Despite Soviet Russia having been one of the first major powers to decriminalise homosexual acts between men, attitudes towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in contemporary Russia and the other post-Soviet states have become increasingly hostile, with the introduction of laws restricting their rights and an increase in homophobic violence. This book explores how this situation has come about. It discusses how meanings attached to non-heteronormative sexualities have been constructed for specific socio-political purposes by elites in line with Marxist-Leninist or nationalist thought, explores how attitudes to non-normative sexualities developed historically and examines the current situation in the post-Soviet space, including Russia, Transcaucasia, Central Asia and the Baltic States. The book provides a wealth of detail on this understudied subject and assesses how LGBT subjects are responding to this state of affairs.

chapter 1|15 pages

Constructing Soviet and post-Soviet sexualities

ByRichard C.M. Mole

chapter 2|16 pages

‘Why are we the people we are?’ Early Soviet homosexuals from the first-person perspective

New sources on the history of homosexual identities in Russia
ByIra Roldugina

chapter 3|24 pages

Between the labour camp and the clinic

Tema or the shared forms of late Soviet homosexual subjectivities
ByArthur Clech

chapter 5|24 pages

A Cold War for the twenty-first century

Homosexualism vs. Heterosexualism
ByLaurie Essig, Alexander Kondakov

chapter 6|26 pages

‘That’s not the only reason we love him’

Chaikovsky reception in post-Soviet Russia
ByPhilip Ross Bullock

chapter 8|21 pages

‘National anxiety’ and homosexuality in post-Soviet Armenia

National identity through trauma and the memory of genocide and war
ByBeukia Sevan

chapter 9|21 pages

Narratives of exclusion

Observations on a youth-led LGBT rights group in Kyrgyzstan
ByJoanna Pares Hoare