Stranger in my homeland – Realizing I was Gay in Russia felt like a terminal disease diagnosis

(Thanks to seattle Gay News)
I was around 12 or 13 years old. A time of big change and excitement. My family had anti-Communist tendencies for years, so when the Soviet Union collapsed we were thrilled and gratified. My classmates stopped wearing their
red neck scarves and Lenin pins, which I had ditched long before it became acceptable. People started to profess their religious beliefs, openly embrace ‘Western’ culture, and dream of earning a better living in the new capitalist
society. For a brief time, freedom and hopefulness were in the air.
Then, the darker side of change became apparent.
The Communist leaders who resisted reforms for so long, but who suddenly were eager to embrace them, had the same old agenda in mind – to take for themselves. Using the unsavory practice called ‘privatization’ they started to grab –
literally, steal – public property and claim it as their own. These titans of the political elite turned government stores, stadiums, cemeteries, and parks into their own private estates and enterprises. Can you picture Barack Obama suddenly taking the Library of Congress and gifting it to his cousin? How about Sen. Patty Murray building her own private parking lot on top of a World War II memorial? In Russia such things were happening daily.
The full, comprehensive and detailed article can be found here: