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


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

Given that town of Halifax celebrates Pride, simply over about ten years ago Elena Ivanova was doing certainly not. Dating a person, also though she liked females, and residing a life she felt ended up beingn’t her very own. It took A canadian vocals for her to make a journey throughout the ocean to “freedom. ”

Ivanova was created in Ivanovo, very nearly 300 kilometers northeast of Moscow. Understood once because the “City of Brides” because of its then large-scale textile industry, business has since diminished following the autumn for the USSR. Ivanova went along to college when you look at the populous city to master architecture and started working at a huge architectural and design solutions company alongside her mom during the chronilogical 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, i am talking about I became willing to destroy my entire life to accomplish whatever my loved ones desired me personally to do just to satisfy them, ” she stated in a job interview with worldwide News.

During the right time her mother as well as other loved ones had been asking her why she wasn’t dating and expected her to rather turn into a “housewife, ” she said.

Her mother pressed her into putting on heels and dresses and changing whom she had been. She stated at one point her mother noticed a guy, known as Dima, whom came to exert effort and told Ivanova she should start dating him before an other woman did.

She did for eight months, nonetheless it had been “the worst time in my own life i might say. ”

Surrounding this time, Ivanova began speaking with a lady named Meg rock from Canada on an on-line dating internet site. She claims they weren’t on the website shopping for times, Stone desired to learn Russian while Ivanova had been wanting a getaway from her life.

Fulfilling rock, she stated, had been the possibility on her behalf become by herself and she, in change, discovered more info on the girl whom she says was “so big. ”

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

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

Once they met, she claims that’s whenever she believes her life began.

“I think very nearly I am able to count my real world from that point on. Before so it very nearly may seem like we ended up being asleep. ”

Nevertheless the begin of her life that is new states, very nearly ended as soon as it started. After meeting Stone, she let her mom know there is a letter in her own desk explaining her relationship with Stone, developing to her moms and dads in that note, also it prompted her mom, her friends 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 check out what homosexual activists face and describes what sort of Canadian charity is assisting.

Her escape to Canada, nonetheless, found a understanding after an encounter along with her family members in Kyiv. Her mom had talked with Ivanova, telling her she had been coming to satisfy rock in Kyiv but just what ended up being said to be a gathering converted into both her parents looking to get her to come back to Russia.

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

The now 38-year-old told rock to come back to their apartment in an effort “to conserve her” as she had been taken to a McDonald’s.

“They barricaded me because of the tables, they might perhaps not permit me to get anywhere, ” she explained.

She then phoned rock and explained just exactly what took place, leading Stone to reach during the restaurant and after “fighting” the four of these had been removed from the restaurant by safety and taken to law enforcement place. 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 states her moms and dads left Ukraine along with her passport.

The set noticed they necessary to reach Canada, but with out a passport, visited the consulate that is canadian Kyiv. She stated the consul agreed to assist but could only offer a place that is safe. They told her she could request security if on Canadian soil, but to obtain here she would want her passport to get a visa.

Through efforts of a buddy in Russia, Ivanova surely could regain her passport and also the few left for Turkey hoping of getting a ship and making their means over the ocean. Throughout their two-month remain in the nation, she learned to sail so that they both might make their means over the seas.

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

Elena Ivanova, appropriate, learns simple tips to sail from a teacher. Elena Ivanova

Ivanova and rock purchased a yacht that is 14-metre and lay out in the water in June 2006.

Your way wasn’t effortless, they trekked over the mediterranean and beyond, made their method by way of a hurricane within the Atlantic Ocean, journeyed in to the Pacific through the Caribbean Sea and Panama Canal, before arriving at land in Victoria in April 2007.

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

Ever since then, the pair have already been utilizing their motorboat to travel the seas. Stone’s house needed to be offered as a result of cost of the visit to Canada from Turkey, and she presently works being a programmer. Ivanova claims she tried to find act as an designer but ended up being not able to achieve this, and alternatively penned a written book in Russian to inform the storyline of these journey called “Talking towards the Moon”, and hopes their tale may help other individuals, particularly females.

“I want to empower females to simply take their lives back. I would like them become happy, truly delighted, I’d like them to smile, to accomplish things that are crazy become strong, ” she said.

The few found Halifax this last weekend and went to Halifax Pride, which she stated they really discovered by accident on observing Pride flags and were told through many people that the events were happening.


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

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

“I’m entirely different person now. I’m happy. I’m great. Personally I think liberated in a lot of ways them all that I can’t count. There’s no relative straight back for me personally. I’ve become finally where i usually wished to be. ”