Close

Support Global Voices

To stay independent, free, and sustainable, our community needs the help of friends and readers like you.

Donate now »

See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

The ‘Beauty’ of Russian Homophobia

This man threatened to attack random homosexuals. Image via Lena Klimova.

This man threatened to attack random homosexuals. Image via Lena Klimova.

Lena Klimova, the founder of Children-404, an online support network for LGBT teens in Russia similar to the It Gets Better campaign in the United States, has launched a new project meant to shame the Internet users who send her death threats.

On April 20, Klimova unveiled a photo album, titled “Beautiful People and What They Say to Me,” where she posted publicly available pictures of individuals in their everyday lives, overlaid with the threatening messages they’ve sent her on VKontakte, Russia’s largest social network.

The photos show the individuals in situations that are casual and intimate: a man poses with a goat, a woman hugs a bouquet of roses, and so on. The text, however, is vicious and obscene, creating a violent juxtaposition between these people’s identities as private individuals and public homophobes.

Klimova’s photo archive currently contains 29 different images. RuNet Echo is republishing a handful of these photos, with the individuals’ identities obscured and the vulgar messages to Klimova translated into English.

Reader discretion is advised, as the language is obscene.

Image via Lena Klimova. VKontakte.

Image via Lena Klimova. VKontakte.

Sasha: When are you finally going to close your fucked-up group. I hate this shit. Gunning you down, you little bitch, is just the beginning of what you deserve.

Image via Lena Klimova. VKontakte.

Image via Lena Klimova. VKontakte.

Aisha: I, for one, think you’re a stupid bitch. You think you’re helping anything with this holy crusade?? Go and fucking kill yourself before they come for you!!! People like you should be locked up!

Image via Lena Klimova. VKontakte.

Image via Lena Klimova. VKontakte.

Alexander: You fucking slut! Why the fuck are you propagandizing fags? Sure, nobody wants to fuck you, but that’s your problem. Just close this disgusting group. Or else I’ll go and catch myself one of these fags, and I’ll beat the shit out of him. :) And on his stupid fucking face, I’ll inscribe the name of your group, and the whole thing will be YOUR fault!

Image via Lena Klimova. VKontakte.

Image via Lena Klimova. VKontakte.

Maxim: I’ll be one of the first to set fire to the stake you’re gonna burn on. You’ve even got the eyes of a druggie, you vomit-stained piece of shit.

Image via Lena Klimova. VKontakte.

Image via Lena Klimova. VKontakte.

Elizaveta: They’re gonna lock you up any day now. What you’re doing can’t go unpunished. I hope you burn in hell a long time in agony for propagandizing the homosexuals! Die, you shitty scum. Leave our country, you piece of shit. Sooner or later, you’re gonna pay for this!

Image via Lena Klimova. VKontakte.

Image via Lena Klimova. VKontakte.

Kristina: Burn in hell, all you perverts! If I saw you, I’d strangle you with my own hands.

Image via Lena Klimova. VKontakte.

Image via Lena Klimova. VKontakte.

Roman: Ahah, I get it: nobody wants to fuck you, and now you’re taking it out on Russians? People like you are the ones killing Slavs! There’s no place for you in society. Fine, go and promote this shit in other countries, but why here? My great grandfather died for you, you fucking beast! LGBT will never be tolerated! And the people who have supported you will regret it for the rest of their lives.

Image via Lena Klimova. VKontakte.

Image via Lena Klimova. VKontakte.

Kolya: Lena, I hate you. You are disgusting and, if I had the power, I would shoot you dead. I hope they ban your project and ostracize you from society. Nobody needs you, except freaks like you.

In November 2014, Russian police first started targeting Klimova’s group, Children-404, for spreading “gay propaganda.” In late March 2015, a court in St. Petersburg ordered the group blocked on VKontakte, where it’s most popular. The court order takes effect on April 25.

51 comments

  • Paul

    Lots of anger and pent-up hostility in Russia. It seems that in their attempts to focus their anger and frustration, they’ve lashed out at gays (it might as well be immigrants, liberals, etc.) since it’s easier to pick the sliver out of someone else’s eye than remove the log in one’s own.

    • Resident

      Isn’t the picture on the boat of 2 girls with a kid. If they are 2 lesbians why would they want to set fire to her. Wouldn’t she be trying to help them?

      • Anchored

        Look again.

        • bizoune

          haha… I could see why he would be taken for a lez… It’s amazing how they all look so happy… They have no clue they are brainwashed.

      • FaintCryofFreedom

        Uh…no. That’s a man and a woman. Look closely.

    • Robert Eckert

      They got rid of most of their Jews so they need a new scapegoat group.

    • ranndino

      Not saying this is right, but let’s not pretend this only happens in Russia. Have you been on any American website? Or any website, for that matter? There are ignorant, hateful idiots everywhere.

      For example, check the replies Obama has been receiving on Twitter since he got his own account.

      • Paul

        Not denying your point, but at least the media in the West allows for a few different points of views on this. In Russia, it’s one view and only one. You can’t have gay friends in Russia anymore. Why is this such a bad thing? If people’s morals are so easily corrupted, why not exterminate these people like the Soviets and Nazis did?

  • Guest

    Totalitarian thinking is proper to many, if not most, Russians, that’s a very important reason for their hatred and various phobias and their harsh language. Visit any Russian-speaking forum, and you’ll see pieces like: Navalny is a traitor, period! – But you should present some arguments to substantiate this claim. – F**k you, you are a traitor, too!

  • James Garcia

    God this hurts to read… I wish I could afford to move even one of these people out of that place… I’ve never realized how lucky I am to live in a place like California.

  • Pavel Stebl

    Really sad to read about the dark place that is the Russian psyche. I remember from 1990s Czechoslovakia how hard it was to explain to people they don’t need to feel threatened by gay or transgendered people. Years of hard work spent on cultural and educational projects have born fruit, however, and now polls show most of the Czech society is more tolerant and therefore a better place for everyone to life. It is always possible to take another direction, though, stoking fear and ignorance in a bid to find a common enemy.

  • Pavel Stebl

    Really sad to read about the dark place that is the Russian psyche. I remember from 1990s Czechoslovakia how hard it was to explain to people they didn’t need to feel threatened by gay or transgendered people. Years of hard work spent on cultural and educational projects have borne fruit, however, and now polls show most of the Czech society is more tolerant and a better place for everyone to live. It is always possible to take another direction, though, stoking fear and ignorance in a bid to find a common enemy.

  • […] Written by Kevin Rothrock Link to original article […]

  • Lilly

    All I want to say is, I’m so sorry people have said these horrible things to you. I hope sooner or later people will get tired of hating and accept others for being people (if they can’t for anything else). Best of luck, you’re going wonderful work giving people hope.

  • greenpointguy

    “Burn the witch, burn the witch”!

  • n

    Such close-minded, blind hatred. These comments are filled with so much anger and fury, but why? What did LGBTQ individuals ever do to them?
    If only these individuals could direct their anger towards more pressing, important, harmful issues.
    I feel sorry for LGBTQ individuals living in such hostile, unwelcoming societies.

  • disqus_kIyXK2eWXt

    bet all those angry russian men wouldn’t mind a little girl on girl action when its 2 fake looking attractive porn stars. But once it starts being men, or normal looking women, or women dressing like men, or transitioning into a man, or vise versa for a man, it is suddenly heinous. Hypocrites. They need to stop teaching these children they are evil when they are at a point in their life when the need as much love an support as possible. Hope it changes for them some day

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »

Guidelines

  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices
* = required field
Email Frequency



No thanks, show me the site