For the LGBTQ+ community in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, 1989 held out the promise of new freedoms and opportunities. As communist regimes collapsed across Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union disintegrated, emerging liberal democratic regimes seemed to herald a bright future to LGBTQ individuals. 1989 was supposed to be for queer East Europeans what 1969 and Stonewall symbolized for LGBTQ Americans: a year of sexual liberation and political emancipation. This talk explores how LGBTQ rights in Eastern Europe and Russia have fared under democratic regimes since 1989, paying particular attention to the harsh repression of gay-pride parades, street protests and political theatre.
Marko Dumančić is an assistant professor at Western Kentucky University.