Conflicts and solidarities of the LGBTQ scene in St Petersburg
Keywords:gender identities, youth studies, modern Russia, qualitative methodology, modern youth scenes
Modern Russia shows increased problematization of LGBTQ communities and non-conventional gender identities in media and their almost complete exclusion from public space. However, the present study reveals that LGBTQ activists are solidarizing faced with symbolic, psychological and physical violence and pressure by the state, social institutions and the homophobic population. The empirical basis of the study is 14 interviews involving LGBTQ people and the overt observation. The scene approach highlights not only actors and practices within the scene but also the space where interactions take place. The author concludes that the St Petersburg LGBTQ scene represents heterogeneous community of organizations, initiatives, venues targeted at different groups of individuals with non-conventional sexual and gender identities. The LGBTQ scene is more likely to be seen as a reflexive, argumentative discussion of the most important community issues related to gender status, public actions, authorities, hierarchy and sexual and gender identities.
Acknowledgment. The paper is part of the project “Promoting the youth participation and social inclusion: analysis of innovative youth activism in Europe and Russia” implemented within the NRU HSE 2018 Fundamental Research Program.