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Behind Close Door, photography by Olga Ush for HUF Magazine

THERE ARE ALMOST 1500 EXAMPLES OF HOMOSEXUALITY IN NATURE, AND YET NONE OF THE HOMOPHOBIA. THIS LEAD SOME PEOPLE TO THINK THAT HOMOPHOBIA IS ONE OF THE THINGS WHICH MAKES HOMO SAPIENS DIFFERENT FROM ANIMALS” – Afisha, Evegeniya Timonova

It’s 2017. Russia. Moscow. Modernization has landed in our city. In nearly every supermarket products can be bought with just a touch of a screen on a mobile device. Everything in this country is becoming easier, simpler, faster. Everything apart from one thing – fear.

The fear sexual minorities experience, for expressing themselves, for being who they are, is getting progressively worse. The gay community fear being put down, harassed, offended or physically abused. Despite modern conveniences, prosecution on the streets and in public places through humiliation and bullying is growing on an ‘industrial’ scale.

In a state where it is nearly impossible to be free, how can there be any talk about “art” or the concept of an “artist”?

We’re a young gay couple, our names are Edik and Dima. Edik is studying film producing but working as an actor, meanwhile Dima is a ballet dancer, studying art management.

We’re building a life, dreaming, thinking and creating something together, behind closed doors. We have two joint art projects; we take photos on a film camera and sew our own clothes.

Although we’re young, ambitious and active, every single day we’re forced to leave our egos, and who we really are, at home just so that we could remain accepted in society. We do this so that we don’t get fired from the theater or expelled from university, so that we don’t get persecuted, so that we don’t end up at the hospital with broken ribs after yet another homophobic attack.

Since childhood we’ve been told we can’t be who we are – even at school and work – but at every moment we continued to defy that.

Today, our goal is to film a documentary film with a sole purpose of exposing the brutal reality that homosexual face on a daily basis in Russia.

WHAT CAN MAKE YOU BECOME HOMOPHOBIC? THERE ARE MILLIONS OF VARIANTS. FOR EXAMPLE. YOU CAN INHERIT HOMOPHOBIA FROM YOUR PARENTS, BUT NOT THROUGH YOUR GENES, BUT THROUGH MEMES AND TRADITIONAL IDEAS. IN RUSSIA, MORE OF THE THIRD OF ITS POPULATION IS HOMOPHOBIC. MOREOVER, SUPPORTERS OF HOMOSEXUAL VICTIMIZING ARE MOSTLY THOSE PEOPLE, WHO HAVE THE MINIMAL LEVEL OF EDUCATION” – Afisha, Evegeniya Timonova

Credit
Photographer: Olga Ush
Makeup: Valerie Vitko
Text editor: Masha Angelova
Models: Dima Polukhin and Eduard Kravz