Cover Osteuropa 10/2013

In Osteuropa 10/2013

Litmus Test
Homophobia and Democracy in Russia

Igor’ Kon

Deutsche Fassung


Homophobia is found in many parts of Russian society. It varies according to gender, age, education, place of residence, and political affiliation. The overwhelming majority of people have no contact with homosexuals and know nothing about homosexuality. Homophobia appeals especially to those who are fundamentally anti-democratic in attitude and make claims of national and religious exclusivity. Thus, homophobia is often accompanied by other forms of xenophobia. A specific feature of homophobia in Russia is that it expresses anti-Western attitudes.

(Osteuropa 10/2013, pp. 49–67)