This CREES Noon Lecture is brought to you by U-M undergraduates Rachael Merritt and Kyle Arnashus, Russian Language and Culture Majors. The students organized this panel in culmination of their project "Bridging the Gap Between LGBTQ+ Communities in Russia and the United States," under the auspices of the CREES-Ford School initiative "Developing Future Leaders in U.S.-Russia Relations."
From the introduction of the 2013 Gay Propaganda Law, the attempted “Trans Ban” laws to the Family Code in 2020, to continuous waves of torture and murder of gay men in Chechnya, members of Russia’s LGBTQ+ community have found themselves in increasingly precarious positions in the struggle for the full realization of their human rights. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that the international Russian LGBTQ+ community come together to form a unified front to fight against increasing oppression. However, the Russian LGBTQ+ community struggles with disconnectedness, both in terms of a unifying Russian LGBTQ+ identity and contradictory visions for the future of Russian LGBTQ+ movement. This panel seeks to address these schisms within the community and foster greater understanding for the identities and perspectives of Russia’s LGBTQ+ diaspora and domestic communities.