Wes Hurley: Growing Up Gay in Russia
Huffington Post - over 3 years
I was around 12 or 13 years old. It was a time of big change and excitement. My family had had anti-Communist tendencies for years, so when the Soviet Union collapsed, we were thrilled and gratified. My classmates stopped wearing their red neck scarves and Lenin pins, which I had ditched long before it became acceptable. People started to profess their religious beliefs, openly embrace Western culture, and dream of earning a better living in the new capitalist society. For a brief time, freedom and hopefulness were in the air.
Then the darker side of change became apparent.
The Communist leaders who had resisted reforms for so long but suddenly were eager to embrace them had the same old agenda in mind: to take for themselves. Using the unsavory practice called "privatization," they started to grab -- literally steal -- public property and claim it as their own. These titans of the political elite turned government stores, stadiums, cemeteries, and parks into their own
Huffington Post article