Material not intended for readers under 18 years of age
According to the sexuality research lab, in Vladivostok, two cases of gay assaults were recorded. In 2014, three people raided a gay man’s apartment, and in 2015, eight masked men beat and robbed a man when he arrived on a date.
Two gays and two lesbians talked about their life in Vladivostok, how they accepted themselves, coped with the pressure of society and what difficulties they went through.
Dmitry, 20 years old
My cuming out occurred at 18 years old. Then I realized that I was already independent and could provide for myself. Prepared for everything, even for the negative reaction of the parents. I was afraid to tell them. They sometimes asked if I were dating someone. After that, you must either lie or leave. My secret kept a distance that did not allow us to communicate closely.
He was afraid that someone would tell his parents, and they would misunderstand everything. For the New Year, I wrote them letters. At that moment I was in another city and was very worried when they opened the envelopes. I wanted to get distracted. As a result, after four hours, my mother called and said: "Dima, don’t worry, everything is fine, we love you." Sooner or later, they would have known - I was not ready to keep this secret for long.
Studying at the university is the stage that made me stronger. Then it was difficult for me, because my classmates did not give a pass when they found out about my orientation. Then I did not accept myself, not to mention the acceptance of criticism. In those moments, a friend helped out - she supported me.
After I told my parents about my orientation, I became more public. Now I am quite open and do not hide anything. This does not mean that I am walking along the street with a rainbow flag and campaigning people - I simply do not deny it. I do not pretend to be someone else, because this is wrong.
I think that no one can impose orientation. This is a biological disposition - a person is born that way. I know a guy who has a wife and two children, but he is dating other men. I think this is much worse. After all, then you suffer in marriage and cheat on your wife. I can’t even imagine what will happen when she finds out.
I don’t pay attention to slanting looks and gossips - I have more important things to do. Friends and colleagues respect me for being open. There are many homosexuals in Vladivostok, but they hide their orientation. For various reasons: work, family, fears and so on. It’s hard to accept yourself, because they can be reproached from all sides. But, if you are dear to your people, they will not turn away. With this position, I go through life.
Alina, 35 years old
I never thought about the gender of the person I love. As a child, I liked both girls and boys. I grew up in the Caucasus, and there you cannot enter into a relationship with anyone until you become independent and independent of your parents.
At the age of 16 she moved to Vladivostok and until the age of 21 did not meet with anyone. Then she fell in love with a girl who was in a relationship. And when her boyfriend went on a business trip, we got close. But when he returned, it was all over. Because she wanted sex, passion from me, and life, family, stability from him. I couldn’t do it, we broke up. A few years later I met her: she had already accepted herself and lived with a girl.
At 23, I started dating a man - then it seemed socially approved. We have been cohabiting for six years. If I could change something, I would not enter into those relationships because they were not productive, but painful. As I later found out, he was a drug addict. He pulled money out of me, beat me, intimidated me. But still, I stretched out six years, because it was a status and a feeling that someone was nearby.
After cohabiting with a man, I had a break, and then I fell in love with the girl again. Despite internal protests and homophobia, I decided to give ourselves a chance - Christina and I have been together for six years. The difficult relationship with the guy affected the fact that I began to develop in the direction of human rights, especially women's rights. Now I provide psychological assistance to girls who are in difficult situations.
Despite the fact that my whole family is Ossetians, no one reacted negatively to my decision. I think this is due to the fact that I in no way depend on my parents: neither psychologically, nor financially, or in any other way. They had no choice, and they understood that I was not waiting for approval. The only thing that bothered me was their indifference to our family and Christina's life. When I met a man, my parents were interested in how he was doing, when a wedding and the like, and in the case of a girl, this did not happen. Once I told them about this, since then they have become more attentive.
We started dating Christina when we studied psychologists. As part of the curriculum, we took a course of personal psychotherapy together: went to trainings and seminars, including those that reduce the level of internal homophobia. Four years after this course, I was able to confess not only to my family, but also to others. When at work they wanted to marry me or give birth to a child, I replied that I had a girlfriend, and did not hide this at all.
People interestingly respond to my statement about orientation. At first they stop looking in the eyes - they are shy. The more confidently I talk about my preferences, the more this causes the questioner to be embarrassed - as if ashamed. Then the interlocutor gradually gets used to this thought and begins to ask questions.
Now it’s better not to be open - it’s not safe. There were situations of violence when lesbians were severely beaten. But representatives of the LGBT community are afraid and do not go further to the police, they do not say. People justify aggression and blame themselves.
Seven years ago, Kristina went on vacation to China. There she met and became friends with a guide. Gradually, he began to show sympathy for her, and she immediately said that she was a lesbian. It all ended with the man grabbing her, threatening her and trying to rape her, justifying it with the phrase: “You haven’t had a good guy, now we will have sex and you will change.” Everything worked out, but he continued to threaten to find her and kill her. Then she did not go to the police because she was afraid.
Until 2013, Christina and I had friends - a heterosexual couple with children. Children adored us and sometimes stayed with us. And then the Federal Law came out banning the promotion of non-traditional sexual relations among minors. Six months later, friends began to brainwash us, asking not to cuddle or not to say something with the child. As a result, we stopped talking to them.
I can’t say that homosexuality is purely physical or psychological, because everything is individual here. I have not met such people who had sex with a partner of their gender because of trends. If you like, then you will do it, and if you do not like it, then you won’t; fashion has nothing to do with it.
From a psychological point of view, the world is much more diverse than we imagine and are trying to describe. According to many studies, sexual orientation during life can change - and this is not scary. For example, according to the Kinsey scale, in its pure form there are no homosexuals and heterosexuals. If a person says that his whole life will be with people of his gender, he thereby gives himself an attitude for the future. This is not entirely true because clear attitudes towards men or women lead to big problems. In the end, love for the opposite sex may appear. Life is diverse, everything happens. I don’t give myself such an attitude.
I am just like everyone else - I know how to love and love. I am no less traditional than everyone else: I want children, a family and a house by the sea. I just love a woman and I do not think this is something unusual. My traditions are no worse than the traditions of the rest. I am ready to defend myself and my family from attacks by homophobes.
Anna, 29 years old
Homosexuality is always compared to the first cigarette. If you ever tried to smoke, and you didn’t like it, then you quit it anyway. The same thing here: if you once thought that you like people of your gender, then it's not a fact that this is yours - a feeling can pass.
I'm already old enough to consider myself a determined person. At 18, I realized that I like women. And in the school and in the preschool periods, this also happened, but I did not think about it. As I understand now, I liked my mother’s colleague. I came to their work, examined it and thought: "Julia is so beautiful, it would be cool if we went for a walk." In any case, in childhood it was unconscious.
And I once liked the boys, but it was still in school and only because "everyone does it, and I do it." I never fell in love with guys - only girls. Somehow I had a difficult relationship with a married woman, after which I began to think that I like men. This was something temporary. The same as for heterosexual women, a temporary hobby for some girlfriend. All this passes, and you return to where you started.
I met women who are afraid to admit to themselves. I see that she likes girls, but she is trying to hammer this feeling in herself. As a rule, people who depend on public opinion do this.
I never thought that something was wrong with me, and I didn’t care how to continue to live with it. I am only interested in the opinions of my loved ones, friends, parents. The rest may not know. There has never been a case when someone said bad things to me about orientation. Nobody cares.
Mom found out when I was in my second year. She accidentally heard my phone call. It was useless to justify. I calmly talked about everything. Mom, of course, burst into tears, but said that she had noticed this from me since about 13 years old. She offered to see a doctor. I do not blame her - everyone does it. It is simply impossible to score in oneself in the same way as it cannot be developed. Over time, my mother realized that if you raise this topic, there will be a conflict. To ban is pointless. If a person loves people of his gender, then he will love: in secret from his parents or openly.
The life of a lesbian in Vladivostok is no different from life, for example, with an alcoholic husband in Vladivostok. I don’t think society is so influential. Serious couples do not advertise their relationship. If someone asks me about my orientation, I will tell the truth. I have never come across a negative.
Homosexual relationships are not much different from heterosexual ones. Two people live together, they have the same conflicts on the basis of everyday life, they spend the same time together and go on vacation. I do not consider homosexuality a deviation - it is rather a feature. Society does not accept many of the characteristics of people. But in any state and with any orientation, you can live happily.
Sergey, 31 years old
sales and communications worker
You don’t come to the fact that you like people of your gender - you always know about this. It’s not easy to admit ourselves, because we all live by the rules of society and try to shift them into our lives. This happened to me. I was married for six years, but once I realized that everything is not going the way you want.
Certain thoughts and desires ripened in my head for a long time that I could not realize. But at 23, when I was still married, I was tired of torment, and through social networks I went to people like me. Thus, I wanted to confirm or refute my guesses. At first, he denied and did not understand how to live on, but in three months everything had settled in his head. I met a man a couple of times, then I began to do it regularly. At that time, I considered myself a bisexual.
I had a choice: either deceive my wife, or admit everything. In addition, it was possible to divorce, so that everyone had the opportunity to build their own lives. Only the last bastard could leave without a reason, so I explained everything to my wife. But instead of accepting me and keeping silent, she went to tell everyone: first to her sister, then to my parents and the whole area. Now I have a difficult relationship with my ex-wife - we don’t communicate at all.
But we have an eight-year-old daughter with whom I spend time and constantly correspond. I couldn’t agree with my wife verbally, so I pay child support. Everything is according to the law: I give a quarter of my income to raising a child. The daughter is still growing in another era, and she will have more access to information than we had. I think that when she becomes an adult, it will be easier for her to understand me.
My mother was shocked when she found out - for her it was a surprise. I was not similar in appearance or character. The first thing she said: "How can that be? I’m selling an apartment, I’m leaving for the monastery!" Thus she expressed her protest, and two days later she brought a brochure on sexual identity, pages forty. I read this book, highlighted the necessary fragments and put it on the shelf. At first, communication took place through her. Now the topic of my guys and orientation is not discussed.
It was more difficult with my father, because there was no conversation with him. He found out later and asked one question - is it true or not. I realized that I could not take this conversation out, so I literally got up and left. For six months we could not communicate normally: as soon as the topic was touched, I left the room. When the questions stopped, everything returned to normal.
I had a young man with whom I lived for three years. We came home for the holidays, his parents knew him and treated this normally. They accepted me for who I am. Parents want to take care of their grandchildren, but my problems do not.
Heterosexual and homosexual relationships differ in the behavior of partners. Since childhood, we have been vaccinated with the pattern of a traditional family: a strong male earner and a defenseless female hostess. Many homosexual couples begin to try on this pattern for themselves, and it was invented for a completely different type of relationship. If there are two men nearby, then none of them is a girl, no matter how feminine he may be.
A man is in any case a locomotive, he leads the family forward. And in homosexual relationships there are two such engines. And it is wrong to say that one must be stronger, the other - weaker. The relationship "one rich, the other beautiful" is always short-lived, because the rich finds the next beautiful. An ideal male relationship is an equal partnership in life, in sex, and financially. This is not so with girls: you are the only locomotive, you drive, she is behind you. No wonder the ancestors came up with calling it marriage.
Men and women differently perceive even treason. For comparison: males began to experience an orgasm from seahorses, and females from higher mammals. Accordingly, because of this, we have a completely different attitude to sex. For girls, this is something sacred and intimate, for guys it’s like drinking beer for football.
In fact, a man needs not so much loyalty as loyalty: no matter what happens, whoever he finds on the side, he is always with you, like your friend. With a woman it’s different: she needs to be protected and no one should be allowed to approach her.