Russian gay teens apparently have only one support website

Aug. 11, 2013 at 3:57 PM
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MOSCOW, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- The controversial anti-gay law passed by the Russian government causes gay teenagers to live in constant fear, a gay support activist said.

The teens apparently have only one online support group, Deti-404, set up by Lena Limova, 25, after she wrote an article on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teens and was contacted in desperation by a 16-year-old lesbian, The Observer (of London) reported in Moscow Saturday.

Limova then received a letter from Nadya, 15. "Nadya was hounded at school, her mother didn't support her. She decided to die, accidentally read my article and didn't do it," Limova said.

The name Deti-404 derives from the error page that comes on the computer screen when a website doesn't exist, and some of the teens' letters appear on the page with the authors' photos blurred against recognition.

The anti-gay law, signed in June by President Vladimir Putin in June, prohibits propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations and imposes fines on those holding gay pride rallies.

Limova's small support group is one of only a few for young gay people in Russia and appears to be a target of the anti-gay law, The Observer reported.

"Many of (the LGBTs) close in on themselves, they don't tell anyone. They are scared of parents and classmates. If they open up, parents sometimes beat them, insult them, throw them out, take away their phones, ban them from going on the Internet and even lock them up in a psychiatric clinic," Limova said.

British theater personality Stephen Fry wrote an open letter to Prime Minister David Cameron in which he called for the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi next year to be wrested away from Russia.

Cameron, however, said the prejudice would be better challenged by attending the games than boycotting them. The Kremlin assured the IOC last week that the law wouldn't affect competing athletes, The Observer reported.

"Sportsmen can go to the opening ceremony with a rainbow flag in support of Russian LGBT. It would be very valuable," Limova said.

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