Trolling in Russia

There are no Homosexuals in the USSR

19721001-07The Russian government has never liked to admit that anything as ‘decadent’ as a homosexual could be living within the confines of the Soviet Union. But of course, if such a thing as a Russian homosexual does exist, it must be admitted that he hardly has the opportunity to live anywhere else. So what is the truth of the matter?

I have always been amused to contrast the prevailing Soviet Government attitude with that of certain gay publications in the West, who state that certain areas in Moscow, notably Red Square and the square in front of the Bolshoi, are two of the gayest cruising patches on earth. A discrepancy, you might say! But the truth is this: that in the summertime the vast majority of those trolling at midnight in Moscow are Americans or their ubiquitous counterparts, the Japanese. And in the winter, at twenty degrees below zero centigrade, you can keep yer outside cruising!

So what about the Russian homosexuals? Do they exist and if so, where would you find them? The answer is, I’m afraid, that you won’t find them, though they might find you! And it is probably true that there is a lower incidence of male homosexuality in the USSR than in the West.

Consider the structure and prevalent attitudes of society for a start. To use ‘sexist’ terms, it’s as if the whole of society has taken two paces towards the ‘male principle’ – in other words, if little Oedipus Oedipanovitch has made a sub-conscious decision to follow closely in his mother’s footsteps, and his mother happens to be a bricklayer or a crane-driver, the psychological effects may well not be as far-reaching as those upon his counterpart in the West, whose mother could be anything from a plain Mum to a top grade fashion model (but not, probably, a crane driver).

Thus it follows that a certain type of male homosexual may indeed have been partially (and only partially) eradicated in the Soviet Union. But conversely, if this has happened, then it also follows that the incidence of female homosexuality could be higher in the Soviet Union than in the West, especially when you consider that there is a very serious national shortage of men. Unfortunately, there are no statistics available.

The Russian people seem to regard homosexuality as being very rare. When I was in Russia, one intelligent friend of mine said that he thought that there were no more than one or two homosexuals in every ten thousand Russians. But another Russian friend, a nurse, said that she suspected that it was nearer one in a hundred. Bearing in mind, though, that the majority of British people also seem to regard homosexuals in Britain as being rarer than they actually are, then perhaps these Russian estimates are nothing to go by, and are merely indication of a prevalent attitude.

After all, the general British public are only becoming more aware and tolerant now that homosexuals in our society are becoming less worried about being recognised for what we are. Whereas in Russia it is still exceedingly dangerous for a Russian to let it be generally known that he is homosexual. All homosexual acts in the USSR are, for a start, illegal. And although it does not always follow that a person convicted of a ‘homosexual offence’ will be sent to a prison (or worse!) it does normally follow that anyone who is discovered to have homosexual leanings will be generally excluded from all positions of responsibility within the state. And since the state runs everything in Russia, a Russian homosexual knows that once he has made a false move, all chances of a decent career are gone.

Which is why there appear to be no homosexuals in Russia. To put it bluntly, the chances of a homosexual factory worker in Russia 1972 are comparable to those of an English country vicar in the reign of Queen Victoria. If not worse. And with such an official attitude, coupled with the fact that in many Russian cities, almost all apartments are shared between two or three families and there is no privacy, the chances of cementing any sort of permanent gay relationship are nil.

So next time you hear the claim that “There are no homosexuals in Russia” remember that what it really means is that homosexuals in Russia have no chance at all to live freely and love as they want to – that there are very few practising homosexuals in Russia, and an awful lot of very unhappy people.

Love on Demand

You Can’t have Love to Order at the Dilly

Dear People,

I want to thank Gay News and everyone who supports it for giving gay people everywher19721001-07e the chance to discover themselves through its pages. Here gay ideas and experience can meet and be explored so that we can all examine our prejudices and myths and perhaps for the first time realise who we are. For being gay is not GLF or CHE, it is people, all people being aware of the reality of each other.

I enclose an answer to the article ‘The Piccadilly Affair which I hope you print. It won’t please a lot of people, but that is what discovering oneself is really about. We have to live together side by side and try to love and understand that which we don’t always like or want to see. We are the bars of our own cage.

I’ve been a hustler in the past, and can give several reasons for being one.

  1. As a penniless artist it was a way of eating;
  2. I was exploring my own feelings or hang-ups about prostitution;
  3. I was meeting the needs of certain people;
  4. It was more honest than most gay one-night sex games, played in the name of love.

None of these reasons appear to make me any the less human or qualify me for the heartbreaker of the year award.

I cannot defend the Australian boy for not making the position clear — that, I feel, was dishonest. (The Piccadilly Affair – GN5).

But I do not defend him over the broken heart. For in a business deal of this sort no-one is talking about love. The product is sex and maybe the satisfaction of someone else’s unusual desires; ie sado-masochistic fantasies. (How many gays have been sickened to find that their man for the night was ‘kinky’ or vice-versa?)

You say you love him: question what you love. Do you have any idea of him as a real person? Please be honest with youself. Love is more than a body and a voice. Did you express your true feelings to him? Why ‘be daft’ and give him £5 when there was no pressure? Perhaps you should have shown him the poem instead and tried to discover the real person you had just had sexual contact with.

I have been hired by many people and few have wanted to discover me as a person, though one did and we developed a real friendship outside of any business relationship, which was rewarding for us both.

I have no guilt over my hustling days, but I have experienced guilt, dishonesty and pain in non-commercial gay relationships from people who claimed to love. Love for me is the whole person, not separate parts, it’s a truth between people, a beauty that does not wither with age.

One of my fellow hustlers met his friend and lover through a client and they have been together ever since, and that was eleven years ago. So please try to see rent boys as having hearts and that they too can fall in love, but not to order.