This story has turned out to be a struggle with my own homophobia. It’s not a shame to be homophobe in my country, indeed that’s something really normal and right. LGBT society is opposed to so-called traditional “Russian values”, it’s considered to be a threat to the prosperity of Russian society and to be more like strangers. Many people are full of fear and simple mentioning of such words as “gays”, “lesbians” or “transgender people” (oh God!) leads to panic and aggression.

Gay people are set equal to pedophiles so all conversations about gays lead to the discussion of childrens’ safety. Concept of «other people» who differ in a way, who are not heterosexual, for example, is not really welcomed to be discussed at school, on TV, in literature. It’s more like tabooed, because to be different is the same as to be perverted.
Lots of talks have woken up one part of people who were indifferent earlier and they’ve become more supportive, but the other part who’d been always sure that LGBT was just something “cool", “temporary” and “fashionable” have become more nervous and aggressive. At the moment any LGBT activists’ actions are being estimated by homophobic audience, state authorities, mass media and LGBT community itself. The level of both outer and inner homophobia has increased. Gays and lesbians don’t accept their nature and start to hate people like them, moreover they blame activists who fight for their rights and want activists to stay quiet.
I’ve been watching over 4 young people lives from Saint-Petersburg who are LGBT activists. I’ve talked to them,
visited some protest actions, where there always was a chance to be attacked, egged or insulted.

 

These guys are not afraid. They want to have a right to live normally, to be equal and feel free to be themselves as any person on Earth does.

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