Well known gay rights activist from the US Michael Petrelis initiated an exchange of messages to the Gays Without Borders group on Yahoo being concerned about well being of gay people in Georgia and South Ossetia. Unfortunately, I do not know anyone from the South Ossetia, but I know Paata Sabelashvili, head of Georgian only LGBT organisation – Inclusive Foundation. I got involved in the conversation and mentioned about Inclusive Foundation.
I've been in touch with the head of Georgian only LGBT NGO - Inclusive Foundation. He is OK, well, as 'OK' as the rest of the population.
Based on this conversation, Michael made the following blog post:
Georgian Gay Leader is Alive and OK
I forwarded our conversation to Paata, and we just heard back from him from Tbilisi:
In the first place, let me thank you for expressing solidarity in this difficult moment.
I am the head of Inclusive Foundation. Unfortunately, I have not been able to take good care of the NGO these days as I was helping out journalists who covered the events. I was with Danish TV2 journalists as close to capital of South Ossetia as 6 km today. Bombs have been dropped around us. we saw 3 jets and heared more, as well as the noise from more than 20 charges being released.
It is close to panic situation. I am now sitting in the office and try to get on hold with family and friends. mobile phones are down. I am not sure when will internet go off. Russian troops are stationed 20 km west to capital Tbilisi and people are fleeing the city. I do not know what is on invaders' mind but it is really bad what is on in town.
Only reason our website still works is that it is placed outside Georgia and does not have Georgian domain.
It is not so easy for me to make clear points. So, obviously I need to stop writing and go back to why I came to office: to back up all our workfiles in case office is bomned.
I thank you for thinking of us and I wish peace to all of you no matter where you are.
(by the way we are out and publicly visible - you can see that in our magazine as well)...