How Russia’s science of sex threatens gays — Washington Post
The Washington Post has a good write-up of the state of LGBT afairs in Russia of late.
Gay couples cannot adopt, nor can anyone from a country where same-sex marriage is legal adopt a Russian child. A new law banning “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” makes it a crime to say anything positive to minors about homosexuality.
The anti-gay targeting has a populist streak as well. Ultra-nationalist groups such as Occupy Pedophilia lure young gay men with classified ads, threaten or brutally harass them, then circulate videos of the treatment on social media as a “lesson” to others. Members of the group say homosexuality is as morally reprehensible as pedophilia. At least one young man has apparently died from his injuries. Several more have committed suicide.
While this article is more about sexuality than gender, any attitudes in Russia that ostracize or threaten gays and lesbians definitely also target transgender people, in that the sort of ignorance fueling the Russian view of LGBT makes no distinction between sexuality and gender. From the article:
In Russia, in part because of the academic isolation of Stalininsm, science and the law went their own way. The homosexual was never “born” but rather learned behavior that could be “cured.” […] Medical “cures” for homosexuality in the 1990s included anti-psychotic drugs or hormone treatments. Some patients were put into a diabetic coma with the hope that they’d wake up and have changed their sexual preference. Women whose desire for other women could not be cured were often prescribed a sex change since, according to the logic of Russian psychiatry, they must really be men.
Truly messed up stuff. But then again, we’ve still got backwards pockets of scientific ignorance in the United States as well insisting that things like reparative therapy are effective “cures” for teh gayz.