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How many famous homosexuals in Russian history do you remember besides Pyotr Tchaikovsky and Sergei Diaghilev? The Aunts movement promises to fill this knowledge gap. The Instagram project publishes stories from the life of influential and famous gays of Russian history, about whose sexuality in history textbooks, of course, not a word is said. "Aunts" is a literal translation from the French "tante": this is how men employed in homosexual sex work were first called in tsarist Russia, and by the end of the nineteenth century, all homosexuals.
“We will bring them back to our cities, our minds, our space. Let's talk about their relationship, their passion and struggle. We will show what we have, whose traditions to continue, from whom to take an example and whom to admire. The Russian land will forever remember its aunts - heroes, martyrs, holy murderers, revolutionaries, poets, composers, writers, entrepreneurs, members of the royal family, aristocrats, soldiers and ordinary men,”reads the project's manifesto.
founder of the project
We are working on "Aunts" together: me and Dima. I am twenty-five years old, I live in Moscow, but I myself came from Siberia. I am openly gay, during my student days I worked as a volunteer in LGBT and human rights organizations, now I work in advertising. Dima is in charge of art direction; he's the main model. After the announcement of the project, some more cool guys wrote to me and offered help.
All my life I have looked at the West as a kind of cradle of gay culture. Only there I found a place for myself, because in Russia everyone said: "This is all propaganda of homosexuality, you came from America in the nineties." This winter I read Mikhail Zygar's book "The Empire Must Die". I was surprised how many historical figures who actively participated in the revolution on both sides of the barricades were gay. They created culture, developed a common philosophical thought. Some were even members of the royal family. This is how the "Aunts" appeared.
In the future, we want to launch a portal and a magazine. Conduct excursions to the places of gay Moscow and St. Petersburg, photo sessions and, possibly, some kind of events - watching a movie together or even parties. We also want to sell T-shirts and donate all the proceeds to charity.
PHOTOS: Wikimedia Common (1, 2)