In December, Russian authorities refused to investigate when the operator of a lesbian bar was unlawfully evicted by her landlord. Although coverage of the lives of LGBT people in Russia tends to focus on problems caused by the country’s “gay propaganda” law, members of the LGBT community in Russia face government discrimination on a number of fronts.
Businesswoman and LGBT activist Eugenia Debryanskaya’s landlord reportedly changed the locks on her bar, closing down one of Moscow’s only three lesbian bars. The landlord also effectively stole Debryanskaya’s property inside the building, including alcohol and expensive sound equipment. Police have ignored her complaints, despite documentation proving she is the owner of the equipment and continually paid rent.
Debryanskaya, who has been a prominent voice for LGBT rights since the end of the Soviet era, told The Daily Beast it is “absolutely useless to try and defend a gay club in Russia.” Other clubs in Moscow and St. Petersburg have been forced to close after being repeatedly vandalized or seeing attacks on patrons.