In an interview with Vice magazine, a brave young man who is using Twitter to stand up for his gay rights in Russia details just how harsh his living situation is. According to the Huffington Post on Aug. 27, the teen, who asked to only be referred to by his first name, Krill, says that most gay members of society have gone into hiding.
On his Twitter account, @ru_lgbt_teen, Krill discusses his everyday life, discusses being gay in Russia and finding a way out. Many tweets include updates on his mental health and his depression. In the interview, he categorized himself as a “problem teenager” and states he hasn’t had friends, partly due to his sexual preference, in five years.
In his email interview with Vice, he explains that he was outed as gay by his teacher when he was 11. Though it was unintentional and the teacher originally supported his homosexuality as something normal, the teacher changed her views. He also notes that under the current laws against homosexual “propaganda" this teacher would have been charged for originally supporting him.
His most powerful statement is something that seems obvious based on the laws created by the people who are supposed to protect Russians. He says, " In Russia, gays are not people." The Vice provides background and states that a group called Occupy-Peofilyay has been known to lure in gay boys and document the humiliation they force upon them and share them on the internet.
Krill states that he hopes to leave Russia; that ultimately, his and the majority of gays' last hope is in the Western world. However, to fit his situation, since he is not able to prove that he is being bullied in schools, he has his eyes set on learning German and moving to Germany for study.
Since the interview with Vice, his Twitter stream has been filled with him offering his thanks for those who have reached out to him and retweets for those who have offered support.
Do you think this teen has a chance to change the way homosexuality is perceived in Russia or will he have to strengthen his efforts and do more than post on a Twitter account?