into his hands: “I hope I will look like a journalist,” he remarked.

All: http://gaybelarus.by/english/slavic-pride/arrested-beaten-threatened-jailed-and-sent-for-trial-just-for-taking-part-in-slavic-gay-pride.html

Foto i video Slavic Gay Pride in Minsk: http://gaybelarus.by/naviny/slavic-pride/v-minske-sostoyalsya-vtoroi-slavyanskii-gei-praid-foto-i-video.html
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alex (user currently living in BELARUS) posted for readers on 30/01/2010 tagged with sexual orientation +3
The journalists who illuminate LGBT topics in Belarus were awarded “Pierrot” premium

October 14th 2009. Minsk. At the “Minsk” Hotel of the Belarusian capital the ceremony of “Pierrot” premium took place. This premium acknowledges the works of the journalists who add to the development of the tolerant attitude, decrease of homophobia and homosexual discrimination in the society. The premium was nominated in Belarus for the first time and it has become a symbol of acknowledgement of the journalistic work and professionalism in advocating the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people and in informing the population about the problems of LGBT community.

The idea of such a reward appeared in 2008 when the Belarusian Mass Media began to illuminate the life of homosexuals in Belarus.

«It has been a long way up to this moment. To nominate the premium we have considered 64 materials which touched LGBT topics. We are very glad about the fact that this topic is now being illustrated at a high and professional level and that the journalists give true information and raise discussions on the issues of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals in the society» - said the editor of Gay.by portal and the premium nominator Alexander Poluyan.

The nomination «The Journalist of the Year» was awarded to Julia Mitskevich, a journalist of «BelaPAN» information agency. The nomination «Discrimination Problems Illumination» was awarded to Alice Ksenevich, a journalist of «Obozrevatel» newspaper. The nomination «Freedom of Self-Expression» was awarded to Alena Andreeva, a DJ of internet radio «Radio.TUT.BY». The nomination «The Freedom of Speech» was awarded to Marina Shakurova, a journalist of «European Radio for Belarus».

«This premium has become a gratitude to the journalists who clearly and truly illuminate the life of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals in our country regardless all the problems that they come across while writing on this topic» - Alexander added.

The journalists requested more occasions in this topic, as now there are really few events in LGBT environment which are worth writing.

To nominate the premium 64 journalistic works were considered, including printed articles, internet and video materials on LGBT topics.

The premium was nominated by Belarusian portal Gay.by together with Belarusian Initiative for Sexual and Gender Equality.
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Aliaksandr Paluyan, Gay.by (user currently living in BELARUS) posted for gay readers on 13/01/2010 tagged with homophobia, lgbti migrants +12
More than a half of gays and lesbians in Belarus want to leave their country

About a half of visitors of Gay.by who were participating in the survey on the topic «Have you ever thought of leaving Belarus because of homophobia?» have answered yes. Moreover a fifth of participants are ready to do so at the first opportunity. In all there were 408 people who took part in the survey.

If to compare this result with the all-Belarus research on the wish to leave the country conducted by the Sociometrical Laboratory “NOVAK” the situation with gay minorities greatly differs from all the immigration wishers.

According to the “NOVAK” research about 40% of youth and unemployed wish to leave Belarus (taking all the population this index is twice lower). 14,7% of unemployed found it difficult to answer if they wished to leave the country . This means that leaving Belarus could be a possible variant for them . And 12,5% simply don't have money for immigration.

If we take gay and lesbian community and the wish the leave the country because of homophobia we will see the following situation:

56% want to leave the country (21% of them will do at the first possibility)

9% have already left the country

26% won't leave the country, and 9% consider that there is no homophobia in Belarus .

If we make a rough calculation we can see that 65% want or have already left the country and 35% don't want to leave.

The main reason why the representatives of gay and lesbian community want to leave the country is the social disapproval of homosexual relations, violence against gays and lesbians, the absence of social defense, law basis, civilized recreation sector, and also the fear of losing the job if the fact of being a homosexual will be revealed to the authorities. 56% of gays and lesbians face the facts of homophobia at work while 13% of them face it regularly.

The main destinations that are chosen by Belarusians for leaving are the USA and the countries of Western Europe .
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