Gay in the USSR

| March 26, 2013
Gay in the USSR

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Foreign Policy, March 26, 2013

Russia is not an easy place to be gay. Though homosexuality is no longer outright illegal — and has not been considered a mental disorder since 1999 — a stubbornly homophobic strain of nationalism persists, as evidenced most recently by an anti-homosexual “propaganda” bill that is gaining momentum in the State Duma.

Russians are at least talking about homosexuality today in a way that wasn’t possible during the Soviet period — a silence that left a gaping hole in Russia’s historical record. Today, however, that history has begun to take shape. Artist Yevgeniy Fiks, a Russian-American artist who immigrated to New York in 1994, has pieced some

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