Political Awareness and Self-Blame in the Explanatory Narratives of LGBT People Amid the Anti-LGBT Campaign in Russia
Sexuality & Culture: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly, Vol. 18, No. 4, December 2014
26 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2015
Date Written: December 31, 2014
How do homo- and bi-sexual people explain the launch of a homophobia campaign that violates their basic human rights? Which narratives do they use to adjust to the hostile environment? On the basis of 77 in-depth problem-centered interviews with LGBT in Russia we explore the explanations they use to talk about their experience of a homophobia campaign. Respondents demonstrate their awareness of the political reasoning behind the campaign and explain it as a tool for electoral mobilization, the repression of pro-Western oriented opposition and as a part of biopolitical technologies adopted by the government to increase its control over people's bodies and minds. Contrary to intuitive expectations, this political awareness does not protect the informants from self-blame, social escapism and moral suffering.
Keywords: LGBT, homophobia, anti-gay campaign in Russia, narrative analysis, protests in Russia
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