‘To me personally, she’s the world’: A woman’s escape from Russia to Canada for love

Because the town of Halifax celebrates Pride, simply over about ten years ago Elena Ivanova ended up being anything that is doing. Dating a guy, even she felt wasn’t her own though she liked women, and living a life. It took A canadian voice for her to make a journey over the ocean to “freedom. ”

Ivanova came to be in Ivanovo, nearly 300 kilometers northeast of Moscow. Understood as soon as while the “City of Brides” because of its then large-scale textile industry, the company has since diminished following the autumn regarding the USSR. Ivanova went along to school into the populous city to master architecture and began working at a large architectural and design solutions company alongside her mother in the age of 24.

Her dating a woman was something she still couldn’t pursue primarily due to family pressure though it was years before Russia’s ban on gay “propaganda”, Ivanova said.

“It absolutely works, after all I became prepared to destroy my entire life to accomplish whatever my loved ones desired us to do only to satisfy them, ” she stated in a job interview with worldwide News.

In the time her mother as well as other family relations had been http://brightbrides.net/review/mylol asking her why she wasn’t dating and expected her to alternatively develop into a “housewife, ” she said.

Her mother pressed her into using heels and dresses and changing whom she ended up being. She stated at one point her mother noticed a guy, named Dima, whom came be effective and told Ivanova she should begin dating him before another woman did.

She did for eight months, nonetheless it was “the worst time during my life I would personally state. ”

For this time, Ivanova began speaking with a female called Meg Stone from Canada on an internet site that is dating. She claims they weren’t on the website searching for times, Stone wished to discover Russian while Ivanova ended up being wanting a getaway from her life.

Fulfilling rock, she stated, was the opportunity in turn, learned more info on the girl whom she says was “so big. On her behalf to be by herself and she”

Elena Ivanova, left, meets Meg at Boryspil airport Elena Ivanova

And Ivanova discovered rock, now simply over 50, passed her energy onto her prompting her to travel to Ukraine and satisfy her Canadian friend at Boryspil Airport in Kyiv, the main town city.

If they came across, she states that is when she believes her life began.

“I think almost I am able to count my actual life from that point on. Before it nearly appears like I had been asleep. ”

However the begin of her new way life, she states, very nearly ended the moment it began. After meeting rock, she allow her mom know there is a page inside her desk explaining her relationship with Stone, coming out to her moms and dads for the reason that note, also it prompted her mom, her buddies and her boyfriend to phone her times that are numerous her to come back. She didn’t.

VIEW: From intimidation and arrests to death threats, Jeff Semple is with in Moscow to consider just what gay activists face and describes how a Canadian charity is assisting.

Her escape to Canada, nevertheless, found an understanding after an encounter along with her family members in Kyiv. Her mom had talked with Ivanova, telling her she ended up being coming to fulfill rock in Kyiv exactly what ended up being allowed to be a conference converted into both her moms and dads looking to get her to return to Russia.

“The concept would be to kidnap me personally and back drag me to Ivanovo, ” Ivanova said.

The now 38-year-old told Stone to go back for their apartment in an effort “to conserve her” as she ended up being taken to a McDonald’s.

“They barricaded me aided by the tables, they might not permit me to go anywhere, ” she explained.

She then phoned rock and explained just what occurred, leading rock to reach during the restaurant and after “fighting” the four of these had been removed from the restaurant by protection and delivered to law enforcement section. Following questioning by authorities, Ivanova said police released them and Ivanova had not been forced to get back along with her moms and dads to Russia though she is said by her moms and dads left Ukraine together with her passport.

The set knew they needed seriously to arrive at Canada, but with out a passport, visited the consulate that is canadian Kyiv. She said the consul provided to assist but could only give you a place that is safe. They informed her she could request security if on Canadian soil, but to obtain here she would require her passport to get a visa.

Through efforts of a buddy in Russia, Ivanova surely could regain her passport plus the few left for Turkey in hopes of shopping for a motorboat and making their means throughout the ocean. Throughout their two-month stay static in the nation, she discovered to sail so they really both might make their method throughout the seas.

“Otherwise we might hugely be endangering our everyday lives, ” she stated.

Elena Ivanova, right, learns how exactly to sail from a teacher. Elena Ivanova

Ivanova and rock purchased a 14-metre yacht, and put down from the water in June 2006.

The journey had not been easy, they trekked over the Mediterranean Sea, made their means via a hurricane within the Atlantic Ocean, journeyed in to the Pacific through the Caribbean Sea and Panama Canal, before visiting land in Victoria in April 2007.

The Atlantic Ocean after having a hurricane while Elena Ivanova and Meg are sailing the waters. Elena Ivanova

Since that time, the set have used their boat to visit the seas. Stone’s home needed to be offered because of the price of the day at Canada from Turkey, and she presently works as being a programmer. Ivanova claims she attempted to find work as a designer but had been struggling to do this, and alternatively penned a written book in Russian to inform the story of the journey called “Talking to your Moon”, and hopes their tale can help other individuals, especially ladies.

“I would like to enable females to take back once again their everyday lives. I would like them become happy, undoubtedly pleased, I would like them to smile, to accomplish crazy things, become strong, ” she said.

The few stumbled on Halifax this past week-end and attended Halifax Pride, which she stated they actually discovered by accident on observing Pride flags and were told through some individuals that the activities had been occurring.

Elena Ivanova and Meg in Halifax in July 2017. Elena Ivanova

Asked exactly just how she seems since going to Canada, Ivanova stated she’s happy.

“I’m entirely different person now. I’m happy. Personally I think great. I’m liberated in countless ways them all that I can’t count. There isn’t any straight back for me personally. We have become finally where i usually desired to be. ”