Shamil Malkanduev, a transgender singer. Screenshot of the page scarlettqueenpage on Instagram

28 February 2020, 11:25

Activists assess homophobia level in Kabardino-Balkaria

The intolerance level towards sexual minorities in Kabardino-Balkarian Republic (KBR) is lower than in Northern Caucasus as a whole, but domestic homophobia is widespread in the republic, LGBT activists said amid the bullying of Shamil Malkanduev, a transgender singer.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that Malkanduev was persecuted after changing sex. Commentators in the Nalchik Instagram public believe that he had disgraced his kin (family clan). Others treated his decision to be his personal matter and urged not to condemn him.

Shamil Malkanduev wrote on the Instagram about his conflict with relatives after he changed sex. He also indicated that his decision was not an omission in his upbringing.

Over the past three years of support for LGBT+ people in Northern Caucasus, several persons from the KBR turned to the organization for help, said Veronika Lapina, the head of North-Caucasian department of the "Russian LGBT Network". She noted that "all these people were tortured and abused in Chechnya."

However, it does not mean that there is no harassment of LGBT+ people in the KBR; rather, it occurs at the domestic and household level, Ms Lapina has added. According to her story, often because of violence, LGBT+ people leave the republic.

In 2017, when activists lodged a request for holding a gay parade in Nalchik, some local residents stated that LGBT+ does not correspond to people's traditions in the KBR.

Igor Kochetkov, Programme Executive Director of the "Russian LGBT Network", has confirmed that in the KBR, pressure on LGBT+ people is less than in Chechnya.

Artyom Shitukhin, an LGBT activist from Pyatigorsk, who lives in the Netherlands, has doubted that there is some organized harassment of sexual minorities by KBR authorities.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on February 27, 2020 at 11:59 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Semyon Charny; Source: CK correspondent

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