A special issue with 15 stories on personal experiences of queer people from Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and South Caucasus.
Welcome to our second special issue, where we delve into the powerful narratives of queer individuals from Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and South Caucasus. Inspired by the revolutionary slogan of the 1960s Second Wave Feminism, “The Personal is Political,” we aim to emphasize the significance of personal experiences in the political realities.
In today’s world, queer bodies find themselves at the forefront of political battles worldwide. On its virtual pages, the issue presents 15 intimate narratives of queer resilience against the backdrop of medical, state, and media institutions.
These stories touch on several topics, including disability rights in Kyrgyzstan, stories of gender transitioning in Armenia and Azerbaijan, and harrowing accounts of police brutality in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Furthermore, we venture into the shocking realities of incarceration faced by queer individuals in the otherwise closed world of Uzbekistan.
Amidst the struggles and adversity, this issue celebrates the importance of human connection, compassion, and solidarity. We share stories of migration from Belarus and the complexities of navigating the European bureaucratic machine. We also commend the bravery of queer women who chose to protect Ukraine at war (this story is coming soon).
“The Personal is Political” is not only about hardship but also about self-discovery and acceptance. We proudly present narratives of coming out to oneself and to loved ones, capturing the joy and relief of finding one’s own community in countries like Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.
In addition to written accounts, the issue includes video interviews that explore the queer experience in the Moldovan capital, Chișinău, and the intricate relationship queer bodies have with public spaces. Moreover, a short documentary from Armenia takes us on a journey of using humor as a tool for self-reflection, highlighting the complexities of being a queer and colonial subject in Armenia.
This issue is a testament to the bravery, strength, and perseverance of queer individuals who face immense challenges in their quest for equality and recognition. Together, let us continue to amplify these voices and support the ongoing fight for queer rights worldwide. Please support us by reading and spreading these stories!
Pavel, Saltanat and Vika
Opinions expressed in the articles are solely the authors’ and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Unit team. That said, any and all feedback is very welcome, reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the contact form.