Gay Propaganda

By Masha Gessen, Joseph Huff-Hannon

Homosexual Propaganda brings jointly unique tales, interviews and testimonial, provided in either English and Russian, to trap the lives and loves of LGBT Russians residing either in Russia and in exile this day. Timed for ebook in February 2014, at the eve of the iciness Olympics in Sochi, the publication is a provocative riposte to Russia’s lately handed and ill-defined ban on “homosexual propaganda.”

As a part of a method to consolidate political regulate in Russia following immense pro-democracy protests that shook the govt., President Putin’s ruling occasion made up our minds it wanted an enemy to unite the rustic. Hoping to govern backward yet widely-held prejudices, it opted to demonize gays and lesbians. therefore, in June 2013, Putin signed a invoice banning any and all “propaganda” of so-called non-traditional relationships. relatively predictably, within the months that undefined, assaults, firings, and hate crimes have spiked throughout Russia, and the state-sanctioned crusade exhibits no signal of abating. The Russian Duma is now debating a legislation to take childrens clear of homosexual and lesbian parents.

As the world’s media turns its realization to the host kingdom of the iciness Olympics, the tales amassed in homosexual Propaganda supply a well timed and intimate window into the hardships confronted through Russians at the receiving finish of state-sanctioned homophobia. listed below are stories of of guys and ladies in long term devoted relationships in addition to these nonetheless trying to find love; of these attempting to elevate young children or caring for mom and dad; of these dealing with the demanding situations of continuous to dwell in Russia or becoming a member of an exodus that's speedily turning into a flood.

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I haven't had any doubt that he may come after me and that i by no means relatively desired to run clear of him. i've got continually been surprised with Georgy’s generosity, and with how superbly and widely he sees the area. GEORGY this is often most likely what it capability to have actual emotions. We knew from the very starting that we have been correct for every different; i feel it’s due to this that we nonetheless have such powerful emotions. occasionally, we’re even embarrassed to assert how lengthy we’ve been jointly. —As instructed to Masha Charnay ALYONA & OLGA “The nurse seemed round and learned that i used to be the daddy. ” Alyona and Olga determined to proportion their tale in honor in their 8th anniversary. They met in Ekaterinburg, the place they stay to at the present time. Olga was once 21 and Alyona was once 23. either one of them have been completing tuition. Alyona is a quality-control engineer, and Olga was once learning on the division of public family members. this present day, they run a company jointly, a web toy shop. Olga is usually the top of the advertisements division for a series of health facilities. years in the past, that they had a son. ALYONA We met on-line, on Lesbi. ru. This used to be ahead of Vkontakte [popular Russian social networking web site] or Odnoklassniki [same]. It didn’t have photographs, yet there have been no different techniques for assembly again then. I requested Olga out a few occasions, even inviting her to fulfill up with me and a 3rd individual, yet she stored announcing no. OLGA i used to be in a courting at the moment and it used to be falling aside. I have been with my female friend on the time for nearly 3 years. Alyona and that i actually in basic terms exchanged messages a few times. Then my dating bought very unhappy. i presumed, “Should I write to that lovely stranger? ” We made up our minds to satisfy in entrance of a favored café. i used to be early. I went as much as the café and observed a quick butch lady. She used to be preserving a cigarette in a single hand and a bottle of beer within the different. I went as much as her and he or she stated, “Cool. we have now to stroll one in every of my neighbors to the educate. ” i used to be stunned, yet agreed. after we have been strolling her pal to the educate, I had those feverish concepts attempting to work out how i'd run clear of this terrifying date. Then we determined to return to the café. ALYONA i am going as much as the café and spot ladies imminent. The butch one used to be a chum of mine, however the moment one I’d by no means visible prior to. I understood instantly that it was once Olga, whom I had come to satisfy. OLGA I keep in mind precisely how Alyona’s eyes appeared in that second. And her smile. She checked out me after which at her. the lady with the beer additionally discovered that there were a false impression and burst out giggling. I sighed, relieved that I wouldn’t need to run away finally. ALYONA It became out that that woman used to be additionally ready to fulfill up with somebody, yet we didn’t get the main points. We went to the café, sat for a short while, after which we went our separate methods. OLGA We begun seeing one another virtually each day less than quite a few pretexts. We traded movies, books. as soon as, I requested Alyona to come back to a café and we had a romantic second. This used to be the 1st time we touched.

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