Home' LOTL : Dec 13 Contents of us didn’t think it would go into federal law.
So when it passed this year in our Parliament,
when Putin did sign, it was a huge surprise for
us, because no one really expected it.
Does Putin really hate gays?
We do not discuss issues and problems from
two points of view. We have one direction. We
hear all the time that people in Russia really
hate gays, so that must be the most popular
point of view, and Putin decides to stay in this
direction. But we really don’t know what’s on
Putin’s mind because nobody really knows.
We only know that people in Russia are not
so tolerant of gays. Putin tried to deliver this
to Russian society. Nobody really talks about
it. I think that foreigners are talking about it
more than we are.
Did you start the magazine in response to the anti-gay
feelings in Russia?
No, it was a professional and personal passion
of mine, and of our art director. Because this
political side of the LGBT community in Rus-
sia wasn’t so huge last year, and we decided to
do it for us—for the LGBT community. We
are surprised that we are accidentally in the
center of the law, but in the first place it was
our own desire to do something with real Rus-
sian stories, because we’re seeing a lot of what
is going on in America and in Europe and we
don’t hear great stories that happen here in
Russia. That was our original goal.
How has the current situation in Russia impacted your
own life, personally and professionally?
Since starting the magazine I’ve felt closer to
my parents, who gave me some good advice
about starting my own business. I wasn’t fired
from my main job as the public relations di-
rector for a restaurant chain. Even the apart-
ment that I rent here, I don’t have a problem
with the landlord. I don’t feel like I have any
problems! But I am a creative person, and in
the creative sphere you don’t have as many
problems as you would if you worked for the
government. I feel like I can stay here, but I
feel like I have fewer and fewer opportunities
to create something great here. I can’t lie to
you: I see an opportunity for me to emigrate,
if the magazine doesn’t work. I ’ll give it about
a year and see what’s going on. I don’t want
my energy and my creativity to drop out and
Will Moscow ever have a Pride?
I actually cannot imagine that there will ever
be a street parade with naked bodies, because
Russian people are so gray and frozen inside
and not emotional. We are more closed, the
nation is closed, so I cannot imagine a Pride
like some other countries have, but I don’t
know. There might be a Pride organised by
some organisations, but I cannot say what
will happen or if it will happen in this century.
With our conservative government right now,
it really doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen.
What is it like living as a lesbian in Moscow?
That’s a really good question. I think that our
lesbian community is very young. It’s mostly
young girls. The upper age is 35, really. And
we have just a few women older than that,
so in this way we don’t have anyone to tell us
what it was like to be a lesbian 20 years ago.
Everything is new, and we don’t have much
support from the older generation.
Most of the time, if you want to enjoy being
with your girlfriend in public, you feel like
an exhibit in a museum, because everybody
stares at you—not because they want to beat
you up, but because they probably want to
ask you a lot of primitive questions. Most of
the time, they keep silent and stare at you. So
it’s kind of disturbing, it feels uncomfortable,
really uncomfortable, and that’s why most
girls don’t appear in public together.
I think most of them like holding hands,
but they don’t kiss so much in public. They’re
mostly closeted at work. They’re more open at
Describe the mood in the LGBT community now.
It’s like sitting on a powder keg every day. You
don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow.
It’s uncomfortable and weird and depressing.
We all want to live happily ever after with our
partners and our kids,
and we don’t have that
opportunity here right
One of our activ-
ists died. His name was
Alexei Davydov. Some
people said that a police
beating might have been
the cause of his death.
Tilda Swinton donated
money for his funeral.
The new Russian law
proposes removing gay
parents’ children from
them. If it passes, it
would be horrible for
all of us.
Do you think many LGBT
Russians will want to
leave their country if this
Yeah, it has happened
before, at the beginning
of the 20th century,
and in the 1990s. And
it makes sense again.
You can’t be yourself
here. It’s depressing and
I have felt like an American girl since I was
a kid. My sister gave me Tupac Shakur to
listen to when I was 6-years-old. I have been
there twice, New York and Los Angeles. It’s so
great, with the entertainment and publishing
businesses. Americans like to work, and here,
people don’t like to work so much. There,
people are at Starbucks to work, to check their
email, and here, people are at Starbucks to talk,
to gossip. It’s depressing to me because I really
like to work!
Most gay guys and girls, they don’t know
what to do—to try and emigrate or stay for
a while and see what’s going on here. Most of
them really hope that things will change.
We’re thinking of you and wishing you the best.
Thank you very much. Thank you for your
support. Your magazine was one of the maga-
zines that I took with me and I loved it very
much. You do a good job with it.
Thank you! I’ll send you a subscription. Hard copy or
Digital would probably be best, because the
Russian postal system is a mess.
I also don’t want to send any “homosexual
propaganda” to your apartment building!
(Laughs) It will be fine. They’re not opening all
30 Lesbians On The Loose Magazine • lotl.com
Politics | To Russia with Love
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