Daria Kasatkina, Russia’s top-ranking tennis player, has come out as gay and shared that she is dating a girl. She made the announcement in an interview to Victor Kravchenko for his YouTube channel. Sports.ru quotes a fragment of the conversation:
— You're in for some unwanted attention. Let's set a few things straight: are you in a relationship at the moment?
— Yes, I am.
— Do you think it’s okay that [homosexuality] is taboo in Russia?
— Oh, come on, there are so many taboos in Russia. Some are more important than that, so no surprises there.
— When do you think gay people in Russia will be able to hold hands in public?
— Never. Judging by the recent developments, never. Some positive inroads were made not so long ago – around the time of the last World Cup. There was a chance. But now the road is blocked: maintenance works ahead.
In June, Nadezhda Karpova, a star of Russian female football, also made a coming out. This is how she explained why she decided to come out publicly after living in Spain for five years:
“I’m no longer afraid of raising certain topics. I know no one will judge me for living with a girl. Being a lesbian isn’t stigmatized here. A coach once asked me: ‘Is your girlfriend coming to the match?’ And I thought, wow. In Russia, people keep asking you if you have a boyfriend. Here, they ask if you have a partner – pareja.”
On July 18, Russian parliamentarians proposed a bill prohibiting the propaganda of homosexual relationships and the negation of family values. The bill is available in State Duma’s digital database. For the moment, it is only forbidden to spread the “propaganda of homosexuality” among minors.