AbstractThis thesis examines the role of Russia’s largest queer-themed website, gay.ru, within the queer community in Russia. The site was founded in the early 1990s as a message board and grew in popularity, being re-founded as a website in September 1997. Nowadays the site boasts 3 million hits a year and contains around 15,000 articles. As such it has been named ‘as one of Russia’s most important queer websites’.
The first chapter of this paper establishes the current situation regarding queer rights in Russia and sets gay.ru within this historical context. The second chapter shows how gay.ru is vital for the queer community and the way in which Russian queers interact and communicate with each other. In doing so, this chapter builds upon recent scholarship examining the internet’s role in queer lives and how queer communities across the world have appropriated the internet and how this relates to gay.ru’s current situation.
The third chapter examines gay.ru within the context of the globalisation of sexualities. Scholarship over the past few decades has pointed to a global, connected queer community, modelled on an American style consumerism and queer culture. This chapter also reflects on how gay.ru has become globalised over the course of its history and how this presents a contrast with scholarly work from the 1990s, e.g., Laurie Essig. The fourth chapter reflects upon gay.ru and its role in re-examining Russian history with a queer eye. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian queer community has sought to have itself recognised as a distinct remembering collective with regards to Soviet atrocities. This chapter then examines how gay.ru seeks to place the queer community as a remembering collective.
|Date of Award||23 Jan 2020|
|Supervisor||Connor B Doak (Supervisor) & Debbie M Pinfold (Supervisor)|