The social environment for LGBT people living in Russia is anything but pleasant. In the last two years, largely due to government propogated discrimination, the rights and privileges of gay and transgender citizens of Russia are nearly nonexistent. New laws created by the government have made gay relatioships somewhere between legal and illegal, and wholly open to discrimination. The LGBT community live in fear of losing their jobs, being arrested, killed, and even losing their children. Most individuals and couples see leaving the country as their only option to lead a normal life.
To capture the light midst such dark times, photographer Anastasia Ivanova has taken images of gay couples currently living under Putin's oppressive presidency. The images, paired with personal narratives of the couples, showcase the loving couples who live in fear of their own government and society. Each photo is a testament to love, but tinged with a regrettable sadness for the state of LGBT rights in Russia. View them below, paired with quotes from each couple below.
Olgerta & Lisa
"A lot of the things that were achieved in Russia over the last century have been wiped out in the last two...Our future is simple. We must leave."
Irina & Antonina
"In the future, all we want is to keep our little family together. Maybe if we’re lucky one day we’ll have a child."
Victoria & Dasha
"Right now, we just want simple human happiness."
Olga & Ulia
"There are no gay rights in Russia. Fighting for them feels like being involved in a criminal cabaret show and we don’t want any part of it."
Kate & Nina
"The way we live makes us outlaws."
Tasha and Ksenia
"There are no gay rights here in Russia. Right now, we are looking for an ‘escape route’."
Katerina & Zhanna
"Our plan is to leave the country and move to Europe. That way, we can live our lives to the fullest and stop hiding away."
Source - Muff Magazine