A proud gay man in Russia wants to inspire other LGBT+ people

Karèn Shainyan, 39, a Moscow-based editor and writer, hosts the show Straight Talk with Gay People. To encourage Russian celebrities to come out as LGBT+, he’s been interviewing high-profile LGBT+ celebrities from different countries.

Unusually for a gay Russian, Shainyan has never kept his sexuality a secret. Despite the horrific attacks on LGBT+ people in Russia, Shainyan hopes that through education people can be liberated. He told the Daily Beast: “Ignorance and indifference are the key reasons behind the worst homophobia.”

Shainyan added: “To Russian celebrities, coming out means a political message, a demand for having certain rights. But a public coming-out would mean an immediate huge loss of access to the concert halls.”

On a recent, pre-pandemic trip to the US, Shainyan spoke to celebrities including Cynthia Nixon and Billy Porter.

In the three months since he published them, more than three million people have watched his conversations with them on YouTube. “The idea of the project is to attract the attention of a broader audience and expose all the existing myths around LGBT+ people. Since as soon as people hear the word ‘gay’ in the Russian media agenda, it always comes from two poles – either from homophobes and state propaganda calling to bring the Soviet criminal law back to the legislation or from LGBT activists, who use the word in the context of their fight, violated rights or clashes with police. These are two radical contexts, while in reality, several million Russian LGBT+ people are muted, they are not represented in the public space.”

Via PinkNews

Via GayTimes

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