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Yelena Goltsman

Founder & President of the Board

Country of origin/assiciation:

Kyiv, Ukraine

Yelena Goltsman is a Kyiv-born human rights and LGBTQ activist. In 2008 she founded RUSA LGBTQ+ (at the time RUSA LGBT), a social network for the Russian-speaking LGBTQ community in the US. The goal of the organization is to increase acceptance and inclusion of LGBTQ people within the greater Russian-speaking immigrant community and provide support to those who seek asylum in the US as a result of anti-gay laws and increased homophobia in their countries. 

Through Yelena's leadership, RUSA LGBTQ+ has brought together thousands of  Russian-speaking LGBTQ people. Yelena is an outspoken supporter of LGBTQ rights in Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and other countries of the former Soviet Union (FSU) and she frequently organizes protest actions and campaigns that target LGBTQ rights violations in these countries.

RUSA LGBTQ+ is an organizer of an annual Brighton Beach Pride march in Brooklyn, NY. Yelena is a recipient of the 2014 Brooklyn Lambda Independent Democrats Award, 2018 Public Advocate Tish James' LGBTQ Award, and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz's LGBTQ Pride Award. Yelena is a 2015 UJA-Federation's COJECO Keystone Fellow.

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