Publication Date

4-15-2015

Advisor(s)

Susanne Fusso

Major

Russian and East European Studies

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

My thesis analyzes the recently enacted anti-gay propaganda legislation in Putin's Russia and tries to uncover the true meaning behind these newly enacted laws. The laws do not expressly condemn the act of homosexuality, merely the public endorsement of the queer community. Being openly homosexual is a Western concept and entails a political identity. Putin associates this identity with individuality, mobility, cosmopolitanism and liberalism. All these qualities of the out homosexual are detrimental to the consolidation of a homogeneous and controlled society. Therefore, Putin pins the LGBTQ community as an enemy of the state and does this by merging the church with the state. This immoral bond between church and state is what the feminist punk group Pussy Riot tried to explain in their court trial over their "Punk Prayer" performance in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. The members of Pussy Riot group feminism and the queer community as one marginalized group by Putin's regime and seek to dismantle these patriarchal values. Looking at Putin's Russia through a queer lens, I hope to show that the LGBTQ community is mainly used as a scapegoat by the Putin regime in order to consolidate his totalitarian regime based on patriarchal rule, hegemonic masculinity and Russian nationalistic sentiment.

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