Gay Teen Tweets About His Life In Russia Where, He Says, “Gays Are Not People”

VICE interviewed the character behind the 140 characters of the Twitter handle @ru_lgbt_teen, a gay teen living in Novosibirsk, Russia’s third most populous city.

Having experienced homophobia since he was 11, Kirill knows that life before Putin’s anti-gay propaganda law was no picnic. He uses his Twitter account to expose homophobia, discuss school bullying and broadcast his desire/need to escape Russia. His avatar is a telling “SOS.”

On how gay people are treated in Russia: In Russia, gays are not people.

On his home life: I live in a single-parent family. My mother pretends not to know. One day she found my journal, where there was one very gay entry, after which there was a big scandal. She said to me, “If you’re sick, I’ll treat you.” I haven’t had friends since July 22, 2010, in part because of my sexual orientation. Now I’ve finally turned into a “problem” teenager. No psychologist can help me, and I need to see a psychiatrist.

On school life: My homeroom teacher is a biology teacher. This is why when she heard rumors about my sexuality and bullying in 2008, she explained that homosexuality is normal. Many people argued with her in class. Today, she would be charged under the “propaganda” law. She changed her views and does not protects gays, because this year in class she openly joked about children in same-sex families. Perhaps, this really is funny. Personally, I was sad to hear that. […] I have experienced the unimaginable limits of school homophobia, where you are constantly humiliated, insulted, and almost beaten during recess and by the school, while teachers act like they do not notice.

Because he’s unable to prove the bullying he receives in school, Kirill says that he cannot be granted asylum. So instead, he’s learning German so he can study abroad in Germany for a few years. His Twitter will (hopefully) remain his outlet from Russia, as he and the few other LGBT teens he knows through social media regard the West as “our last hope.”

Check out the rest of the article over at Vice.com.