Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Nikolai Kliuev! Day 12 of our Celebration of Russian LGBTQ Pride: An Olympic Counter-Programming Event #OlympicShame #RussianPride #CheersToSochi

Nikolai Kliuev

Nikolai Kliuev, photo from, among other sources, here.

Nikolai (1887-1937) was born to a peasant family and became the leader of a group of poets called "peasant" - because of their origin and because "the fate and survival of the peasant way of life in the twentieth century was their central theme."

He was 25 years old when two books of his poetry, The Chiming Pines and Brotherly Songs "created a sensation and made him a celebrity."

"Kliuev's unconcealed homosexuality did not prevent most poets and critics as well as many literate peasants from seeing him as the foremost literary spokesman for the whole of Russian peasantry."

Different sources list different men as "the greatest love of his life"

Hidden From History (on pg. 355) says,

"...the greatest love of his life was Sergei Esenin (1895-1925), better known in the West because of his brief marriage to the American dancer Isadora Duncan."

Sergei Esenin and Nikolai Kliuev, image from here.
And Matt & Andrij Koymansky Home The Living Room Biographies states,

"...the great love of his later life was the young artist Anatolii Yar-Kravchenko, a painter, with whom he lived in Leningrad at the end of the 1920s."

It's cool to know that Nikolai Kliuev was a Russian poet who loved other men - another piece of Russia's LGBTQ history to celebrate!


Take Action:

Ukraine has politicians pushing for new anti-gay laws like Russia's. And they’ve just applied to the Olympic Committee to host the 2022 Winter Games.

If countries with anti-gay laws were banned from hosting the Olympics, it would make governments think twice about attacking lesbian, gay, bi and trans people. It could help stop anti-gay laws in Ukraine – and in time, help win the battle against anti-gay laws everywhere.

Together we've given the Olympic Committee a huge headache over Russia's anti-gay laws. They won't want a repeat, so a high-profile demand signed by thousands of us could be enough to get them to change the rules, preventing another anti-gay Olympics.

Sign now:

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!

No comments: