Russian Journalist Announces Campaign to Out Closeted Anti-gay Lawmakers in Russia

On the eve of a proposed Russian bill that would take children away from gay parents, journalist Elena Kostyuchenko (pictured) has announced a campaign to out any closeted Russian lawmakers who vote for the bill's passage.

Via The New Civil Rights Movement:

Elena KostyuchenkoOffering her email address, Kostyuchenko [who writes for the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta] asked for "information, correspondence, photographs…about the deputies of the State Duma concerning LGBT" activities. […]

Kostyuchenko calls her campaign promising to out any LGBT lawmakers who votes for Zhuravlev's bill a "nuclear bomb" that should be used only as an "extreme measure." But, she says, "Now, it seems such a time has come."

"Kostyuchenko noted that 'in the event of the passage of the law to remove children after the first reading, the information about homosexual deputies of the State Duma will be published,'" a slightly modified translation of a report at Gay Russia notes:

"In this case, the activist added that "immunity from outing will have only the MPs who voted against the law to remove children. Others will be disclosed. This is a warning. They want to destroy our lives, and we will destroy them."

Kostyuchenko is no stranger to confronting Russia's anti-gay regime head-on, having been forcibly detained by state police earlier this year for rallying at a gay pride parade in Moscow.

[Image via Facebook]



  1. theotherlee says

    I fully believe in this, in the same way I believe US Politicians and “Religious Leaders” should be outed for voting Anti-Gay. I hope there’s a HUGE list for them to publish.

  2. Mary says

    When I read the title of this post I imagined every regular reader on Towleroad breaking out in a wide smile – except for myself, of course. I always think that forcing people out of the closet is a bad idea. But I know that around here people are always accusing the anti-gay crowd of people full of closeted individuals. We need only see a picture of an anti-gay person to know that the “he set my gaydar off” and “he has the gayest face I’ve ever seen” comments are only seconds away. Interestingly, though, anti-gay WOMEN are not usually accused of being lesbian. Is there subconscious sexism going on here, or is it just that so many more of the anti-gay crowd consists of men?

  3. Jay says

    Very brave, I hope she disseminates the information to multiple sources and stays our of harm ways. Russia and its ex KGB aren’t particularly known for playing fair.

  4. Mikey says

    That’s an interesting observation, Mary, and I honestly don’t know the answer (you run the risk of getting the misogynist posters joining the conversation).

    As to the “outing” tactic, I agree. I think it’s damn ugly. Unfortunately, the Russian government has made it a very ugly playing field.

  5. Steve says

    That kind of behavior is more common from men and there are simply a lot more male politicians. But when Linda Lingle (single and no children) vetoed Civil Unions in Hawaii she was often called a lesbian.

  6. Mike says

    Well, if Putin’s marriage was still intact she COULD start with him! But then she might notice that normally inanimate objects around her tend to grow legs and follow her around. Not good. If she did actually write down anything true and revealing about dear comrade Vladimir’s sexual proclivities, she would be almost certain to have a bad accident or otherwise disappear. Besides, any relevant copy would likewise vanish long before it was published . . .

  7. Will says

    This is another insane law that will affect thousands of gay families. Anything to stop it is crucial.

    I agree with the post above and start with Putin. (or is it Putina on the weekends?)

  8. says

    This is quite brilliant. There are many many closeted gay men in Russia — MOST gay men there still get married and pretend to be straight. Certainly there is not a single out member of the DUMA and anti-gay forces have for years complained that it’s full of gay men.

    At the same time Russians are rather reckless in their sexcapades, so it’s not unlikely evidence can be found on many of them.

    Likely they will also be married and have children — which is exactly the demographic this hideous law is aimed at.

    As to women… on one hand, there are a handful of women in the Duma, and the other laws were introduced by one, Mizulina. But it’s harder for them to get away with a double life, especially with children. Lesbians are more often out, in my experience, or at least not married.

    Putin… well, I have heard a rumor that he was gay in his early years and that someone does have compromising material on him, but I’m not sure I believe it. He just seems too simple-minded and ignorant to be gay. I mean, he met with Masha Gessen without realizing a) she’s a lesbian and b) she had written a best-selling biography of him.

  9. Zenobi says

    Mary: I strongly disagree: Those who force others into the closet by means of legal or any other action cannot expect a veil of silence to be drawn over their bigotry.

  10. Zenobi says

    Mary: I strongly disagree: Those who force others into the closet by means of legal or any other action cannot expect a veil of silence to be drawn over their bigotry.

  11. DannyEastVillage says

    i’m quite sure Moscow and many other places have plenty of boybrothels patronized (as in this country) by some of the country’s most conservative political figures – and (as in this country) religious ones as well. Whatever it takes to stop the violence – short of more violence – I’m in favor of.

  12. Mary says

    Shane, you’re right. I didn’t read the post carefully enough. Under normal circumstances I don’t favor outing people. But taking children away from their parents is about the most anti-family measure a government can take. Faced with this situation you fight back any way you can.

  13. Lucas H says

    This bill is heartbreaking. I can’t believe they want to just up and take people’s kids away from them! That is HORRIBLE! Not to mention traumatizing for the kids. Ugh. I totally support this lady. Closeted gay lawmakers who actively oppress (and apparently criminalize) the LGBT community are complete scumbags.

  14. Kyle says

    I don’t think it’s the best idea to out gay politicians who vote for the bill. At this point, if they don’t do it, people will automatically think they’re gay (keep in mind, a majority of Russia wants this bill), and their career will certainly be ruined.

    It’s really a lose-lose situation.

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