LGBTQ+ Russians are “ordinary people” in new photo book working to combat rising hate in the country

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12/10/2023

Photographer Ksenia Kuleshova calls the subjects in her new book, Ordinary People, her “heroes.” That’s how she described them even before the Russian Supreme Court declared the “international LGBT social movement” an “extremist organization” at the behest of President Vladimir Putin’s Ministry of Justice last week. Beginning in 2013 with the passage of legislation banning so-called “gay propaganda” in the presence of children, Russia has been steadily increasing political hostility toward the LGBTQ+ community. Last year, the propaganda law was expanded to effectively outlaw all public expressions of support for LGBTQ+ people, and earlier this year, Putin signed a law banning gender-affirming care and denying transgender people the right to marry or adopt children.

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