The origin of the word 'community' is a concatenation of the words 'common' and 'unity'. 'Russian gay community', 'gay community in Russia' - these expressions are so common in the Western gay press that it looks like the existence of such community is a Sunday school truth. In fact, Russian gay activists hardly ever had anything in common, except their sexual orientation. They united their effors in early 90s to struggle against the common enemy - the odious Article 121 of the Criminal Code prohibiting same-sex acts. Once the article was abolished and, thus, the goal achieved, the time of disagreement and internal clashes between gay activists came. The initial glamour of Western-sponsored activities faded, and the prospective of hard work shooed self-assertive gay 'leaders' away.
At present, apart from the burgeoning gay life in Moscow and St.Petersburg, there is no gay community in Russia or in any neighbouring ex-republic of the former USSR. While the Western gay press tends to overestimate the local accoplishments producing 'much ado about nothing' (such as reports on the so-called Gay Pride 1999 in Belarus, attended by 30-40 persons only), we realize the gravity of the situation and try to do our best to remedy it. We are relying not on the foreign charity, but on our own forces, this is our common cause unifying the effors of our Gay.Ru team. "Community is not something that can be presented to a people full-blown... Nor can it be taught. Community must develop among them..." (D. Schluter)