Ahh, this answers a question for me — I wondered whether Svetlana (whose written English is flawless) had been born in the Rodina slonov (“Motherland of Elephants” — punchline to an old Soviet/Russian joke), or if she was the child of Russians who had emigrated to an English-speaking country.
As a personal note to Svetlana (though probably I should publish this on my own Medium page, but I’m new to Medium):
First, I came out of the closet as gay in my 4th year at college (where I majored in the “великий и могучий язык”, and after graduation spent a year teaching ESL in Moscow).
Then, in 1996, the state supreme court of Hawaii ruled in favor of same-sex marriage, and at the time I thought this was a great idea — I couldn’t understand why social conservatives said that SSM was bad for the historic institution of marriage.
It was only with the passing of years that I began to challenge the wisdom of SSM. This was partly from living in gay society and having gone through a long-term relationship with another man and realizing that “Mars is different from Venus, and yang is different from yin.” It was also the result of being a blood-uncle to my sister’s child and an honorary uncle to the children of heterosexual friends, and observing how young children grow up.
In the end, I became a “separatist” on the marriage issue; I thought it was more important to fight for the principle of “a statutory right to same-sex Domestic Partnerships,” while recognizing the unique qualities of “procreative heterosexual Marriage.” Domestic Partnership protections are objectively important, but the “Equality! Dignity!” arguments of the LGBT mainstream seem very hollow.
At the same time, I’ve encountered otherwise educated straight Russians who seem to think that their gay and lesbian countrymen are somehow not authentically Russian, as though homosexuality were a foreign contaminant. (At times I’ve joked that the ideal cure for Russian homophobia would be to persuade the public that homosexuality was originally invented by Russian scientists, but then some sneaky shpiony from the Jew-Masonic western countries TOTALLY STOLE the idea, and took all the credit…) Anyway, such attitudes make me more appreciative of how easy life is for gay people here in “Pindostan.”