My dear friend,
Hello! I am the Editor-in-Chief of the Parni+ (Guys+) website and one of the website originators. In early 2008, it was a small website that was supposed to raise awareness of living with HIV among HIV-positive gay men in Russia. The AIDS epidemic in the country was growing, the situation with the rights of LGBT people was deteriorating, and we realized that the health of LGBT people is directly related to human rights. Therefore, we decided to start up a proper LGBT mass medium.
Before the adoption of the so-called “gay propaganda” law, we thought that the situation in Russia was about to get better. However, year after year the situation here is only getting worse. An increasing number of independent media outlets are recognized as foreign agents, and the pressure on activists is becoming “a new norm”. For example, in June 2021, I had to leave for Georgia for a while, as I started to receive constant life threats. I left because I was tired. I am currently working remotely and recovering in a safe country.
Unfortunately, burnout is not a myth or a weakness, but a real illness. And people in Parni+ team are exposed to several factors that cause the burnout: we work with a sad and scary agenda, we hardly ever get any quick results, and we have to directly interact with people in emotionally difficult situations. It is impossible to remove these factors from Parni+, but you can help our team members become more resilient and withstand these risks.
Over the past three months on the project, we have begun to pay proper attention to burnout in order to quickly adapt, develop professionally and improve internal processes. All this helps us to resist daily stress, do our job better and continue to love it, no matter how difficult it may be.
Also, thanks to your support, we hired a news specialist. Over the past three months, your support has helped us to pay to a full-time author/reporter. Over this period, we have posted 176 publications on the site, including 21 features and 155 news pieces. As of the time of this report, the publications on the web site have been viewed by 427,000 unique visitors.
In September, we are launching a program to encourage authors who write on LGBT issues — we are going to offer small fees for the materials they send to us.
Thank you for being there for us — it is a great emotional support for the entire Parni+ team. It would be really hard without you.