Join us in telling stories of the overlooked

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Who you love can be a matter of life and death in post-Soviet countries. I experienced it myself. Will you support me in fighting this?

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If we get to this amount, we can found and sustain our website with you and work with local media to raise the voices of those who are forbidden to speak

Hi!

My name is Ali Feruz, I am a 31-years-old reporter and an activist. I’m also gay. 

Being queer you can never live openly in a country like Uzbekistan, the one I come from. In order to survive, you must be invisible.

As I settled in Russia, I wanted to be as open as possible. And to become a journalist with Novaya Gazeta, one of the few major independent media in Russia.

Reporting on the lives of migrants, forced laborers, all kinds of people who are not accepted by society, I got to know how media make an impact. As journalists we help people see others as equal human beings, and treat one another likewise. 

Having moved to Germany, I was cut off from my profession, from everyone at Novaya, who are like family to me, and felt depressed like hell. But I found a way to continue my work. Working on an article, I teamed up with reporters in post-Soviet countries to take a snapshot of LGBTQ life there.

I know what it’s like from personal experience: I was beaten up and tortured. Because I am gay. Because I am a foreigner. And because I am a journalist, too.

So what we are building is a network of professionals who care about LGBTQ rights in a very personal way. We tell the stories of people invisible to their peers. Our aim is not to export the European tradition of tolerance. Rather, we are paving the way for post-Soviet states to make their own steps towards an inclusive society.

I need your help

Today, I’m asking you to join me in this. I gathered a team of excellent journalists who work in 13 different countries. Together, we are an independent network called Unit.

— We help each other develop professionally, connect to relevant sources, brainstorm what we will be working on in the future. And we want you in.

— In each country we work in, we are bringing together a group of journalists, a unit with expert knowledge of what’s going on there.

How we fight for change

Together, we

— give a voice to people who are not treated as human beings. 

— empower local media by telling the stories that nobody dares to tell. Also, we keep the world in the loop with articles in English. 

— report to change the lives of people like you and me. 

Whether you are gay or not, wherever you are from: I want to ask you personally to support our mission and become a member of Unit today. It only takes a minute and will make a huge difference.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, 

Ali

FAQs

Who’s behind Unit?

As of now, 12 journalists comprise the core team — they take part in bi-weekly teleconferences and shape what Unit becomes. More than 40 journalists either have taken part in producing Unit's content or are eager to do so.

Our reporters work in Russia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Belarus, Tajikistan, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, USA and Germany. We don't want to highlight any particular names, or bore you with a long list, so you can refer to this article and see the authors' names after each story.

Unit was established as part of n-ost — a border-crossing journalistic organization based in Berlin. Guys from n-ost, amazing Hanno Gundert and Christian-Zsolt Varga, helped us a lot with kicking the project off and continue investing a lot of time and effort into Unit.

Where can I find out more about Ali’s story?

We didn't want to get into details there, because it's a really long and at times horrible one. But if you do want to go there, refer to the articles by the Daily Beast or Open Democracy.

Where can I see some of your work?

Here is the article we produced in August, and another one we just published <link to be inserted when published>.

What will I get in return if I become a member of Unit?

Look at the perks listed below — those are preliminary options. Our idea is to provide all possible privileges to our members, so that it wouldn't be tied to how much you contribute money-wise. And we want to come up with new ways to support our relationship with you — so please share with us any ideas you have.

Please choose a plan

Our Star Magical helper Fluffy unicorn
5 €
per month
annual payment 60 € (save 17%)
10 €
per month
annual payment 120 € (save 9%)
30 €
per month
annual payment 360 € (save 9%)
— Suggest your own subject for Unit's next article
— Biweekly news digests emailed to you
— Your name mentioned on a special page of Unit's website
— Talk to other supporters in the articles' comments sections
— Early access to Unit's multimedia content
— Suggest your own subject for Unit's next article
— Biweekly news digests emailed to you
— Your name mentioned on a special page of Unit's website
— Talk to other supporters in the articles' comments sections
— We will email you gorgeous postcards with original illustrations and photos from the places where our journalists work
— Early access to Unit's multimedia content
— Suggest your own subject for Unit's next article
— Biweekly news digests emailed to you
— Your name mentioned on a special page of Unit's website
— Talk to other supporters in the articles' comments sections
Our Star
5 €
per month
annual payment 60 € (save 17%)
— Suggest your own subject for Unit's next article
— Biweekly news digests emailed to you
— Your name mentioned on a special page of Unit's website
— Talk to other supporters in the articles' comments sections
Magical helper
10 €
per month
annual payment 120 € (save 9%)
— Early access to Unit's multimedia content
— Suggest your own subject for Unit's next article
— Biweekly news digests emailed to you
— Your name mentioned on a special page of Unit's website
— Talk to other supporters in the articles' comments sections
Fluffy unicorn
30 €
per month
annual payment 360 € (save 9%)
— We will email you gorgeous postcards with original illustrations and photos from the places where our journalists work
— Early access to Unit's multimedia content
— Suggest your own subject for Unit's next article
— Biweekly news digests emailed to you
— Your name mentioned on a special page of Unit's website
— Talk to other supporters in the articles' comments sections
Our Star Magical helper Fluffy unicorn
6 €
per month
11 €
per month
33 €
per month
— Suggest your own subject for Unit's next article
— Biweekly news digests emailed to you
— Your name mentioned on a special page of Unit's website
— Talk to other supporters in the articles' comments sections
— Early access to Unit's multimedia content
— Suggest your own subject for Unit's next article
— Biweekly news digests emailed to you
— Your name mentioned on a special page of Unit's website
— Talk to other supporters in the articles' comments sections
— We will email you gorgeous postcards with original illustrations and photos from the places where our journalists work
— Early access to Unit's multimedia content
— Suggest your own subject for Unit's next article
— Biweekly news digests emailed to you
— Your name mentioned on a special page of Unit's website
— Talk to other supporters in the articles' comments sections
Our Star
6 €
per month
— Suggest your own subject for Unit's next article
— Biweekly news digests emailed to you
— Your name mentioned on a special page of Unit's website
— Talk to other supporters in the articles' comments sections
Magical helper
11 €
per month
— Early access to Unit's multimedia content
— Suggest your own subject for Unit's next article
— Biweekly news digests emailed to you
— Your name mentioned on a special page of Unit's website
— Talk to other supporters in the articles' comments sections
Fluffy unicorn
33 €
per month
— We will email you gorgeous postcards with original illustrations and photos from the places where our journalists work
— Early access to Unit's multimedia content
— Suggest your own subject for Unit's next article
— Biweekly news digests emailed to you
— Your name mentioned on a special page of Unit's website
— Talk to other supporters in the articles' comments sections
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