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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.


  • Dmitry Hertz

    Just because my country is failed state.
    Medieval savagery it’s average russian.
    I’m really looking forward to the NATO’s tanks come to Red Square in Moscow.
    The best gift of fate for Russia is to be 51st state of US.

    • Zero sum

      I am sorry, but despite what Russian propaganda might cry, nobody really wants to invade Russia. What would be the point?

      • Alex Pah

        Because fuck russians, that’s why :)
        Imagine for a second that this is all true. That being gay is not cool and deserves the social condemnation, that Russians really want peace and protect their country from becoming 51st state. That they had to spend their not very big money on intercontinental missiles not because they want to invade the world. They need a guaranteed protection from the world’s only democratizator. And military parades not because Russians want to conquer the Ukraine. Because America understands the only language, language of power. Russia has it’s own resources for hundreds of years of prosperous living and intended to protect it from all possible threats, external and internal.

  • […] Lena Klimova, fondatrice di Children-404, una rete di supporto online per LGBT in Russia, ha lanciato un nuovo progetto: a foto che ritraggono scene di normalità e “intimità” quotidiana, vengono contrapposti i messaggi di odio e rancore verso gli omosessuali in generale e verso Lena Klimova in particolare. Un articolo di Global Voices Online. […]

  • […] RuNet Echo re-posted some of Klimova’s “collages,” with the identities obscured and the hateful attacks against Klimova translated into English. […]

  • […] via globalvoicesonline: The ‘Beauty’ of Russian Homophobia […]

  • […] Read more, and see some of the (modified to obscure identities) pictures, here.  […]

  • […] MH17 tragedy to Ukraine. Previosly, Facebook also deleted a post by LGBT activist Lena Klimova, who posted images of her online abusers and juxtaposed them with their hateful […]

  • […] got the idea to create the photo album “Beautiful People and What They Say About Me” [a collection of threats Klimova has received online] a long time ago. I would look at the photos of the people who write me […]

  • ranndino

    This is terrible, but complaining about hateful speech on the Internet is futile and pretending that this is somehow a problem only in Russia delusional. Go on any American forum or comment section and you’ll read the same crap. Especially, any place that’s full of Republicans.

    • Alex Pah

      The Pope said, that humanity lost the war, voted for gay marriages in Ireland. Republicans they just carry the word of God, nothing more.

  • Jan Pípek

    omg… those haters are disgusting.

  • […] “Beautiful People and What They Say to Me,” where she paired users’ profile pictures with threatening, expletive-laced messages they had sent her. “Go and kill yourself before before they come for you,” wrote a woman pictured smiling with a […]

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