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Short-Term Freedom of Homosexuals in Russia

Afanasy Shaur, a member of the Russian Baltic Fleet, organized an extraordinary gay wedding in Petrograd in January 1921.

Guests included 95 army soldiers, including retired soldiers and a woman in a man’s costume.

There have been no such activities in the city yet.

Shaur went out of his way to organize an extraordinary party because he did not think that many guests would come if he had an ordinary party.

On the other hand, bread and salt, one of Russia’s traditional wedding ceremonies, was not lacking in things like family permits and concerts.

At that time, the gay community in Russia experienced a short period of tolerance.

After the October Revolution, the Bolsheviks rewrote the country’s laws. In the two criminal laws of 1922 and 1926, homosexual relations were not defined as crimes.

But the marriage in Petrograd was not seen that way.

Afanasy Shaur was a member of the secret police and all of the guests were arrested during the wedding.

It turned out that Shaur had organized all the events to make his bosses happy. Shaur argued that these retired soldiers were counterrevolutionaries who wanted to overthrow the young Red Army from within.

But Shaur’s accusations did not hold up. The case was closed and nothing happened to those accused of “counterrevolutionism”.

Homosexual men had founded clandestine communities in Russia long before the revolution, and they knew each other by their “secret fashion options”.

San In St. Petersburg, there were red bows or scarves in which they sewed the back pockets of their pants.

Others preferred to apply blush and mascara on their faces.

After the revolution, more and more people started to imitate this style with the popular “Stummfilmstar” makeup.

While the revolution and the conflicts that followed were difficult for Russia, homosexuals in Europe could not wear fancy clothes and luxury accessories like homosexuals.

The persecution, although legal, continues

The Bolsheviks were indirectly influenced by the German scientist Margnus Hirschfeld, who founded the Institute of Sexology in Berlin. Hirschfeld argued that homosexuality is not a disease, but a natural expression of human sexuality.

Although homosexuality was not a crime in the penal code of the 1920s, the gay community continues to be prosecuted. Gay men were often beaten, threatened or fired.

Others said they lived by writing sincere letters to psychiatrist Vladimir Bekhterev, whom they saw as their last hope. Some of the homosexuals who saved their savings asked for help to get rid of the depression, and others said, “Treat our disease.”

These letters and other documents show how courageous the homosexuals of that time were, and some of them looked like real women when they wore women’s dresses and corsets and stretched their hair.

“Aristocrats” and “people”
Interestingly, gay men continued to divide according to their social strata, even though the revolution eliminated class division. The two gay communities have rarely interacted with each other.

The first of these groups were the “aristocrats”, including nobles, civil servants, high-ranking soldiers and creative intellectuals.

The other community was made up of “people”. Even their names were given by aristocrats. Among them were people like soldiers, sailors and employees who had not been invited to the impressive halls of Saint Petersburg by aristocrats before the revolution.

In the 1920s, the “transvestite theater”, in which everyone in Germany wore clothes of the opposite sex, became popular among Soviet gays. She was particularly fascinated by the star of the Berlin nightclub “El Dorado”, Hansi Sturm.

“Aristocrats” rarely invited handsome “men” into their souls. But men in female clothing were exempt from class divisions.

Their closets were full of beautiful costumes sewn by professional tailors. They hired some of the famous tailors from Petrograd, Leifert.

Before the revolution, Leifert made costumes for the dancers of the Mariinsky theater and was also a supplier to the royal family.

Unhappy end

There was no significant marriage or detention in the 1920s after Afanasy Shaur caught the “counter-revolutionaries” with an extravagant gay marriage.

Although homosexuality is tolerated, the gay community began to lose their freedoms in the 1930s.


BBC Turkish


Two Transsexuals Married in Russia

Russian marriage in the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, Kazan, the marriage of two transsexuals in the official marriage was learned. According to the KazanFirst website, authorities marry the official marriage of two transsexuals in a marriage office in Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan.

Sputnik reported on the KazanFirst website that authorities in a marriage office in Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan, broke the official marriage of the two transsexuals.
Erika’nın men earlier, Viktor’un stated that the woman, these people met 4 months ago and decided to unite their lives after a while was expressed.

According to the news, Erika and Viktor’s marriage was registered, there was no problem, a traditional marriage was cut. Nikaha joined the young couple’s closest surroundings, and after the marriage, the celebration continued in a restaurant.

ErIka I look like a woman and when I have a female identity, she looks like a man and has a male identity, Er says Erika. Those there didn’t even know anything. Kul

It was understood that the newlyweds planned to stay in Kazan first but they wanted to move to Europe and adopt them in the future.

Russian LGBT Network evacuating ‘at risk’ people from Chechnya

1 April, Novaya Gazeta reported that more than 100 men have been arbitrarily detained and at least three have been murdered by Chechen authorities for their alleged “non traditional” sexual orientation. Independent sources have confirmed the mass detention, described acts of torture, and suggested that the number of men killed may be as many as 20. The scale and scope of the crisis means that LGBTIQ people in Chechnya are in extreme danger, and the international community must act urgently.

In response to the crisis, the Russian LGBT Network is currently evacuating people from Chechnya who may be at risk for kidnapping, arrest or otherwise in harm’s way. The Network is calling on international institutions and governments to pressure Russian authorities to intervene to immediately stop the abuse. It has also underscored that even those LGBTIQ people not at risk of direct state violence may now be at heightened risk of family violence.

Jessica Stern, executive director of OutRight Action International, commented, “The perpetrators of this malicious campaign must be held accountable for the systematic detention, torture, and killings of innocent men in Chechnya. No government should get away with such wanton human rights violations.”

OutRight has requested swift and urgent action from a dozen governments, including that they engage their Russian counterparts to: condemn these reports, urge that the perpetrators be held accountable, demand the men’s immediate release, and insist that all survivors and victims’ families be given reparations. OutRight is also calling for statements of condemnation from United Nations officials.

A spokesman for Chechnya’s leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, denied the allegations. He said, “You cannot arrest or repress people who just don’t exist in the republic.” The spokesman also indirectly highlighted the violence and homophobia faced by gay men, saying, “If such people existed in Chechnya, law enforcement would not have to worry about them, as their own relatives would have sent them to where they could never return.”

International reaction to these reports has been shock and horror. However, people have also used the crisis to engage in islamophobic, racist, and anti-Russia rhetoric.

Stern said, “Using a violent attack on men accused of being gay to legitimize islamophobia is dangerous and misleading. It negates the experiences of queer muslims and essentializes all muslims as homophobic. We cannot permit this tragedy to be co-opted by ethno-nationalists to perpetuate anti-Muslim or anti-Russian sentiment. The people and their government are never the same.”

Stern concluded, “We remember the victims of this heinous crime. They are in our hearts as we call on the international community to urgently support the safety of all LGBTIQ Chechens.”

Those who may be in distress or in need of help within Chechnya are encouraged to reach out to the Russian LGBT Network at 8 800 555 73 74 (the call is free within Russia). Additionally, anyone with information on the current situation in Chechnya can confidentially contact ILGA-Europe at +32 2 609 54 10 or

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In post-revolutionary Ukraine, homophobia and oppression deepen

It wasn’t supposed to begin like this. But exactly 14 months to the day after the Euromaidan protests, the Ukraine, unburdened by the heavy-handed influence of Russia, has seen a rise in homophobia and a willingness by the country’s relatively liberal gay community to squash equally revolutionary tactics for wider acceptance.

In a thought-provoking piece on, Dimiter Kenarov retraces the steps leading up to a cultural, political and economic war against the Ukrainian LGBT community that was supposed to be anything but.

As the narrative goes, the Ukraine, in a bloody, often times lopsided military campaign, unshackled itself from the wizened Cold War grip of once-mother-country Russia. The plan was for the Ukraine to turn to the West, not only to gain acceptance in the European Union, but to prove that the country was an economically viable country to do business with.

But even the pessimists among the LGBT community could not have anticipated the levels of hate that rose from the ashes of a new Ukraine. There was the grenade bombing of Kiev’s Zhovten (October) theater, the oldest in the city where Les Nuits d’Été (Summer Nights) was playing as part of Ukraine’s annual Molodist film festival, which included a selection of queer-themed features, and many in the audience — about a hundred people in all — belonged to Kiev’s LGBT community. The ensuing fire destroyed the roof of this iconic theater and rendered it useless. No one was injured.

Two days after, a dozen or so men branding the insignia of the ultranationalistic group Right Sector attempted to shut down a screening of another gay film. It was, in their world view, “amoral.” But according to the article, “[When] asked at the recent Eurocities Conference how he would support human rights after the Zhovten homophobic attacks, Maidan’s hero and current Kiev mayor Vitali Klitschko said he considered human rights a good thing, but would “not stand up for gays and lesbians.”


But is it really surprising in a fundamentally conservative society that we should see a rise in nationalistic sentiment? Kenarov reports: Although it was decriminalized after Ukraine became independent in 1991, negative social attitudes persist to this day. According to a 2013 poll conducted by GfK Group, almost 80 percent of Ukrainians say they oppose any sexual relations between people of the same sex. In another poll, by the Ukrainian Gay Alliance and Ukrainian State Sociological Institute, 63 percent labeled homosexuality “a perversion” and “a mental disease.” That same year, a survey within the LGBT community carried out by Nash Mir Center found that 65 percent of respondents faced infringements of their rights due to sexual discrimination. The list included verbal abuse, intimidation and loss of employment or direct physical violence. Few of these cases (about 15 percent) ever get reported to the police authorities because of the victims’ fear of further reprisals and humiliation. There have been other cases of arson, too, long before the one at the Zhovten theater: In 2009, the Kiev art gallery Ya was set on fire after the presentation of a gay literary anthology.

Worse, after liberal and conservatives fought bravely together to push back at Russia’s own geopolitical land grabs, the LGBT community acquiesced to calls for restraint in public demonstrations, realizing fully that in the current political climate, displays of rainbow flags or public displays of same-sex affection were “huge liabilities.”

As it stands now, certain parts of eastern Ukraine have criminalized homosexuality, using Vladimir Putin’s own directives against LGBT ‘propaganda’ as both a legal and moral template. In the Crimea, newly installed Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov has bluntly stated that they “do not need such people.”

And, for right now, Ukraine’s push westward is a blessing and a curse, a time of new beginnings masking a fearful nation undergoing profound social and economic change. And caught in the middle of the storm? An LGBT community equally frightened but for an entirely different set of reasons.

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Russia to introduce harsher rules to crack down on LGBT films

Russia is set to introduce new rules for film screenings which could impact the showing of LGBT movies.

The new rules for obtaining exhibition licenses impose harsh new regulations, making it harder for exhibitors to obtain licenses, reports PinkNews. Under the new rules films that ” defile the national culture or pose a threat to national unity or undermine the foundations of the constitutional order” could be refused licenses.

Director Andrei Proshkin told Interfax: “Who is going to decide that the culture has been besmeared? The ministry? The public? A court? And on the basis of what?

“How do you determine legally that the culture has been besmeared? And what can besmear a culture more in the 21st century than such laws?”

The legislation is currently going through the government’s review process.

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