Bad, bad Russia: why is it difficult for Russians to accept homosexuality?
For my international readers: We usually don’t speak about this topic with foreigners, as we don’t expect people, who don’t know how life in Russia looks like, to understand our point of view. So please be nice in commenting, as this is a very difficult topic to talk about 😉
The reasons, why being gay is not widely accepted in Russia, are very complex.
During my international Master program, I spent the first semester in Barcelona. There I have seen a scene when two guys with long beards were lying on the grass and kissing each other – and I felt uncomfortable. Nevertheless, not because that was a homosexual couple, but because they have been kissing in public. I came from a very conservative country, we do not really appreciate that.
Personally, I see three main reasons why it is difficult for Russians to accept homosexuality. This is a very important thing to understand for you as a Russian if you want to spend time or even build a career abroad.
First of all, the protection of your child from “anything inappropriate”. If you go for a walk with your child, you don’t want your child to see anything “unusual”, even if this is widely accepted by the rest of society. You don’t want any smokers, alcoholics etc. to come into your way, because you don’t want your child to absorb what he sees, right? Neither want you to see any kissing couples, because in a traditional society this is not appropriate for a child to see. When you were little, your parents would close your eyes in the cinema during a kissing scene. Therefore, as a parent, you usually have nothing against any group of people – you just don’t want them to appear right before your children until they grow up. A solution? There is no real solution here, you will be always a bit overprotective as a parent 😉
Second, the parades. In Russia, we have many celebrations involving parades – like the 9th May, the end of the Second World War, when all the war veterans participated in the official parade and recieved flowers from school children – myself as well. And now imagine that this kind of action would be used by a group of people for an “egoistic purpose” of defending their interests, be it gays, gothic guys or anybody else. “If you claim that you are equal to me, why do you need a parade? Just be equal to me, that’s it!” – this is what I heard from my Russian friends. A solution? Think about feminists – they also made their way up very loud in order for you to be an independent working woman today.
Third, there is a demographic issue. The quantity of men and women is approximately equal: as for 01.01.2017, the quantity of men aged 20-24 (the most common years for a marriage, as these are the last years at the university and the first years at job) was estimated by 3993 thousand, and the quantity of women by 3835 thousand. However, the equality disappears when both genders reach 35-39 – from this age there will be much more men than women, as the men die due to many social reasons (alcohol, overtime, no time for health checkups etc.). When the whole pension insurance system solely depends on the future working generation (and especially men, as they earn much more than women in the country), will the government accept marriages, in which “no children will be born”? No way. Therefore, you will be motivated to hate specific groups of people because of the media brainwashing. A solution? Switch off your TV!
Tipp: If you move to another country from Russia and have problems with your cultural integration and acceptance of gay relationships, think about the idea that people deserve happiness. People deserve happiness if they are fat, thin, have blue eyes or even blue hair. Some of us like toasts with cream, some like them with honey, some like with ham. You should not allow others to be different, this is not your mission for this life – your mission is to take care of yourself. Be different, be a better you today than you were yesterday – and let others be different from you.
I hope that this article was interesting for you.
See you soon,