fbpx

Blog

The Only Openly Gay Family in Russia Flee for Children’s Safety – by Lynda Laushway

August 14, 2013

Author Masha Gessen is leaving her home in Russia and moving to the United States with her partner and three children.  Gessen is the courageous author of the book entitled The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin and has been the only openly gay family in Russia.  The recent Russian crackdown on the LGBT community and rumours of taking children away from homosexual families have led to this decision.  Up until a year ago, the outspoken Gessen had vowed to remain In Russia and was quoted as saying, “This is my home, Putin can leave. I’m staying.”  Now Gessen has decided that Russia has become a place without hope.  “I can do the work in Russia, and I would do the work in Russia, but I have three kids and it’s one thing to bring up your kids in a place that’s risky and difficult; I think in many ways it’s enriching them, and I’m glad my kids have that experience. It’s another thing to bring up your kids in a place that’s hopeless. Now that I’ve lost hope, I need to take them out.”

Author Masha Gessen
Author Masha Gessen

The Russia of today is extremely homophobic.  In addition to facing widespread animosity and frequent violence, gay Russians now fear that they will be stripped of their voice and public face.  The new federal law against “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations,” was approved unanimously except for one abstention in June. It is another manifestation of a long-standing culture of homophobia that is fueled by the state-controlled media.

Under the new law, it is punishable by fine to speak openly about gays and lesbians among young people, which effectively outlaws gay-pride marches, speeches and the like.  Amid demonstrations to protest the controversial law, Moscow police came down hard on gay-rights activists who demonstrated in front of their parliament.

For long-time author, gay rights proponent, and openly Lesbian mother, Masha Gellen- Russia has now become a place without hope for social justice.

Gay rights activists under arrest in Russia
Gay rights activists under arrest in Moscow
You are worthy, you are valuable, you are seen… Pass it On.

You are worthy, you are valuable, you are seen… Pass it On.

We don’t always know what impact our programs have on people’s lives until later, sometimes much later. We found out on a spring evening in a beautiful barn at Stone Bridge Farm where thirty former participants joined a reunion of our Pass it On Girls program. Kate...

Learn How to Work Better with Youth

Learn How to Work Better with Youth

The Circle Salt Spring Education Society is offering a new ‘Methods and Tools for Deeper Connections with youth’ course at the end of January 2022. This offering is ideal for individuals who work with youth in a variety of contexts, whether it be formal educational...

From L.A. to a rural island: social-emotional learning insights

From L.A. to a rural island: social-emotional learning insights

When Adele Mark was fifteen, she moved with her parents from Los Angeles, a city of 13 million people where she had lived all of her life, to Salt Spring Island, Canada. A place she thought of at the time as a remote island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with more...