In his 1997 book "Cracks in the Iron Closet," David Tuller examines the way that gayness flourishes underground in Russia. His "queer" friends in the intelligentsia live and love far from the prying eyes and police nightsticks of a society in which, as of only a generation ago, gay people were still being exiled to concentration camps. But this underground flowering can have unexpected effects. To wit, says Tuller, in Russia the idea of "gay identity" itself is much more fluid than it is in Western society, where relatively greater public acceptance means that individuals are expected to choose one spot to inhabit on the straight-gay spectrum and stay there for life.

On the other hand: From the shutdown of the 2011 Moscow Pride, this video captures the free-floating chaos and bursts of brutality typical of controversial public gatherings in post-Communist Russia. For those of us used to thinking of Pride parades as fun, empowering spectacles, it's a startling reminder of just how risky a political statement they still can be.

An LDS video
on misisonary work
in Russia.

Contemporary resources
on post-Mormonism.

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