WE HELP LGBTQ+ PEOPLE
AND THEIR CLOSE ONES
FEEL SAFER IN RUSSIA
WE ARE COMING OUT –
AN LGBTQ+ INITIATIVE
We protect LGBTQ+ rights and help queer people feel safer in Russia.
Our main goal is to secure nationwide equal rights for everyone regardless of their sexuality and gender identity, both institutionally and socially. We have been working towards it since 2008.
WHY DO LGBTQ+ PEOPLE NEED HELP?
Being an LGBTQ+ person in Russia is a catch-22.
Queer people regularly encounter discrimination and bigotry almost everywhere: at their workplace, in their studies, in renting, at home, and while seeking medical care.
The police and the court, created to protect people, in reality, do just the opposite, dismissing formal complaints about discrimination. The “LGBTQ+ propaganda ban” legislation hinders our attempts to voice our concerns. Other Russian laws do not protect LGBTQ+ but sow hatred and aggression in society.
Our government does not only persecute people: human rights protection initiatives as well as small businesses face censorship and pressure from authorities and security agencies.
WHAT DOES COMING OUT DO?
by hosting group support meetings and offering individual consultations. Our psychologists, lawyers, career advisors, and a team of transgender peer-to-peer consultants are always ready to help.
by helping the police investigate cases of queer discrimination and hate crimes and defending queer individuals and organizations in court.
by collecting real statistics on the status of queer lives in Russia and providing them to journalists and international human rights protection organizations. We cover a variety of topics related to sexuality, gender identity, and LGBTQ+ rights in a simple and accessible way – through articles, the printing press, live streams, and Queerfests.
‘COMING OUT’ HAS PROVIDED:
In 2020, Yulia’s relationship with her girlfriend became problematic. Quarrels grew into cheating, and everyday problems turned into colossal misunderstandings, driving the two to the verge of breaking up. The couple stopped talking to each other, certain that the situation was totally beyond repair.
So, Yulia decided to seek therapy, but the thought of opening up to an unfriendly therapist and having to face homophobia frightened her; she didn’t want to add more problems to their lives. Yulia discovered Coming Out on the internet and applied for therapy. After only two sessions, the girls started communicating again. The third session was with a family therapist, and they came there together.
The psychologist helped Yulia and her girlfriend get to the root of their miscommunication and gave them hope that their relationship could be restored. After family therapy, Yulia continued to see the same Coming Out specialist on a commercial basis. During this time, her life has changed dramatically: she has become a different person.
Yulia said, “I started looking forward to the future with confidence and quit the job I didn’t enjoy.. I learned to overcome my shyness and habitual reclusiveness, which were caused by the prejudice I constantly experienced. Now, I feel like I began living my life for real.”
The main point is that Yulia has managed to reconcile with her girlfriend; they moved in together and are currently planning to get married. The couple has realized that confronting their issues directly is better than avoiding them; they are working with two different therapists now.
After some time, the two are going to seek help from Coming Out again. They want to have children, so they are going to attend group support meetings for LGBTQ+ parents. Yulia is confident that their relationship with Coming Out is far from over.
Ekaterina and her girlfriend didn’t have many relationship issues in the beginning. At a certain point, however, she noticed constant depression and guilt within herself, and realized she was being reproached by her loved one all the time.
“Our relationship had become codependent and abusive. I constantly felt like I was being manipulated. It was hard for me to endure it, but the thought of ending the relationship was even more unbearable,” Ekaterina reported.
The girls sought a family therapist. During the search, they found out they could get free therapy sessions at Coming Out. After several couple therapy sessions, the girls’ relationship took a turn for the better. Still, Ekaterina went on to have regular meetings with the specialist, feeling that the problems had not been resolved completely. She did not need to search for a place to turn to: Coming Out became a trusted source of aid and understanding for her. A psychologist was picked, and the therapy course lasted another year.
Working with a professional has yielded results. “These consultations have changed me greatly. I understand now that the actions and decisions other people take are not my responsibility. I learned to set my personal boundaries and estimate my own capabilities. Most importantly, I gained self-confidence like never before.”
In the end, Ekaterina decided to end the relationship that was tormenting her. Now she doesn’t understand why she succumbed to such manipulation. Ekaterina has entered a new, healthy relationship. Thanks to the therapist from Coming Out, the girl has realized that there is always hope for help. She feels like a whole new person and is ready to build a happy life.
«Coming Out is a sliver of light amongst the sickening darkness that overtook our country», – Ekaterina describes her experience with us.
Anastasia had heard about Coming Out from friends who had already received help there. After coming out to her parents, Anastasia was in need of assistance herself. Her parents received the news very badly, and the family constantly began having scandals. Struggling with constant anxiety, the girl applied for free psychological consultations. The therapy sessions helped Anastasia overcome depression and made her feel safe enough to move on with the life that she, not her parents, had chosen.
In 2023, Anastasia witnessed her younger brother being beaten by their mother. To save her brother from domestic abuse and violence, she decided to apply to the court to become his guardian and deprive their mother of parental rights. For fear of being discriminated against, she didn’t turn to Russian legal organizations and came to Coming Out requesting legal advice this time. Our lawyer told her in detail how exactly one should justify their request, prove their point, and also informed her of the problems that may arise on each step of the legal procedure. Anastasia is busy preparing evidence and documents for the court. She knows that on any stage of the process she will be welcomed and provided aid and support in Coming Out.