Close this search box.

Personal story: Living as an openly trans person in Russia

We love sharing positive stories of LGBTQ+ Russians, and today’s post is based on the experiences of one of our volunteers. Many texts that you read here on our Instagram are written by him. And today we will listen to his personal story!

Our research shows that 87% of queer Russians have noticed an increase in homophobic and/or transphobic attitudes in society since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. And yet, here at ComingOut we are certain that these attitudes are induced by institutionalized oppression, and there are still many supportive people out there. This story is just about that!

Our volunteer sharing:

When the transphobic law was being passed in Russia, I realized that I had to start my transition immediately, otherwise I’d be banned from it forever. I needed to change my ID before the law went into effect. This also meant that I had to come out to my mother.

She didn’t take it well — I soon found out that she talked with her friends about sending me to conversion therapy and taking away my documents. This scared me into running away from my hometown to live with some friends.

It was the first time in my life where I had to reveal my transness to people I didn’t know — because of my ID there was no way for me to pretend to be a cis girl for safety.

Being forcibly out turned out to be… not what I expected. When I was getting some tests done at a hospital, everyone was professional and understanding, besides the little confused lady at the reception desk.

When I started working at a local coffee shop, I explained that I was a guy and my colleagues were very accepting, with one girl privately (and very profusely) apologizing for misgendering me at first. When I was updating my card info, the bank workers were kind, no one questioned me or asked intrusive questions.
Over time, after countless long conversations, my mom started understanding me. When I returned home, it was to a mother that called me her son.

It’s also important to mention that this didn’t happen in Moscow or Saint Petersburg, the largest cities in Russia with the most resources for queer people. It was in the southern and northern parts of the country that are known for being a lot less accepting.

My point is: there are kind people everywhere, even where you least expect them. Most of the general public, in my experience, is not violently transphobic. Many are confused, sometimes awkward, but most of us are good people at heart, no matter what our experience with gender is.

And that’s why we should give people a chance to positively surprise us.

Terms of service

1.1 The Operator accepts the terms of this Agreement at the moment of its publication on the
1.2 The published Agreement remains in force without a time limit.
1.3 The Operator is entitled to make changes to this Agreement. The changes shall be effective
immediately after being published on the website.
1.4 By agreeing to this Agreement, the benefactor provides consent for personal data processing.

2.1 The Operator may process the following personal data of the benefactor:
– Surnames and first names
– Country and city of residence
– E-mail address
– Date of birth
– Payment service provider
– Credit card number
– Card validity
– Issuing bank name
– Issuing bank country
– TIN (INN) of the issuing bank
– Account number.
2.2 Hereinafter the above-mentioned data is referred to in this Agreement as Personal Data.

3.1 The purposes for processing the benefactor’s personal data:
– Processing the donation sent by the benefactor via the website and further
communication regarding said donation(s);
– Sending information messages and newsletters to the benefactor with website materials
3.2 The benefactor may unsubscribe from receiving the newsletter by clicking on the
unsubscribe button in any of the newsletters sent by e-mail to the benefactor.

4.1 Personal data processing is subject to the consent of the benefactor for their personal data

4.2 The Operator processes the benefactor’s personal data only if the User fills it out themselves
using specific forms available on the website By filling out the forms, the
User consents to this Agreement.

5.1 The safety of personal data processed by the Operator is provided by the implementation of
legal, organizational, and technical measures necessary to meet the requirements of current
legislation in the field of personal data security to the full extent.
5.2 The Operator provides the safety of personal data and takes all possible measures which
exclude preventing access to personal data by unauthorized persons.
5.3 The User may withdraw their consent to the personal data processing at any time by sending
an e-mail to the Operator at [email protected] with a reference to “Withdrawal of
consent to the processing of personal data”.
5.4 If the benefactor withdraws their consent to the personal data processing, the Operator is
obliged to stop the processing and, if the storage of personal data is no longer required for the
purposes of personal data processing, to destroy personal data or ensure its destruction withing
a period not exceeding thirty days from the date the said withdrawal is received.