In light of the new anti-gay laws in Russia, Craig Farrell talk to a young Russian woman living in Ireland about what life is like on the ground.
The media have covered the story extensively, highlighting the outrage felt towards the vile treatment endured by the LGBT community. Many opinions have been voiced, but very few of which have had the benefit of stemming from the country in question.
‘To each their own’ was the main ideal denoted by Russian-born Oxana Martynova when asked her views on how homosexuality should be treated.
“Live and let live,” declared Oxana, who moved to Ireland when she was six-years-old.
“I have always had zero problems with gay people and I really can’t see why anyone would or should.”
Oxana, who studied English and Geography in UCD, stated further that she felt “gay people are born this way so I wouldn’t hold anything against them for who they are and I don’t believe it should be an issue to anybody.”
She continued, “I didn’t grow up in an intolerant society, I grew up in Ireland where you are taught to be accepted,but I’d hate to think that maybe if I was still in Russia my opinion would be different.”
Oxana said she “obviously did not agree with” the current stance that Russia has taken on homosexuality. “It’s a vile situation and I wish any member of the gay, lesbian or transgender community didn’t have to endure it.
“It’s a huge step backwards.”
Oxana shed some light on the situation in Russia claiming that the ill treatment of the gay community is not something new. “Crimes against homosexual people were always committed, such as ‘correctional rapes’, beatings or ‘Gay Bashings’.
“I’m not sure why the government thought this would be a great idea, maybe because, since they can’t now publically show who they are it could hide them and then these people wouldn’t be targeted with hate crimes? Or maybe just simply because people in government there are so narrow minded.
“I want to think it’s the first option – That the government have the best interests of the gay community at heart and they are trying to protect the vulnerable – but I doubt it is unfortunately.
The UCD and AMI college graduate had stern words for the house of government in Russia saying, “sadly the Duma is run by intolerant people and intolerance is not progression.”
Speaking on Russia as a whole Oxana vehemently agreed that “Russia has a superiority complex. It’s all very macho there, just look at Putin and his annual holiday photos!”
“I have to say though, I am not surprised by what went on. Since the Soviet times people were taught to always behave one way, you couldn’t be different.”
“You will rarely see a disabled person in Russia as mothers of disabled children were convinced by doctors to give them up.”
Her final thought echoed closely to one not to far from that of a county’s leader circa 1933.
“It’s as if maybe a perfect society was trying to be formed.”