Badpuppy Gay Today

Wednesday, 26 November 1997

UKRAINIAN GAY MAGAZINE INITIATES PUBLIC DISCUSSIONS

Pioneering Journalist Sees Snail's Pace at Major Institutions of Learning


Compiled by Badpuppy's GayToday

 

Andrai Maimulakhin is the editor of a new gay quarterly, Our World, published in the Ukraine. Our World would seem to be, with a number of well-placed articles, proud proof of a meaningful democratization taking place in Ukrainian society. The magazine's premier issue has stated it wants to make itself widely accessible to Ukrainians. But the second issue is now available and accessibility has not proved easy to engineer.

Our World is distributed free-of-charge to libraries, the mass media, and Ukrainian gay/lesbian groups. After looking at initial results, the publication's strategists have reached some conclusions:

Regional universal scientific libraries (popular libraries) have shown a surprising interest after receiving only the first issue, requesting as many as 25 copies. Our World's publisher has confirmed that the magazine is being made readily available to inquisitive readers in those libraries.

"Unfortunately," says editor Maimulakhin, "there are not enough positive answers from libraries of pedagogical and medical universities, and regional libraries for youth."

An editorial in Our World reflects on the reticence shown by the bureaucracies in these specialized institutions. It says:

"It is necessary for future teachers and medical workers to understand all displays of human essence, where sexuality, most likely, is a fundamental aspect. We also hope that libraries for youth will be more open to the information about sexuality (homosexuality, in particular).

"Juveniles are in the process of realizing who they are as a person, thus attaining knowledge with regard to that.

"When one takes into account the absence of qualitative sexual education in the Ukraine," continues Maimulakhin's editorial, "and the information-chaos and bias just with regard to the theme of homosexuality in popular channels of information, to give young latent homosexuals (whom early or late still will become gays and lesbians!) material in a serious and age-appropriate form would help them to pass through the process of acceptance of their sexual orientation and social adaptation less painfully."

"Alas, for today national libraries, university libraries, and regional medical facilities have not displayed interest in our journal.

"We have reached 7% of the libraries we premiered. Our World will continue to do all that is possible to further promote itself in "temples of science". However, for more rational use of our resources we will be correcting our distribution list."

The magazine remains, at this moment, unclaimed by the Ukraine's mass media. From among the 81 media firms receiving the premier issue, only one responded, the Ukraine Youth. Our World , which is chock full of informative copy, rightly sees itself as a legitimate resource for mainstream Ukrainian media and laments distribution difficulties.

"Also," says the editor, "we are not yet satisfied with our distribution results in the gay environment. Our World struggles with the difficulty of learning the addresses of existing groups and working activists."

Maimulakhin says the magazine is in the midst of expanding such lists. Such concerns are analogous those originally known in the USA, experienced in the 1950s by the publishers, editors and writers for The Ladder and ONE magazine.

It has pleased Our World's pioneering publishers, according to Maimulakhin himself, that "the magazine in some cases has been dispersed in absolutely unpredictable ways."

"Our World would be very grateful to inquirers after information," he says, "and for any financial help to us, no matter what, if that is possible."

Maimulakhin and his co-workers have already expressed gratitude to: The Royal Netherlands Embassy in Kiev, Andrei Kravchuk (Lugansk), Alexandr Bogoley (Kiev), Bonnie Rhodes (USA), Rex Wockner, International News (USA)

Our World: postal address:
Andrei Maimulakhin,
PO Box 62,
348051,
Lugansk, UKRAINE

Our World: e-mail:
editor@ourworld.lugansk.ua

Our World: telephone/fax:
+ 038 (0642) 47-94-22

Editor: Andrei Maimulakhin

1997 BEI; All Rights Reserved.
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