“Moscow’s War in Ukraine Brought Harsh Tactics Against Gay Russians at Home”

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Photo by Mary Gelman / VII for The Washington Post. Yulia and Kris at home in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Nov. 27, 2022.

For The Washington Post, Mary Gelman took portraits of members of Russia’s LGBTQ community who share how tough, new anti-gay legislation is affecting their lives.

“It was already a really worrying time as most LGBTQ foundations and rights groups left Russia after Feb. 24, and the passing of this law in December felt almost like the final nail in the coffin. It’s become very difficult to be a public LGBT person. People began to self-censor. The law itself is very confusing and unclear but everyone is panicking, deleting posts and so on. Another thing I noticed is how it affected publishers and bookstores, which now have to hide covers of books on LGBT themes. And the third thing is that I worry they will close any remaining help centers for queer people."