Russian gay activist speaks out

Published: March 3, 2011

Russian activist Nikolai Alekseev, who has been on the front lines of the gay rights fight in that country, was to appear in San Francisco next week, but the organizations sponsoring his visit have canceled their sponsorship of it. [See story, page 1.]

The Bay Area Reporter caught up with Alekseev, 33, before news of the cancellation broke this week. He was asked about the state of the gay rights movement in Russia and other issues.

Alekseev, who is a lawyer and journalist in addition to his activist work, agreed to an e-mail interview rather than one via phone or iChat.

What is bringing you to California?

Solidarity. I was once invited to Chicago by a local gay group, Gay Liberation Network, some years ago and we always kept in contact. Andy Thayer from the group came to Moscow Pride twice in 2009 and 2010. He was even arrested in 2009 with us. He has been a great help for us writing articles and commentaries about what he witnessed in Moscow and about our struggle.

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