‘It is better not to be transgender in Russia’ – What is life really like for LGBT people in one of the world’s most homophobic societies?
Warning: The following article contains graphic descriptions of self-harm and sexual violence which some readers may wish to avoid.
Maya Demidova is a 28-year-old trans woman from Moscow who works as a co-ordinator for Phoenix Plus, the only HIV organisation in Russia to focus specifically on the needs of the LGBT+ community, predominantly men who have sex with men.
Attitude caught up with her on a recent trip to Moscow. You can read our full special investigation into life for LGBT+ people in Russia in our new January issue – available to download and in shops now.
When did you begin your transition?
I transitioned ten years ago, I take HRT I buy from the pharmacy with no prescription. There’s no chance of surgery here in Russia, no one does