Being LGBTQ

A major new series exploring and celebrating LGBTQ life in the culture and politics of the New East

A trend towards conservatism and the heralding of so-called “traditional values” across the New East has undoubtedly had a punishing effect on the LGBTQ community. In recent years, a number of anti-LGBTQ repressions — from Russia’s infamous “gay propaganda” law to the return of far-right politics in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic — have contributed towards an image of eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia as irredeemably homophobic. So how do we account for this while maintaining a progressive stance on a part of the world that could do with a lot less condescension and a lot more empathy? And how do we ensure that LGBTQ voices in art and culture, however threatened or unconventional, are heard?

Being LGBTQ is a major new series from The Calvert Journal exploring and celebrating LGBTQ life in the culture and politics of the New East. In the coming months, we will feature art, film, photography, fiction and music from across the LGBTQ spectrum, past and present: from clubbing in Tbilisi to Central Asian sci-fi; from the art of the Berlin Wall to the lurid world of turbofolk; from celebration of queer potential to mourning for lost time and lost friends. Artists and activists might tackle the same questions differently, but when it comes to being LGBTQ, the personal is always political.

Powers that be: Why having an openly lesbian prime minister hasn’t solved Serbia’s LGBTQ crises

Powers that be: Why having an openly lesbian prime minister hasn’t solved Serbia’s LGBTQ crises

Being LGBTQ

Verka Serduchka: A drag queen’s guide to infiltrating post-Soviet pop culture

Being LGBTQ

Photo diary: What I learned after coming out in noughties Poland

Cornel Brudaşcu:  How Romania’s foremost painter forged a queer identity against the odds

Cornel Brudaşcu: How Romania’s foremost painter forged a queer identity against the odds

Freedom fighters: Have Russia’s dissidents past and present neglected LGBTQ struggles?

Freedom fighters: Have Russia’s dissidents past and present neglected LGBTQ struggles?

Element 174: Lose yourself in this queer sci-fi from Bishkek

Element 174: Lose yourself in this queer sci-fi from Bishkek

Being LGBTQ

Sealed with a kiss: From t.A.T.u. to Trump, do Western portrayals of ‘gay’ Russia miss the point?

Being LGBTQ

Live by night: An evening with Maydana, Ukrainian drag queen and asylum seeker

Defiant bodies: Meet the photographer behind these tender portraits of Tbilisi’s queer community

Defiant bodies: Meet the photographer behind these tender portraits of Tbilisi’s queer community

Being LGBTQ

Secret histories: LGBTQ life in pre-revolutionary Russia

Being LGBTQ

Queer zines: Making art from eastern Europe’s secret LGBTQ archives

LGBTQ Literature: Take a journey through New East history with our reading list

LGBTQ Literature: Take a journey through New East history with our reading list

Katarzyna Perlak: The artist reclaiming queer tradition for Poland

Katarzyna Perlak: The artist reclaiming queer tradition for Poland

Horoom Nights: Inside the secretive queer night at Tbilisi’s world-famous Bassiani club

Horoom Nights: Inside the secretive queer night at Tbilisi’s world-famous Bassiani club

Being LGBTQ

No Silence: Growing up LGBTQ in the forgotten world of Transnistria READ

Being LGBTQ

Turbofolk: How Serbia’s outrageous pop music brought gay desire to the mainstream

LGBTQ activism in the New East: In their own words, activists tell us about their fight for equality

LGBTQ activism in the New East: In their own words, activists tell us about their fight for equality