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They put a big red 'x' on your file, anyone at the hospital can see it. They don't respect your privacy. He also just filed his asylum case with a pro-bono lawyer and is awaiting confirmation for a work visa, which takes up to days. While he's found America to be a starkly positive contrast to his home country, he has also been warned of certain areas when he might not be well-received.

Changing perceptions of what it is like to be gay in Moscow – one tour at a time - Equal Times

Lyosha sees it happen frequently in the Brighton Beach area of Brooklyn, known for its heavily saturated Russian population. Where are you going to go? Where you can speak your language. But people are humiliated," Lyosha says of the area, which he also lived in when he first arrived in New York. Lyosha expects some pushback from the community, but it's not stopping him. Not physical, but verbal abuse is quite expected. He feels it's especially important to march because it's a privilege people back home don't have.

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Just this January, people were banned from marching in a LGBTQ pride event in the Arctic circle, in the town of Salekhard, Russia under the anti-propaganda ban, which has banned pride parades for years. Lyosha explained, "We do this here because we need to address it to the public and confront those views. People are being treated as second class there, too. It's worse than Russia because those people left so long ago, they haven't evolved. As for Dmitry, he plans on marching this year as well. He also wants to become an activist in the HIV community, and recently protested at the Russian Embassy in response to the horrific reports of the torture and murder of gay men in Chechnya.

And while he is grateful to be free of the hateful environment in Russia, it's a little bittersweet. You leave that country because you are in danger.

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The St. Petersburg economist, however, did go to the police. He spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity out of fear that his attackers, who know where he lives, would seek retribution if they learned that he had reported them.

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But he said the attackers beat and threatened him — and suggested they had friends in the police force who they said would lock him up on fabricated charges. One of them took his bank card and cleaned out his account, and they released him only after he agreed to transfer the balance the next day, he said.

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The crime gangs who carry out such attacks are not necessarily anti-gay, but have identified a profitable niche where they feel they can operate with impunity, Loza and Yuryeva said. Timur Bulatov, an anti-gay activist who claims to have helped get a number of teachers fired after outing them as homosexuals, said he sees no need to resort to the blackmail used by criminal gangs. He said the law banning gay propaganda among minors was intentionally made vague so it can be applied in a wide range of circumstances.

Then, the police detained more than men and tortured many with electrical shocks while asking them to reveal the identities of their partners or others in the deeply closeted gay community in Chechnya, according to Human Rights Watch and interviews with former detainees.

Russia's First Gay Married Couple Had To Run For Their Lives (HBO)

A spokesman for Mr. In rounding up closeted gay people in Chechnya, the security services have employed methods used to unravel networks of Islamist terrorists and pacify the region over the past decade, including, rights groups say, torture and pressuring the family members of suspects. Arrests, though, had tapered off after foreign governments and the United Nations raised concerns following the pogrom. So far, none have received asylum in the United States. The latest wave began in December, when the police detained the moderator of an online chat room for gay people, who had many contacts in the community, Igor V.

He said that the local police may have started the roundup opportunistically, after having stumbled on this community without an order from senior officials.

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