Sergey Yenin

Sergey Yenin lives in Minsk, the capital of Belarus. The country, in which President Lukashenko said recently that he "is rather a dictator than gay”, homophobia is widespread and people who are demonstrating peacefully are imprisoned. Sergey Yenin organizes the first Gay Pride. "If you are not visible, you're nothing."

“Of course it’s possible to live a secret life.” Yenin says. Most homosexual couples in Belarus live that way. “But one day you will be attacked. The truth will come out.” Yenin is part of a small group of LGBT-activists that risk their lives by being gay out in the open and fighting for their rights. “I am talking about my basic rights as a human being. My greatest dream is to live a normal and decent life as a European citizen.”

Yenin was born in Russia. He moved to Belarus with his mother and grandmother when he was four years old. Activism has been in his blood ever since he was a young boy. As a teenager, he joins the demonstrations of the Belarusian opposition. “I would do anything to avoid living under the same circumstances as my parents.” His activism gets him expelled from the Grodno State University in 2008.

Then, the day arrives that changes his young life forever. When Yenin is 18 years old, his boyfriend is murdered. Yenin still doesn’t understand why or who did it. He is only allowed to see photo’s of the crime scene. Photo’s that show a large amount of blood. For two months, Sergey is in total shock. “After that, I decided I wasn’t just going to sit and forget it. I had to move on.” A friend tells hi,: “If you have no purpose, you have to create one.” That is exactly what he does next: the activist in him is more alive then ever.