Manchester’s LGBT community launches unique event to challenge homophobia in Russia

Publish Date: 20/11/2013

Organisers of an alternative opening ceremony to the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics are calling for supporters to get involved.

An open meeting is being held on Sunday 24 November to ask organisations how they would like to be involved in planning the unique show of solidarity with the Russian LGBT Community as they face life under Putin’s homophobic legislation.

The community event, which will be held in February 2014, will highlight homophobia and promote LGBT rights in the Olympic host country and across the world.

The event will feature an alternative opening ceremony in the gay village and culminate in a performance of new writing at the Contact Theatre, Manchester (part of the Queer Contact festival 2014).

The alternative ceremony will feature an athletes’ parade along Canal Street led by LGBT sports groups and a glittering ceremony at Taurus Bar, where the medals will be awarded. The night will also feature special guest speakers and performers with all proceeds being donated to Russian LGBT charities.

The region's most exciting theatre companies, dramatists and performers will join together for To Russia with Love: Stage on 8 February 2014. This will be a one-off event showcasing new writing in response to the growing oppression in Russia. The work is inspired by true stories of people living under Putin's homophobic laws and explores the impact on identity, love and family.

The open meeting will be held on Sunday 24 November, 6-8pm, at Taurus Bar on Canal Street, Manchester. For further information email Rob Ward at:

You can also show your support by tweeting #TRWLManchester or by attending To Russia with Love: Street & Stage, from 7-8 February 2014.

To Russia with Love: Stage will be held on Saturday 8 February 2014, 8pm at the Contact Theatre on Oxford Road, Manchester. For further information visit: