This book explores how queerness and representations of queerness in media and culture are responding to the shifting socio-political, cultural and legal conditions in post-Soviet Russia, especially in the light of the so-called ‘antigay’ law of 2013. Based on extensive original research, the book outlines developments historically both before and after the fall of the Soviet Union and provides the background to the 2013 law. It discusses the proliferating alternative visions of gender and sexuality, which are increasingly prevalent in contemporary Russia. The book considers how these are represented in film, personal diaries, photography, theatre, protest art, fashion and creative industries, web series, news media and how they relate to the ‘traditional values’ rhetoric. Overall, the book provides a rich and detailed, yet complex insight into the developing nature of queerness in contemporary Russia.

chapter |18 pages


ByGalina Miazhevich

chapter 1|21 pages

Queer first-person life writing in post-Soviet Russia

Between symbol and secret
ByBrian James Baer

chapter 2|17 pages

Queer readings of Soviet children's films, 1931–1954

ByAliaksandra Ihnatovich

chapter 6|20 pages

Russia as the West's queer other

Gosha Rubchinskiy's politics of fashion 1
ByMaria Engström

chapter 7|20 pages

Queer economics

Worlds, appearances and the symbolic exchange
ByVlad Strukov

chapter 8|19 pages

Lesbian love stories and online popular culture

The case of web series
BySaara Ratilainen

chapter 9|18 pages

Queering #MeToo

Russian media discourse on same-sex sexual harassment in the context of a global anti-harassment movement
ByOlga Andreevskikh

chapter |9 pages


Making Russia queerer, or the strange paradox of President Putin's incitement to discourse
ByDan Healey