19 July, 2014

Love knows no Gender and age

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Category: European Action Day, Guest writer, Homophobia
Gubaz Koberidze
11 am

Love knows no gender and age

Written by: Children 404

When I was a little girl and saw negative attitudes towards same-sex love, I used to ask my mum, “Why? Aren’t they the same as us?” The answer to that was, “You’ll understand it when you grow up.”

I grew up and haven’t understood it yet. How can you condemn love? If two people are happy together, is it really your business?

I think many members of LGBT circles know who slashers are. So, I was into slash fic since I was 11, but I never actually thought I was gay. Then, about six months ago, I caught myself looking at this girl and thinking about her as much more than just a friend.

Of course, I was scared at first – who wouldn’t be? I told a close friend of mine, who is not that tolerant towards the gay community, and she said that she would stick with me no matter what. I felt so happy at that. Then I came out to my other friends. Many smiled and said that they had suspected as much for a while; nobody turned away from me. And I am madly grateful for that. I hadn’t become any worse by fancying girls as well as boys, had I?

When will people realize that it is normal? Probably, in the world capital of homophobia – Russia – that will never happen. So what can be said of Children-404? We are not even noticed, let alone treated civilly! And if we are noticed, we end up being shouted at, sworn at, called garbage. They don’t understand just how much we need their support.

About a month ago in my town two girls have committed suicide. The press covered it up: it was reported that they belonged to some sect. Are we a sect now? These girls were lesbians and had never hidden it, and that led to hatred from the society around them.

I am not so much afraid of being left without support but of ending up in danger. This attitude of neglect is very frightening.

Think again. We are the same as you. And however much you prohibit us, we will continue to love.

The children 404 are the shared personal stories of Russian LGBTQ youth who have experienced having their Human Rights violated by homophobia and transphobia. The stories tell of grave matters, like forced inscription to mental institutions, to corrective rape, bullying, harassment and violence, but are also a story of strong youth sharing both downs and ups, supporting each other and making a space where they, the “404-not found” children, can get their identity confirmed and experience belonging to a community online.

The 404-children were started by the Russian Journalist Lena Klimova. After writing a critical article protesting the law which criminalise all positive mention of “non-traditional families”, like those of Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay and Trans, she was contacted by a sixteen year old girl who were thinking of suicide, but changed her mind after reading the article.

Searching for information about LGBT youth online in Russian she could find nothing but the error 404-page not found. Lena started to gather the stories and sharing them online and soon there were over 1 800 stories and a network of supporters.

This story is one of those. All credits to the website www.children404.co.uk for translation and making some of these stories available in English.


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