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date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines how LGBT politics have evolved in Russia, Kyrgyzstan, and other countries of the former Soviet Union since 1991. Using the concept of visibility as an analytical lens, it charts the changing experiences of LGBT people and public attitudes toward homosexuality and gender identity through three distinct phases: first from erasure to invisibility in the 1990s and early 2000s, then increasing in visibility in the 2000s with the emergence of the region’s second wave of LGBT activism, and finally the current state of hypervisibility as state-sponsored political homophobia has intensified. For each stage, the main features of the configuration of a post-Soviet “regime of visibility” are outlined, charting the parallel development of activism and resistance and their interactions. The chapter concludes by considering the geotemporalities of post-Soviet LGBT politics and the insights that this region offers for both practices and understandings of global LGBT activism.

Keywords: Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Chechnya, former Soviet Union, antigay law, political homophobia, family values, invisibility, visibility, hypervisibility

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