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

  • Gabby Bell

    This is a beautiful thing she did. This is precisely what Russian legislation is trying to prohibit. Stop all “gay propoganda”, and you allow the bigoted public to remain the ruling voice, never being challenged. But this post she created was a perfect response. I hope it gets spread around the globe. Don’t allow “nice people” to maintain destructive, violent private personas without being held at least somewhat accountable. At least acts such as hers will continue to show that the “majority voice” of hatred in Russia is not the only voice to be heard.

  • Maxim Bondarenko

    You should have notice Facebook removed Lena’s photographs as if they could be against the comunity roules.

  • buffalobirdie

    Don’t have to go to Russian posts for this – I see horrible comments like these on blogs here in the US all the time. We just happen to have spam/hate filters.

    • Guest

      “We just happen to have hate filters.”
      IMHO, that’s because hatred is considered inappropriate in the US; yes, it does exist, but it’s not something to be proud of.

    • Zero sum

      Well, I am not sure whether one could be prosecuted for hate speech like that in the US — the English translation, btw, is somewhat milder than the Russian original in some places; it doesn’t translate the blind passionate hatred as well.

      But in Russia I think no state agency would prosecute for hate speech against gays. And that to me seems a significant difference.

      • ranndino

        No, you can’t be prosecuted for anything you say in the US. We have freedom of speech. So before you say there is a significant difference check your facts. There actually isn’t ANY difference. Internet forums are full of hateful idiots everywhere. It’s just the lay of the land.

    • ranndino

      This is the point I just made. There are no filters on most sites either. Sometimes there are moderators who take these types of comments down, but people like this are everywhere. In the US, if you go on any forum full of Republicans, you’ll read stuff like this.

  • […] Global Voices today ran a story about Lena Klimova, the founder of an online support network for LGBT teens in Russia. Running such an organization puts her on the wrong side of Russian propaganda laws and as you would imagine she receives a lot of ugly messages online. […]

  • EG

    Nationalism via propaganda. Not unlike America. Plenty of gay hate here also, they just have to stay in their own closet now (irony) as public opinion is catching up to reality.

  • […] Voices has provided translations of the hateful messages the users sent to the LGBT activist. The faces below have been blurred, but […]

  • Ron Noname

    REAL men and REAL women don’t need to fool themselves into thinking they’re better than others like those who are limited to only hate.
    We also lead happier lives than the haters.

  • […] The 'Beauty' of Russian Homophobia · Global Voices https://globalvoicesonline.org/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 … […]

  • royalspirit

    They are very judgmental. They sound cruel too! Jesus Christ said: “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her” ~John 8:1-11

    • Maraas

      Most of them consider themselves Christian and often list their religious belief as one of the reasons for this hatred. Others rationalize it as a “natural response to unnatural behaviour and a threat to our children”. And all of them think that spouting hate speeches is what makes them free, unlike those oppressed and brainwashed people of the US and Europe (Gayrope, as they often call it). I’m not kidding. They live in their own twisted reality, and hate and aggression are as natural to them as breathing.

  • […] “Why the fuck are you propagandising fags?” posts ‘Alexander’ (translation and photos from GlobalVoicesOnline.org) […]

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.