«One of the main issues is how our state treats the LGBT+ community. I’m convinced that the Russians do not have and could not have any natural predisposed homophobia. The hatred towards the community is the result of the state politics.
In particular, LGBT+ people face a lot of issues. Those are mainly hate crimes motivated by homophobia, biphobia and transphobia: attacks, beating-ups, threats and the so-called “correctional violence” . We need to specifically mention violence against LGBT+ in the North Caucasus. The state policy and adopted in 2013 “law against propaganda” result in the police refusing to investigate these crimes, and LGBT+ people are almost not perceived as full-fledged citizens. For example, the case of Vlad Pogorelov, who came to the police after he was beaten and robbed of his phone. Police workers told him: “Well, you were beaten up for a reason, because of who you are. We have a law against propaganda, so we are not going to protect you”.
Of course no law against propaganda says that the police should not protect members of the LGBT+ community, but this law is perceived as a signal to do so.
Subjectively, it seems to me that before the adoption of this law there surely was everyday homophobia, but after the adoption the systemic discrimination by state organs and the police has increased.
Another issue is stigmatization. In the federal news channels LGBT+ people are represented either as Western agents, or as some sort of dangerous to society perverts. The people are afraid to talk about themselves, they are scared of being fired for their orientation and identity. There is this concept of minority stress, and the situation in which the Russian LGBT+ community now finds itself is an exact example of such stress. People are living in constant fear for themselves».