Gay Propaganda by Masha Gessen
Russian Love Stories

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The couples speak of harrowing experiences, but also say the most breathtakingly romantic things and it feels as if they are saying them to you, the reader. -The Independent

A testament to the idea that the best defense against bigotry and narrow-mindedness is a good offense: take some humanity and shove it in your face. -The Rumpus

Gay Propaganda brings together original stories, interviews and testimonial, presented in both English and Russian, to capture the lives and loves of LGBT Russians living both in Russia and in exile today. In time for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, the book is a provocative riposte to Russia's recently passed and ill-defined ban on "homosexual propaganda."

As part of a strategy to consolidate political control following massive pro-democracy protests that shook the government, President Putin's ruling party decided it needed an enemy to unite the country. Hoping to manipulate backward but widely-held prejudices, it opted to demonize gays and lesbians. As a result, in June 2013, Putin signed a bill banning any and all "propaganda" of so-called non-traditional relationships. Quite predictably, in the months that followed, attacks, firings, and hate crimes have spiked across Russia, and the state-sanctioned campaign shows no sign of abating. The Russian Duma is now debating a law to take children away from gay and lesbian parents.

As the world's media turns its attention to the host country of the Winter Olympics, the stories gathered offer a timely and intimate window into the hardships faced by Russians on the receiving end of state-sanctioned homophobia. Here are tales of men and women in long-term committed relationships as well as those still looking for love; of those trying to raise kids or taking care of parents; of those facing the challenges of continuing to live in Russia or joining an exodus that is rapidly becoming a flood.


About Masha Gessen

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MASHA GESSEN is a journalist and the author of several previous books, most recently Perfect Rigor. Editor of the Russian-language Snob magazine, she has contributed to Vanity Fair, The New Republic, Granta, and Slate, among other publications. Gessen lives in Moscow.
Published March 20, 2014 by OR Books. 224 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Self Help, Romance, Gay & Lesbian, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Gay Propaganda

The reason the law against gay propaganda is supported by most non-LGBT Russians is that they believe virtually anyone can be turned gay, and that most gays in Russia have been recruited or somehow converted by propaganda, or that they became gay because it’s trendy and fashionable.

Mar 23 2014 | Read Full Review of Gay Propaganda: Russian Love ...