According to Wikipedia, “Public opinion in Russia tends to be among the most hostile toward homosexuality in the world—outside predominantly Muslim countries and some parts of Africa and Asia—and the level of intolerance has been rising”
If it wasn’t already clear in my prior posts- I’m heterosexual. However, the reason why I want to address this subject is because I am Russian and I have relatives in Russia who I love very much and who are very good people, but unfortunately they are SO blatantly intolerant towards homosexuality that it kills me. By no means am I trying to suggest that all Russians are homophobic. I am sure there are plenty of people living in Russia that are tolerant towards homosexuality. The purpose of this post is simply to discuss the homophobic sentiments I witnessed my relatives in Russia express.
The problem with my relatives is that some of them are in denial about their hostility towards homosexuals and that’s just half of the issue. Exhibit A-
“I personally have nothing against homosexuals, I just don’t want them around my children”
By saying you don’t want homosexuals near your children, you inherently have a problem with homosexuals. How is that not obvious? The sorts of people you don’t want around your children are paedophiles, rapist and murderers and that’s because they’re dangerous and abnormal. But homosexuals are not criminals, nor are they dangerous or abnormal; and I can’t reconcile within myself how a person I love and respect can be so hostile towards something so normal.
Unfortunately, above was the nice example, now here comes the harsher one. Upon telling one of my relatives that I teach Latin and Ballroom Dancing and have competed in dancesport competitions, he (my relative) asked me if my Husband ever gets jealous of my dancing partner (I also have an issue with this question, but I won’t go there…for now). I responded by saying that the dancing partner I had is gay so there was no reason for husband to get jealous. The look he gave me was the sort of look I would expect a Holocaust survivor to give a Holocaust denier. He was shocked and appalled by my answer and I was shocked and appalled by his reaction.
My relative then went on to say that he finds gays repulsive and that the mere thought of homosexuality disgusts him, that it’s a disease, a virus that needs to be beaten out of society. I replied by saying that his opinion is a product of the society in which he resides. I went on to tell him about the documentary called ‘Hunted’ which depicts heterosexual Russian men luring, abusing and to the best of my memory even killing homosexual men and posting the footage online. My relative denied that every occurring and said that no one in Russia actively goes out of their way to hurt homosexuals, the majority of the population just simply think homosexuality is wrong…because, somehow just thinking it’s wrong doesn’t hurt anyone? It definitely hurts me.
I honestly do believe that these sentiments are a direct reflection of the environment in which my relatives live. I think that if they moved elsewhere, their views would change accordingly. The reason I feel this way is because basically all the Russians I know in Australia (I know I’m a hypocrite for making this generalization but nonetheless) are not homophobic, or at least much more tolerant towards homosexuality than my relatives in Russia. When I was about 14, I recall my Mum exhibiting intolerance towards homosexuals…but that all changed when she actually met a person of a sexual orientation that differed to hers.
It scares me to think that had my parents not immigrated to Australia, I along with my parents would now be just as homophobic as my relatives in Russia.
Although I am new to the blogging world and am completely incompetent at using technology (I only recently learned how to make hyperlinks), I believe that my message of peace and tolerance needs to be heard. To learn a little bit more about my background please read my post titled “A little bit about myself…”. To learn more about why I started this blog, please read my post titled “Introduction…”.