Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich
The uncle of Nicholas II, Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich was one of seven gay Grand Dukes in 1800s to 1900s turn-of-the-century Russia!
"There were at least seven gay Grand Dukes at the time (uncles, nephews, or cousins of the last two tsars). The most flamboyant of this group was the Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich, the uncle of Nicholas II. This uncle regularly went to the theater and other public functions with his current lover."
This information is pretty conspicuously absent from the news of the two-day conference "dedicated to the life and legacy of the Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich" held in St. Petersburg in May 2011.
Here's a less formal image - reportedly of Sergei swimming in the Moscow River with "some of his gentlemen (friends)."
|photo from here|
I found out about Sergei (and the other Grand Dukes) being gay on pg. 351 of the chapter by Simon Karlinsky, "Russia's Gay Literature and Culture: The Impact of the October Revolution" in "Hidden From History: Reclaiming The Gay & Lesbian Past" Edited by Martin Duberman, Martha Vincus and George Chauncey, Jr.
Russia having so many titled openly gay men in the late 1800s and early 1900s? That's pretty cool to know - and something to celebrate!
Add To The Celebration:
Who are the Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Trans and Queer Russians you'd like to celebrate? Tell me your favorites in comments, or by twitter, and on the final day of the Olympics, I'll run a rainbow variety-pack post with everyone's suggestions!
Please Note: Given the situation in Russia, I'm thinking we should keep it to either people who are no longer living in Russia or are historical. I'd hate to create a list that then would be used against people by a repressive, anti-LGBTQ regime.
Having said that, there is a lot of Queer Russian heritage to explore and so many LGBTQ Russians we can celebrate!