Young Immigrant Filmmaker Recalls Bashings in Russia, Being Left “Lying In Blood”

Russian filmmaker Alexander Kargaltsev didn’t just come to America to make movies—he was fleeing persecution in his homeland for being gay.

It was at a Moscow Pride rally in 2010, when military police attacked him with batons and Tasers, that Kargaltsev, 27, knew it was time to get the hell out of Dodge. “They left us lying in blood in the street,” he tells the New York Daily News.

Kargaltsev (right), who graduated from the New York Film Academy and works at Sothebys, also recalled earlier attacks. Like the time he went to meet someone from an online dating site and was beset by bashers, who posted a fake profile just to trap him.  But he says things are getting worse there now, and after the passing of the “gay propaganda” ban in Saint Petersburg, we can’t argue with him.

Neither, apparently, can LGBT asylum groups like Immigration Equality, which says in the past year it’s helped more gay and lesbians from Russia than from anywhere in the world besides Jamaica. “We’re seeing a rise in cases from Eastern European countries,” IE legal director Victoria Neilson tells the Daily News. “Things are definitely bad in Russia. It’s a country where the public at large is very homophobic and the government does nothing to protect people.”

Photos via Facebook


Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #alexanderkargaltsev #asylum #immigration stories and more


  • jason

    Russia is a dirty, filthy hole full of men who drink vodka and whores who try to please them. Absolutely repulsive.

    They know in Russia that we in the GLBT community can bring down their whole bloody patriarchy. That’s why they fear us.

  • lookatme!

    FYI. Don’t stereotype Russia or face that you’re a nazist queer! Problems of all Russians are lack of democracy, basic human rights and orthodox religion with shitty talk like roman catholic church. Nothing more…

  • Kev C

    He came to America to stop being persecuted? lol

  • Quentin

    I’d like to ask him if he would ever consider voting for a right-wing fascist party in Russia, like gays do in western Europe, for example in France and Holland. Today a far-right fascist serial killer committed a massacre in a French Jewish school, murdering several children. No he was not a Muslim, since last week he killed two Muslims (the third one survived) and a black guy.
    Gays in France are a demographic group most to the right in the country (every fifth suports the anti-semitic party Front National, which is higher than national avarage). Statistically, the killer could likely be one of us.
    In opressed countries, where gays are really in danger (targeted by the state as opposed to some misguided immigrants and religious minorities, like ortodox Jews), they are mostly liberal.

  • Mike1987

    @lookatme!: Actually, you’re wrong. Rampant alcoholisms, poor education, gritty and violent society has lead to a massive rise in teen suicide and an incredible population downsizing. This has been going on for 30 or more years. And like here in the U.S., as a society gets stressed, it takes it out on the “other”. Stereotype Russia, yeah, go to liveleak and watch them kill each other.

  • shannon


  • Belize

    @Kev C: And to study film. Or did that part elude your impressively selective vision?

  • vee

    bye haters! I live in Russia my whole life and, yes, there’s not the better place for gays. but why everyone’s here so rude about Russia? you’ve never been there, not even met someone from here. so why you rude?! some people leave trhis country but most of gays are staying. we have our families and friends here, we’ve got our work and other things we belong to. sometimes I’d like to get out of Russia but I’m having no plans in another country – no home, no work, no language at all. so please let your head go with another problems.

Comments are closed.