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  • Russian gay community in 90th


    Russian gay community in 90th

    8.1. Ray and Roman

    As I mentioned, Ray was one of my first correspondents in the USA. For a quite long time of our correspondence we had the exchange of knowledge, ideas, facts, books, articles, postcards and photos. In the beginning of hour correspondence Ray lived in San Francisco, where he began to write articles in "Our World". But he decided to come back to his hometown New Orleans, because the AIDS epidemic was so strong in San Francisco and many his friend suffered or died of it.

    "It is impossible for my heart to see so many young excellent people including my friends walking stick everywhere in city, hunched and dying", - wrote me Ray.

    The return to New Orleans was natural, because his mother, sister, numerous French-originated relatives and his former lover lived there. I knew all of them personally, when I visited Ray. If in San Francisco Ray worked in the company on electronics, in New Orleans he organized the company for selling the real estate. As an a writer of "Our World" he participated in San Francisco in the reception of such known gays from Russia as Roman Kalinin and Slava Zaytsev and wrote the articles about them, which he sent to me.

    I began also to write in "Our World", and therefore, when I invited Ray to visit me in Moscow, the main editor of magazine Wayne asked me to assist Ray in his desire to collect the information about different gay activity in Moscow and to write an article about it. It was funny that in the article published later in "Our World" Ray wrote that when he met me in Moscow airport Sheremetjevo-2, I reminded him the known French actor and singer Ive Montan. Ray stayed in my place and became a friend of Irene, who showed him many cultural sights of Moscow. As to me I showed him all known gay places including the Central public bath, where he had (accordingly to his words) the unforgettable sexual adventure. In that time this bath was one of the main place for gay gathering. But soon after Ray leaving it was closed. When I visited Ray in New Orleans he, in his turn, showed me the local known gay sauna and some special night gay bars.

    In Moscow Ray, my boy friend Ed and I went to the disco organized in Olympic village by Roman and Pavel, with whom I tried later to realize some ideas on gay tourism. As I said, Ray knew Roman in San Francisco, when Roman was met as a national hero: he decided in that time to be a Russian President as well as Yeltsin. Of coarse, it was not serious and vain idea, but it added much popularity to Roman abroad.

    During Roman's visit to the United States, Ray was anytime near Roman trying to help him in everything and he wrote the very warm articles about Roman. After it the relation of American media was greatly changed to Roman, especially after he opened his own business in Moscow. I don't know details, but probably he used for it some their money, which they could give him for the development of gay movement in Russia. I don't know the real details, but when we appeared at disco and Roman pretended that he didn't know us, Ray was so astonished after all that he had made for him in the United States. Roman was very official and asked us to pay the entrance fee. Using the Russian language Roman was as a shit in the polynya (instead of ice). Frankly it didn't spoil our good time at disco, and I have since that time my long and happy relations with Ed. Therefore nothing could bother us or spoil our time together.

    Now I want to tell a little more about Roman and my meetings with him. Roman visited the first gay discos in Moscow and was very observant there. Then he used their experience in his activity and business. He organized himself some discos. Just at the first of them in cinema "Leningrad" I had met my boy friend, and only because of it I should be thankful to Roman. Then there were the discos in Olympic village, where once we were together with Ray, and in the cinema "Mir". Roman was also one of the owners of cafe "Underground" that functioned just at the other side of street, where the known art Pushkin museum is located and which is not far from Kremlin. I visited this place with other American friend Robin and another foreign friends, and every time Roman showed me and my companions that he was the real "owner" of this place. Ray commented the business activity of Roman in such way:

    "He drifted away from his gay public activity because of his great love to money".

    What was also true that Roman was for some years the publisher of the first gay Russian newspaper "Thema". It was really interesting newspaper and many topics that were discussed there were the first discussions of such type in our country. It is necessary to thank Roman and his friends in "Thema", for example, Vlad Ortanov, which made it first and created the platform for the further improvement of gay media in our country. Anyway when Ray asked me to organize his meeting with the editors of all gay publications in Moscow Roman had not come. The picture about this meeting appeared in the Ray's article published in "Our World". I want also to remember about some other meetings with Roman, which took place before the disco, where I've been with Ray and Ed, and after it.

    In his letters Ray asked me to transfer to Roman his articles about Roman's being in States. Roman was glad to take them and, in his turn, asked me in telephone conversation to translate in Russian the large article of Semen Karlinsky about the history of gays in Russia published in the thick book with a collection of such articles for some countries of the total world. Roman intended to publish it in his "Thema". Our first meeting with Roman took place in the middle of underground station "Oktyabrskaya" and was quite important for me, because Roman seemed to be for me as well as for many other people the symbol of new gay independence and freedom. I found him as a simple guy that was very wise in the same time.

    He took the Ray's texts and gave me a book. I promised to translate it by his request as soon as possible. To translate Simon's material was a real pleasure for me. During translation I knew so many new facts about the history and many prominent Russian guys-gays. Just the translation and mainly the content of Karlinsky material became the first impulse for my desire to write this story about myself. I found accidentally or occasionally so many similar things between my life and fate and the general development of gay position, situation and spirit in Russia. It was so strange for me that the periods of first gay feelings, suppression, resistance and renascence took place not only in my life, but also in the general fate of many gays in my country.

    I translated the Semen's article really quickly and informed Roman about it. He told me that soon he would celebrate his birthday and invite me to come with the translation. By regret I didn't print it, while the written copy of translation disappeared forever after Roman took it in his home. It was so difficult indeed to find this home, because everything was "secret". I made some unusual meetings on the way with his people who showed me the way (as in films about spies). But finally after some changes from the underground to buses I finally came to his flat.

    It was my first visiting of gay parties at home, and frankly I was happy to be there. Roman's boy friend met me. He was a lawyer with a quite pleasant face and soft manners working in the bank. Roman invited some people from another gay publications and some friends on his own "Thema" and business. At least I met there a guy with narrow Chinese eyes, with whom I liked then to dance at discos with long kisses during these dances. He was a seller of tickets for Roman's discos. There were also Dima Lichev (1/10) with his nice boy friend Sasha (Alexander), Pavel (the partner of Roman on different discos, until they became the enemies; Pavel became later one of the owners of known club "Chance") and one guy, who had a desire to have sex with me at once.

    It was Igor, who was responsible in "Thema" for the letters and correspondence with readers. I was kind with him, but preferred to stay the more intimate contacts with him for future. Igor visited me really at my home a few times, and I've found him as perfectly passive and extremely exhausted in sex. What I didn't like, that Igor used his "official" correspondence for his new sexual relations and events. I didn't know in that time that for many gays all methods of acquaintance and contacts are sometimes possible and good. I knew further that some other people from gay "media" liked it also to do and behaved in the same manner as Igor.

    I felt at the birthday party that Roman told Igor and other gays many good words about me before this event. My good relations with American friends were so important for him, and my good English was another reason. All the gays met me as a good friend. A little more about Dima and his Sasha. It was written in the newspaper "Kuranti" of those times that Dima went to the Baltic Sea resort Jurmala near Riga had no money and decided to be as a male prostitute for gaining money. But the first man, whom he met for it, was Sasha, whom he loved and they became as to a couple (a husband and a wife), for many years. I asked them about reality of this story, and they confirmed the rightness of all the facts. Probably they were themselves the authors of the article in "Kuranti".

    At the birthday party we sat around long narrow table covered with a dozen of bottles with different vodka. What was a little strange for me that Roman felt himself as the leader even with his boy friend. He was on the equal footing only with me. Roman was by origin from another city and graduated Moscow Bauman technical university (in that time - institute). When I asked Roman, what to bring to him as a present, he asked me to bring any alcoholic in unlimited amount. I had brought a large bottle of Danish vodka that didn't astonish anybody, and the bottle seemed to be lost at the table, because all of guests liked to drink. Indeed Roman took this bottle and drank it mostly himself, but finally he didn't drink much. Roman asked everybody to drink, and it helped him easy to control his friends and subordinates.

    It was strange for me that in our gay party many rules or tricks of behavior were perfectly the same as among straight people. I felt it later many times in Russia and especially in the United States. AS Roman didn't drink much, it allowed him to observe after other gays and to take them as if from outside and to feel his own "advantages" and superiority. And he wanted everybody to become drunk and to participate in the universal gaiety and dances. It was really the excellent dancing party and my dances with Igor, Roman's friend from bank and especially with a guy of Mongolian type were so relaxed and unforgettable. Frankly it was my dream for many-many years to dance with the male people. This dream was first realized a couple months before it, when I visited the gay disco in the club of mute people. I shall remember about it later. It was good at Roman's birthday party that nobody smoked, and it was so different from another gay discos and events. I liked it.

    The "leader" Roman as a "leader" could be a good actor or producer analyzing and controlling the behavior of other people. And my first impression has been farther confirmed, when I met Roman at beach in Stroguino, where he looked for new fuckers for himself in shrubs. After it I've seen the same at the discos and the organizational meetings of Russian lesbians and gays. In my mind he used his abilities and experience sometimes not in honest way. As to his birthday, it was finished gradually without any excesses, only some boys became too drunk and stayed to sleep in his place, while I joined to him and some other friends and we went to the square near Bolshoi theater, where Roman felt himself as a king. But I didn't want to see it anymore and after the quite warm parting I left them and went home.

    The next meeting with Roman took place at the Moscow gay beach. Roman was proud that the article about him appeared in the American magazine and gave me to read this article of a known American female journalist. She noted in her article some positive features of Roman, but soon the relation of Americans to him became so negative: they felt how he used their money and good relations.

    I met Roman also in his cafe "Underground" that was in the real Moscow center. It was a little strange that after accidents, when Roman was beaten by KGB agents, as some newspapers ("Kuranti", for example) informed, he could freely receive a permission to organize such cafe in such place near Kremlin. But these are only my guesses. When I sat with Robin (my American friend, who invited me a few times in USA) and the chemical engineer Dima at the table in "Underground", I tried to see TV. But somebody wanted intentionally to close the screen from me. It was Roman. He was astonished that I didn't recognize him and it was a truth. Roman was finally friendly and polite with us in this time as ever.

    8.2. Semen Karlinsky and his history of gay Russia

    Roman didn't publish my translation, because soon his "Thema" was closed. At the beginning Roman worked in "Thema" with Vlad Ortanov. But after some conflicts Vlad left "Thema" and began to publish his own gay newspaper "Risk". The parts of Karlinsky article were published in "Risk", but I didn't know, who translated it. At least Karlinsky himself was sure that it was me, who made it. How and who informed him about it, I didn't know. Now some more details about this my meeting with Karlinsky.

    I met him in San Francisco. It was a so warm and excellent morning in the house of my friend Mick, who was a guy from the Square dances group that visited Moscow. I agreed with Simon about meeting beforehand, and Mick explained him how to find his house, where Mick lived with his lover John. They occupied the two-storied apartment in the house located on the hill over Kastro region. The street and the region Kastro in San Francisco were in my mind the capital of the total Gay World in the world. From the windows of the second floor of Mick's apartment it was possible to see a part of this street and a large part of San Francisco, but probably not so beautiful as from nearby located hill with TV tower. Anyway it was also quite beautiful and not compared with something else. Semen came with his young lover just in the agreed time. In the same room there were four Siamese cats devoted to John, while Mick was the owner of apartment. The cats were very friendly with me, and Mick loved them very much as to they were his own ones. But in that time Mick and John lived as a family, though they showed me the pictures of some friends visiting them in their apartment, when they had a large variety of gay sexual activity. For example, once it was their Polish friend, which visited them. At pictures that they showed me this friend laid in the sling chair, while at another ones I've seen even the groups of local gays enjoying S&M with both my hosts. As they explained, it was a birthday party on one of them.

    When I have seen the young Simon's boy friend, I compared him with my Ed and was proud for my good choice and happiness. However I thought also about the possibility for me to have a friend in the age of Simon, and my thought or suspicions became partly the truth some years later...

    Karlinsky, his friend and I were sitting in the middle of huge room, near the entrance to which there were a kitchen and the door from the street, while in the other end of room there were the stairs on the first floor, where the guys slept and had the sling for making S&M. I've never seen or knew about a sling before it, and I knew practically nothing about real S&M before coming to Mick's place. The sling, manacles and different whips, as well the pictures and photos with friends and video films that Mick showed me greatly changed my knowledge about it, and I began even to dream about something that I could do together with Ed. Finally it was so that Ed was just prepared or ready for it... But now again about Mick room, in the center of which there were TV-sets and chairs for guests. We were sitting around small round table, and Semen told me a story of his life.

    After revolution his parents left Russia and reached the Chinese town Harbin, where many Russian emigrants found their shelter. When after the Second World War the Soviet army came in Harbin, many Russian emigrants left the city. A considerable part of them came in California, and there was the large Russian colony of such people in San Francisco. Most of them still loved Russia and were devoted to their fatherland. Most of them connected their activity and life indirectly with their Fatherland and the different spheres of Russian or Soviet life. One of such people was Karlinsky. He was a man trying to collect and to analyze all the different facts about gay life and gay people in Russia. I told him that when I translated his article, I found so many analogies between my fate and this general history. Semen said:

    "I made it consciously, and you are not the first, who told me about it. But how did they decide to translate my material without contacting with me?"

    I answered that it was typically "Soviet" approach to the everything from "other" side of the world, especially because it was a capitalistic world, and asked him:

    "Tell me, please, how could you know here the facts about gay nature of such people, as film-maker S.Einshtein, singers S.Lemeshev and V.Kozin, poets S.Esenin and Kljuev etc. and how reliable they are, when there were not open published data about it and in particular about them in Soviet Russia?"

    Semen answered that he followed in details not only after all Soviet publications but also after all facts in the world media and that some of these people were abroad for a certain period that allowed to judge about their nature.

    "And we have here, - continued he, - the so many people in local Universities working only in the area of homosexuality, we are publishing the special magazines and books devoted to the different aspects of this problem. By the way your professor Igor Kon was here and received a grant for writing a book about gays in Russia".

    Mick and another friends from Square dance group acquainted me with some these people and professors a little later, and I was so happy to discuss with them many relevant problems.

    When I came back to Russia and told about the reaction of S.Karlinsky on the translation of his work, Vlad Ortanov said:

    "This old man lost a possession of his faculties".

    I don't want to comment, who was true and who was wrong, but I found many times in the behavior of both of them (Roman and Vlad) the trays of their former activity and leadership in Young Communist League (Komsomol). However what to do if it was our life and reality?!

    8.3. Organization of "Triangle"

    My next meeting with both of them took place already after Ray's visit in Moscow. It was all Russian gays and lesbians meeting for organizing the society "Triangle" instead of Moscow organization "Rainbow (Raduga)" that was created and functioned before it and where I participated. The meeting took place in Moscow Cinema House and was called mainly by Genie Dobrianskaya, but as I understood Vlad and Roman helped her.

    A few days before it Alla, who sold the gay magazines and newspapers in the subway under Pushkin square, invited me to visit the prepared organizational meeting taken place in the flat of Masha Gessen near Mayakovskaya (now - Triumphal) square. Alla was very kind and sympathetic. She met me with my friend near monument to Mayakovsky, and I was so astonished that sometimes she could look as a nice lady, but not a chap in the male clothes. Alla conducted us to Masha flat that was the typical Moscow flat existing from the beginning of this century. Really it was a flat of not Masha but her grandmother, because Masha lived mostly in San Francisco, where she was a journalist. Masha was there, because her parents immigrated and took her there, but she preferred to be and worked in Russia, where all her girl friends lived.

    Just here I met first Genie Debrianskaya, who was for a long time a real leader not only lesbians, but also all Russian gays. I came there with my American friend Kevin Calliugher, who visited in that time Moscow and lived in my house. He found me due to my publications in "Our World" and worked in the Seattle Men Gay Chorus as a sound reproducer for the mute people. All gay choruses in States have such a man. But Kelvin was adopted as the best one and I've seen a special film about him in US TV. His work was really impressionable and helped even to audible people to feel and understand the music deeper. Kevin was interested as well in the gay activity of Russia.

    Though it was my first lively meeting with G.Debrianskaya, I've seen her before in the TV programs with other lesbians, and I liked her bold, clear and independent thoughts about our Russian situation with sexual minorities. Now she was even more natural and wanted as a leader of our community to attract all the attention to herself by means of such ideas as that Mr. Sad was quite true and clever and S&M was generally not so bad, that narcotics could be sometimes very good and useful and that the food in the Roman's "Underground" was quite well and cheap. I liked some her approaches and in the same time I had felt all these "proclamations" were the "propagandistic" steps before the organizational meeting in the Cinema House.

    There was in Masha's house some other people including Vitaly Lasarenko, whom I met before at discos, while Genie presented him as the most important organizer. Soon after it she pushed him away from organization, because he showed her his character and wanted to be independent. Recently I met his name in Internet on 'gay.ru', where he presented himself as a gay writer and publisher of special sites "Manevr" and on music news. In the time of "Triangle" he began to publish the information papers with the data from the different world sources after Masha left it, and I helped him sometimes to translate in Russian some materials in English. That was a beginning of our long friendship with intervals...

    I didn't know about relations between Genie, Vlad and Roman, but the fact that they had the collective responsibility, I knew soon after meeting in Masha's place, i.e. in two days, when the conference took place in Cinema House. Frankly, Genie was even better in all these events, while Vlad and Roman "cooked" their political porridge or kasha. Genie suggested me to tell about music and art in the gay community. Two years before I made the similar report at the conference that Vlad organized together with Swedish gay activists. Then Ed helped me greatly to collect the excellent collection of musical pieces including my records of Los Angeles gay chorus and things by Ed choice (Alla Pugacheva and Rosenbaum songs). But I was not ready for the speech in Cinema House and had no any new musical examples. Therefore I met her suggestion without any enthusiasm. But there were another "black forces" in the persons of Roman and Vlad created a special barrier for me.

    The different sessions took place during the conference. I chose the session, where we discussed the organization of free time of gays and lesbians. After visiting Denmark and USA I was full of dreams and real fact from "their life". Therefore when I participated in a discussion, I spoke about organizing the gay sport groups and competitions, the gay theater and the gay chorus. Prof. Igor Kon forced me back:

    "Vladimir, you forget, where we are living. That is not San Francisco or Los Angeles".

    Anyway my suggestions received some support of other participants, and Roman with Vlad didn't like it. They prepared beforehand all the people from regions, which in their mind could be "good" for them in the leading organ of "Triangle". In "Rainbow" Vlad performed not so important role and I knew it, how he wanted to "occupy" or to take the important post. The same concerned Roman, who was totally absent in the previous "Rainbow". They created this new "Triangle" for themselves. As I knew later on, they hoped to receive the financial support from abroad and to use the considerable part of the money for themselves. Really I didn't know the details and knew only the "rumors". But in the Cinema House they knew also that many mute gays, which knew me due to the discos and my work in "Rainbow", could vote for me. Finally they "made" what they wanted.

    So Vlad and Roman had their real plan, while I was in hesitation "to be or not to be" as to making this speech about gay culture. Really after my trips and former speech I was ready for it. Vlad and Roman approached to me in the interval between sessions and showed their great sympathy. They suggested visiting together the snack bar.

    We sat at the table, Roman went to the bar and brought three glasses of vodka. I had felt that three different feelings were mixed in me:

    I knew that they wanted to neutralize me and not permit me to make a speech,

    In the same time I was a little proud that the leaders of gay world in Russia involved me in their company (for drinking vodka) and I was afraid to speak, because I was really not quite prepared,

    I was afraid too "to be shining" in this hall (I was still a coward) and Ed asked me not to do it too,

    I knew that it was necessary for me to speak, and if I didn't do it, I should lose something important in my life,

    I knew that when you lose something, you could gain in something else simultaneously.

    And of coarse I was punished for having these contradictory feelings. The gay "leaders" brought another glasses of vodka as well, and I was "ready" soon or reached the condition necessary for them. When Vitaly Lasarenko approached to me and asked me to be prepared to speak, I told him that I have been already "prepared" by Vlad and Roman and finished with some sense of humor:

    "I am ready for any fucking, sucking or sleeping with somebody here, but not for speaking and should be "thankful" to my high level companions for it. It is better probably for me to go home now".

    Vitaly understood everything and told me:

    "How could you permit them "to kill" you in their games?"

    Sometimes later at the beach in Stroguino we discuss with Vlad, why there were so many gay organizations in the USA and in the world at all. Vlad said:

    "It is so, Vladimir, because they never could agree one to another, everyone feels that he is much more clever and much more important than other gays and all of them have their own interests and purposes".

    I answered him: "Vlad, probably it is so but it is a little similar to the general situation in the total world".

    "But why should gays differ from other people, in particular, from the straight people?" - finished Vlad.

    I had some feelings or ideas before it that the spirit of gay community and gay mutual support were quite different, but I had agreed with Vlad that in the most cases it was so as Vlad told me. At least, the course of events in the interval of Conference at the Cinema house confirmed it.

    Here I want to remember the words of Dima Lichev, when once after coming back from some international gay conference he said:

    "These gray-haired 40 years old foreigners want again to dictate or advice us what we should made in Russia".

    These words of Lichev confirm the fact that there are no differences between gays and straight people in many cases. I met so many Russian gays, which were open anti-Semites or even fascists. In addition the division of gays on young and old ones in our community is always one of the main existing and serious problem. Finally Dima and other Russian "leaders" used after the mentioned conference the financial assistance or support of Western gay community, and they tried for some years to do it mainly for themselves. In my mind the last fact was the main, why they didn't want me to be in the leading organ of "Triangle", though if to be frank in that time I had no any desires or intentions of such type.

    Returning to this conference, in spite of my final state I didn't leave it after interval, because it was so interesting for me to see the second part, when all the participants were collected together in the large hall of Cinema house for the general session.

    As I understood before, everything was decided about me: they proposed to speak about gay culture to one American gay that came at the conference. This huge guy told something not significant on the topics, about which I wanted to speak. But he used mainly American experience and it had nothing common with the real gay culture. The importance of his words had to be confirmed by a translation by Masha Gessen. It was so funny for me to hear his unimportant information and the very serious translation of his words by Masha. It was also so that nobody heard them, and he had to finish soon. Who knows, probably the reaction words could be perfectly the same on my words. But the situation was greatly changed, when the known theater producer Roman Victjuk appeared at stage.

    R.Victjuk told something about the importance of conference and his deep satisfaction to be here. He asked to put any questions to him. Some time before it I've seen him in the TV program, where he explained the sources of his inspirations in art. He said on TV that in some moments, when something suddenly dawned on him, he felt the high influence of God and sky. I reminded him these words and asked him about the role of gay factor in his creative activity. R.Victjuk was so glad to answer this question and agreed that it was really the most important stimulus for all his activity and when he spoke in TV about Supreme forces, he meant just the gay sources and spirit saturating him.

    The next speaker after Roman was my friend Mark - a pensioner, who was before the engineer. Mark tried to evaluate the role of religion in g/l community. By regret he spoke nothing about special g/l church MCCC existing in USA. But the people in hall have been already tired, and nobody listened to him. I was glad that I was not at the scene in the same position. Many people in the hall waited for the announced performance of ensemble "Calibry". "Calibry" consisted of three guys in the women dresses imitating the singing of known shlagers similar to the heroes of known Australian film "Princella: the Queen of Desert".

    The last part of conference was the election of leading organ of "Triangle". Vlad explained, why he suggested this name: it should symbolize the unification of gays, lesbians and bisexuals. He told about the history of this pink sign, which all gay prisoners of fascist camps had to have at their breast. He suggested also the list of representatives of different Russian Regions in this leading organ: mostly the young people and a considerable part of lesbians. I was suggested in a commission for the counts of votes of secret ballot together with Genia and Masha. I had a feeling of satisfaction that the new "Triangle" could unify our community after the gradual death of former "Rainbow". But I didn't like that everything was so well prepared at the conference as before at all events of Communism time. Anyway the organizers tried to introduce some elements of democracy, discussion and even contradictions.

    Surely my name was not presented in the general list but we found it written in about 40 ballot-papers, when three of us calculated the votes. I knew that it was a support of my mute friends. And I was so glad to meet at the conference some my old gay friends, whom I lost because in this time I was fully devoted only to Ed. In the lobby I noticed some carpets with the names of our Russian gays, who died from AIDS. The carpets followed to the tradition established in the United States and were fulfilled in the same manner.

    I recognized at once the excellent carpet that was devoted to my very good friend Serge, who was an actor and a singer. When I knew Serge, he was a student of theater school. It was so that both of us visited the Danilovsky bathhouse, where the shower-cabins and Finish-baths were used for a long time by gays for their meetings and matters. Every cabin had a separate door and two parts - for clothes and shower. It created the excellent conditions for doing "everything". The long corridors were used for cruising and contacts. Later I found practically the same system in many foreign gay-saunas.

    When during one of such visits Serge knew that I had the excellent collection of gay books in English, he asked me to give him some of them for reading. He returned me the books from the different places of Russia with some friends, when he had the long tours. I shall give the more details about my friendship with Serge and my library in the last section of this text. The friends at conference told me the sorrow story about last "tour" of Serge. After his death the mother took the urn with Serge ashes and put it in bag. The thieves stole this bag with its contents in the train, which took her to city Baku, where she lived. Nobody knew, where it was lost and where Serge's ash was now. At least all his friends kept him in their hearts and I was so obliged to the conference that it allowed me at least to know it.

    I want to finish this section with the facts about Russian people mentioned above that became known to me later on:

    Roman Kalinin lost all his discos and cafes. One our common friend told me that he was keeping himself at sofa as Oblomov and thought about how good to be passive, when another people give you the sexual satisfaction (it seems to me that he was as well a seeker of the same things before).However it is difficult to believe that Roman doesn't want again to have some own business.

    Jenia Dobrianskaya owns now some shops of stylish cloth. She didn't control anymore the places for selling gay magazines and newspapers, but she writes the books herself and likes to visit the club "Three monkey". In the Internet (gay.ru) she has her own page.

    Vlad tries as ever to be kind and friendly with me. I met him at the international tourist exhibitions. He has such business himself and invited me to use his company for visiting the gay resorts in Spain and Greece.

    Dima Lichev immigrated in Check Republic and lives also much time in Germany. Of coarse sometimes he makes flying visits to Russia. He is my good friend as ever/

    Once Ed and I met Masha at the Halloween party, which was organized by Kevin Gardner (the American gay that worked with AIDS problems in Russia) not so far from Kremlin. It was so nice to see her in the black and white clothes. She is publishing the quite interesting articles in the newspaper "Moscow News" and we read them with pleasure. However last time I didn't see her anf her articles.

    Vitaly Lasarenko as well as Genia has a page in the Russian gay Internet and performed as a writer. He is one of my so reliable friends.

    The real writer and scientist Igor Kon published some really very good books and I commented them in one my former text. It seems to me that his dream, about which he said at the mentioned conference, to organize the good gay library in Moscow (he had a good collection of such books and wanted to give them in a library) is still a dream. Somebody told me that he had recently a meeting with gays in Pavel's "Chance" and expressed a quite skeptical opinion about modern gay situation and movement in Russia. But he was always skeptical, and the gay problems were for him as ones of the problems from his work and activity to earn his living. But everybody should have his own ways fir surviving, as the foreigners spoke about our Russian reality. Finally some above-mentioned activists tried also to follow him in their work in "Triangle" by using the foreign support and funds. Recently the newspapers wrote that I.Kon had a lecture in Moscow University and the homophobian hooligans accused him for it. He makes his work and makes it very honestly. Thank him very much for it.

    Pavel is still one of the owner of "Chance". After the common attempts to organize the gay tourist's company he suggested me a few years ago to work as a guide in Moscow with American Square dance group. Due to it I found some new and reliable friends in the United States. But his boy friend of that time, which also worked with this group, drowned in the Mediterranean Sea, where he was as a tourist after the American group left Russia. Some gays at beach told me with envy, what excellent car Pavel used for coming to "Chance". But some gays are so envious in the same way as all other straight people are.

    The society "Triangle" practically doesn't function anymore. At least for some years I heard nothing about it.

    At last our known singer All Pugacheva performed recently very successfully with the gay chorus from Los Angeles, about which I spoke with delight at the Vlad's conference a few years ago. Our star and legend told the truth about her great sympathy to gays in her interview to the musical commentator of Moscow newspaper "MK" Arthur Gasparian. The gays say that her young husband Phillip is probably also "our guy" as well as many other pop Russian singers and stars. Indeed it is not so important, but some of them use it now here and abroad for increasing their popularity. That is also true that Alla is the favorite singer of all Russian gays.

    8.4. My gay races

    After the death of father my mother wanted not to be alone and preferred to live together with us in the old flat, while the new one stayed practically free. Sometimes, especially in Summer time, when everybody was at dacha (for four years after father's death we continued to live there as before), I began to visit this new flat with the different gays, whom I found in city, mainly near the railway station located on other shore of Moscow river just opposite the windows of our flats.

    In Summer time I was alone in Moscow and began to bring some gays. Everything that is written later in this section is sometimes the reality and sometimes only my dreams. Anyway I want to remember some of them.

    First of all, there were three quite different guys, who were similar in one thing - all of them were extremely passive and passionate in sex. The first one was a simple worker from the tooling factory located near my institute. I remember his face with very widely sitting eyes. The second one with not so good face but with ideal body worked as a chief of trains going in Hungary. Finally Ed and I used this train, when we went to the Men's gathering in Hungary a few years later. Of coarse we recognized one to another and made the view that we were not acquainted at all - it was a few years after our hot meetings and nonstop fucking in my flat. In the time of our contacts he fulfilled some special tasks and showed me the watches, which were presented to him for "good work".

    The third boy was from Kazakhstan and studied in Moscow. He was a student of medical institute. As well as another two boys he had a very elastic body, excellent skin, had the same (as others) height about 1.65 m and a very small and very pleasant ass hole, which always moved intensively with the frequencies of my strokes but being in antiphase (or opposite phase) that created the feeling of not finished flight in uncertainty.

    The Kazakh boy managed to do it seizing my neck with his hand. In that time I stood, while he kissed me twisting and turning his ass hole around my cock and I managed to fall in his infinity and to come back to the tight entrance of his hole. He had only one foot-hold - on my neck, his legs were turned upper and were between our bodies as in circus, while his ass hole took my dick that was so hard as a stone and had a form of large ripe carrot without narrowing in the head part. This head part reached the stressed ring of ass hole that was elastic as a rubber and soft simultaneously and disappeared again in the deepness of his body in such way, that I could feel the hardness of my cock inside him from other side through the skin of stomach near umbilical cord. If he concentrated all his attention, passion and strength on the tension and movement of his small circular ass hole, I made the same with my carrot dick. We found this pose once and used it always, because such confluence couldn't bother and it could continue for a long-long time.

    Though I made such exercises only with Kazakh boy, each of my three boy friends tried to have even such poses in bed that we managed to kiss without stopping during our games with deep or not a deep penetrations. Anytime I felt with them the great physical unification, and it was always the flight in heavens. I was with each of them for some months or even years.

    Sometimes in summer time I invited some other gays to me. I remember quite well two such cases. Once it was a young scientist from Novosibirsk, which was in Moscow at some conference. He was in sex and his physical possibilities very similar to those three my mentioned sugar boys had. But he liked to drink alcohol. I had a bottle of vodka and he drank it alone. Surely he became very drunk finally. But I was afraid that my relatives could come, and therefore I asked him to leave. Of coarse, he fulfilled my request, while I felt a little guilty before him even now many years later, because it was dangerous to permit him to leave in such drunken state. In the end of next day he called to me asking to come again, but somebody from my family was at home and it was impossible.

    I want also to mention another boy that was also in my home. It was the actor of a theater for young spectators from a city of Golden Ring. It was an extremely nice boy with beautiful blue eyes, slim figure and extremely sweet cock. The cock in the base of his head part was so pimply as some bizarre piece of fruit. I've never more sucked such pleasant and accurate fruit. It was so nice to feel his body unified with me in one creation having the only soul of two people. We were as the birds in flight, until he told me his story in theater. His wife and he were the stars of this theater for children, and their main director liked and fucked both of them. Of course he preferred my nice guest, and therefore he had a divorce with a wife, which had to find another theater. His main role in theater was a hare, who got a swelled head (in Russian - "zaika-zaznaika"). But I met this hare only once.

    8.5. Priest Vyacheslav and intelligence agent Adrei

    Not so far from my home there is a public garden "Maiden Field (Devichiye Pole)", where I liked before to make the morning exercises and running. A part of public garden is a stadium, and on the other side of garden (from stadium) there is a public toilet (a "wedding place" for gays as I called it in jest). Sometimes I met there the partners for sex. The place is convenient safe and many known people visited it. For example, recently I've seen there the known ballet director from St. Petersburg, who liked the gay theme in his productions and staged, for example, the ballet about Pyotr Iljich Chaikovsky and his fate.

    One of my partners, whom I met there, was Leonid. Lionya (a short form of his name) was my boy friend for some years. We liked the position 69 and could do it endlessly. He lived then not so far from me. Lionya knew that I was married and was zealous to the "other" part of my bisexual nature. He met a girl and decided to marry. Of coarse, I was extremely disappointed, because in our sexual relations we were so passionate and headlong. All our meetings and relations stopped after his marriage.

    But in five years Leonid divorced, changed his address and found me. I began to visit him in his new flat in South-West area of Moscow. In the beginning everything was good again in our relations and sex, however gradually we got more and more cold. He began to find another friends just in the place of our first meeting. I was a witness of such events, and it was painful for me to see it. Finally he found another friend and was with him a couple of years. This friend liked alcohol and was drunk often that brought many sufferings to Lionya.

    We began to meet again by initiative of Lionya. But we couldn't restore the previous fire. Once he asked me to be totally passive that was impossible for me, and I asked him to leave me. Now I began to think more and more that it was my mistake.

    After Lionya I met Vyachslav in the same place of "Maiden Field". He lived in this area as well. It was in summer, and he began to visit me in my flat, when I was alone. Vyacheslav was a priest of Russian Orthodox Church. His congregation was in Moscow central part, and his church had some special and good relations with Orthodox Church of Lebanon.

    "Why did you stay here, in this country, why had you not immigrate yet?" - anytime asked me Vyacheslav.

    "But with whom will you have a sex in this case", - told I joking.

    In his preferences priest Vyacheslav was perfectly passive, and he could give himself to the process in full. We became the only active "machine" being a perpetual motion. Of coarse we managed finally to finish and then we began to speak. When Vyacheslav spoke, he prolonged the vowel sounds as well as many gays do it.

    I asked him: "What can be the reaction of your parishioners, especially women, at such sound?"

    "They liked it so much!" - answered he.

    Once Vyacheslav came to me, when I made a repair in the corridor of my flat. I was sitting at the upper step of folding stairs and painted the ceiling. My friend was tired being without sex and asked me:

    "When do you want to go down from your heavens?"

    "Please, wait for me a little: I want to paint the part of ceiling near the entrance door", - said I.

    In answer Vyacheslav told me during my work the following story.

    It was about his very nice and active friend, who dissappeared for the quite long periods from time to time. When Vyacheslav asked him about his work, his friend with a name Andrei gave him a very general answer: "They are my usual business trips".

    Once Vyacheslav walked along the street not so far from his church and noticed his sexual partner crossing this street. It was the place, where two buildings of secret service had no underground connection. A military man approached to Andrei, who was in civil dress, and said:

    "Comrade major, they are waiting for you for the very important assignment. Please, try to be there in hurry".

    Vyacheslav didn't follow his friend and didn't show that he was a witness of this conversation. However during the next meeting with Andrei he told him about this event.

    Andrei confessed him that he fulfilled the special tasks in Southeast Asia. He graduated the Institute of Eastern Languages and knew fluently Chinese and some other languages. Andrei told him also about some his gay amour adventures in these exotic countries. For me the story of Vyacheslav was so new and bright that I remembered practically everything with all possible details.

    Some time was gone, and once I was alone in Moscow. It became dark and I decided to walk in the side of "Borodino's panorama". I came to the nearest toilet and found in one free cabin that one wall between cabins didn't reach the wall of the room. Usually such places have the holes in walls but in this case they were absent. I tried to thrust a hand through the slit and felt from the other side another hand stretching to me. We had so warm touching or handshake that it reminded me the touching in the time of creating Adam by God at the known picture of Michel Angelo at the cupola of known cathedral in Italy.

    In some time we went out, and at open air we were full of good feelings and craving one to another. My companion was a quite well built, slim, tall and sympathetic. And I liked how he smelt. I invited him to my home, and we reached it keeping our hand together. He was really attractive guy, but if to ask me, what face he had, I couldn't answer. I really didn't remember it, because it was a professional and not remembered face of intelligent agent.

    Andrei liked me too, it was a feeling that we knew one to another for ages, and our desires in sex were absolutely the same. We tried to test everything, because his slim figure, so proportional dick and so tight ass hole were excellent for this "everything".

    Andrei told me that he knew Chinese and worked sometimes abroad. In my turn I told him about some adventures, about which our common friend and priest Vyacheslav told me. Andrei was shocked and frightened: "How could you know all these facts and details? Are you working in organs?"

    In Russian the "organs" means a secret service.

    "I am working with organs, - laughed I, - and in particular, one my organ - my dick penetrated in Vyacheslav and "extracted" from there all this information".

    After some interval Andrei began also to laugh, but it was partially hysterical laugh. We laughed both and spoke endlessly till the morning. Andrei told me many other funny stories. For example, how he fucked all his aide-de-camps, which began soon to fulfil their new unusual duties with the great pleasure. In my turn I told him many my funny stories. We parted with him in the morning as the good friends. By regret I've never seen him anymore in my life. Sometimes it seems to me that the meetings with Vyacheslav and Andrei were also only my dreams and were not held at all, and these meetings as well as their names were born only in my imagination.

    8.6. My library of gay books and a little more about actor and my friend

    Serge

    I had already remembered that I met Serge in Danilov bathes. Serge was in that time a student of theater school. He liked my English magazines and books, while I liked to discuss with him all possible topics of his studying and the facts from our saturated sexual activity. We became the really reliable and good friends without any sexual relations, as we felt the sexually or physically that we were not one to another. Serge began also to visit me in summer, when I was alone. He came often and each time with the new friends. Of coarse, I was afraid to stay them alone and was always in other room of flat. I heard anyway all their groans, sighs and spankings of bodies. He had really beautiful boys and I asked him to find somebody similar for me. But Serge didn't take it seriously, because he knew my family and believed that I didn't need something else.

    One of the main elements of our friendship with Serge was connected in the beginning with books and then before his accidental death from AIDS - with gay films. Just Serge gave me the first such films, which I've never seen before it. But in the beginning I gave him some books in English about gays. That was a special story, how such books got in my hands.

    One of the very rare my gay visitors was not young, but very slim and smart man, with whom I met in the toilet close to the nearest underground station. This toilet is closed now as well as many others, which were before in Moscow the places for intensive gay meetings. I noted that the same situation took place in other countries, which I visited (Denmark, Germany, France, States etc.).

    The man, whom I met, had the huge, long, hard and extremely good-looking cock. Therefore, when I invited him to my home, we had tested first of all the different sex of all possible kinds. And what was charming for me that we could speak in English during short intervals (when the mouths of both of us were not full with excellent organs, taste of which clouded our minds). Due to this cloudiness I was given up to him fully, and the huge trunk inside my hole and unlimited enjoyment made me feeling on the sevenths sky. Michael (it was his name, though he asked to call him together with his second father's name as it was accepted in our Russia) was so experienced and made everything with such tenderness and feelings that I was totally relaxed. And sometimes he was rude and tried to make a pain. But it was a pain, about which I could only dream.

    Gradually in the end of our nonstop sex he began to tell me his story. Michael worked in the United States as a diplomat for many years. Therefore he could bring to Russia practically everything that he wanted. In such way he managed to bring in Russia many American books about gay fates and events, which he liked. After leaving his diplomatic work Michael began to work in the foreign department of Russian Academy of Sciences (of coarse, some people there were from the secret service).

    My institute was not so far from the dining hall of Academy, and I visited this place, because the food was really good there. Michael also began to visit this place, where we met again. Frankly it was nice to meet the friend of the same interests and with such huge organ. He suggested me to meet again for gay games, but I had no such possibility in that time, while he didn't invite me to his home. Another important for me thing was a fact that Michael seemed to be a little old, and I followed to the usual not claimed rule of many gays to be only with the younger friends or with the people of the same age. Of coarse, as I knew later, there is some part of gays, who like the older men.

    Once Michael approached to me in the dining hall carrying the large bag. He was very anxious and said that he wanted me to take this bag.

    "But what is inside?" -asked I.

    "There are many books in English about gay life", - answered he.

    "If you don't want to keep them, why should I take them?" - was my question.

    "If you don't want to take them, I shall throw the bag in Moskva-river!" - said he in a voice of simultaneous demand and suffer. Seeing my hesitations, he told me the following story.

    Before retelling it, I want to remind that there were in those times in Moscow two known gay cruises. The most known included Alexander Garden, Okhotny Ryad and the place on the other side of street from Column Hall. There was at this street the known from XIX century toilet "Under hats", which was visited by all Moscow gays for two century and which was finally closed. The cruise included also the square with garden and fountain opposite Bolshoi Theater, the Hotel Metropol, a toilet near the monument of the first printer Ivan Fedorov, a square around Secret Service buildings nearby the Polytechnics museum and finally the underground toilet and the boulevard near the monument or chapel in honor of Russian solders killed in Bulgaria during the war with Turkey in XIX century. This cruise was and is chosen usually by the most young and bold gays.

    The older and quite shy people try to choose another places. One of the most popular in the described times was a cruise in the parks around Moscow State University at Sparrow (then - Lenin) Hills. Now many large parks in Moscow have their own cruises, for example, one with a very strange name "Bulonsky" forest near the underground station Tchshukinskaya. The cruise near University was favorite for Michael, and he lived not so far from this place.

    Once he met on his way the strong young and tall man, who agreed to visit Michael's flat at once. At home Michael displayed soon his gay nature and desires, while the guy showed him in turn the pass of the officer of militia. The militiaman found quickly the large library of gay books in Michael apartment and promised to come back in the nearest time for the more detailed "search".

    There are so many gays in militia as well as in the secret service, and I don't know the real reasons and facts of this event. At least the result was so, that I became the owner of more than 300 gay books, which I took with some degree of fear and caution. After all in one year and half I managed to read all these books with the great interest. It was a little strange to find, that together with books Michael gave me many photographs and notes between pages, which were made or written during his time in the United States and carried the extremely private character. From this fact I concluded that Michael was really quick in his desire to get rid of books. He gave them to me with all their photos and papers. I felt that he really trusted me, and after all many in this situation was really true and so, as he described me.

    Now some words about my classification of the content and stories in these excellent books. In general I can divide them on the following topics:

    1) the trips along the gay places in the United States and abroad, in particular, on islands and in Arabic countries of Northern Africa (Marocco, Tunisia, Algeria) etc.;

    2) the foreign gays in the USA;

    3) the relations between the young and old gays;

    4) the different kinds of gay sex including oral, anal and S&M with using leather, different oils, smells etc;

    5) the gay support and assistance one to another and the gay Mafia, for example in Hollywood or in ballet as well as in other spheres;

    6) the fiction novels with a mixture of quite different fates and events;

    7) the general problems of gay community, gay history, the fight of gays and lesbians for their rights;

    8) the rules for organizing the normal relations (sex, love and life together) between gay as well as in their society or community.

    I found many general and special things from these books. First of all I knew many facts about the gay in the United States. It was so that one of the MCC priest wrote me twice in his letters that in his mind I was informed about the American gay situation and life even better than many gays there themselves. I understood it also myself, when I traveled (as they told me, I was there the first gay from Russia) at the sea ship "Spirit" from Los Angeles to Mexico and back. There were 1700 gays from the different places of the United States. The people on ship, with whom I spoke, astonished that I was informed about so many problems in their country. Of coarse, in addition to books it was the result of my wide correspondence and even my discussions with other Russian gay activists and, first of all, with Vlad Ortanov. I can also agree with idea that it is much better to know your own problems and at least some ways of their solution. However I repeat it once more that the gay world in the world has so similar things, and therefore the solution of our problems in one place of this planet can surely help to make the same solutions in the quite far located place.

    I should confess that I was afraid to keep all these books in my home, but all of them were finally so important and precious for me. When I received these books, my friend from Danilov bathes, actor and singer Serge graduated his institute and became the actor of operetta or musical comedy. He changed some theaters quickly and performed at Ural and Siberian cities. I knew the places, where he worked, because he was very obligatory as to books and returned me them with the many different people (surely gays). So I knew, for example, the known dancer Zagorodnjuk, who danced in the same manner as the known and excellent dancer and gay Makhmud Esambaev, who died recently.

    Any time, when Serge appeared in Moscow, he visited me and tried to give a small concert for my family, which liked his songs and romances. Once after going on tour in Italy with a part of his operetta theater Serge told me that he had the special medical sessions in Leningrad and Moscow. Then nobody knew well about AIDS, and it was naturally that I didn't think about the reason of these sessions. Only later he told me himself, what kind of hospitals he visited.

    Before receiving this information from him I went once with a business trip to Leningrad and one of the first, whom I've seen in the known bath that the gays visited in our Northern capital, was my dearest friend Serge. Of coarse, I thought that he was healthy at last and I congratulated him with it. He didn't answer me and only asked me to wait for new information from him in Moscow.

    In Moscow Serge really called and told me that he wanted my son-in-law to record his songs. Of coarse we asked him to come. If in the music comedy theaters he played only comic, caricatured roles (similar to the roles performed by the known Moscow actor and gay M.Shishkin, who was jailed for his gay life and the appearance of which on the stage or in TV after jail was always met as the nationwise triumph). Serge's singing was better and absolutely different. He was the excellent lyric singer a little similar to Vertinsky and sometimes to Kozin. Kozin was jailed because of his gay nature and finished his long life in Magadan recently. Of coarse Serge used some modern elements and the secrets of good gypsy style. Serge, who felt how much all of us liked him, tried to go all out and sang with inspiration. His last performance in my home was finished with his words for me that he was laying at Sokolinaya Gora. I knew then already that it was a place for AIDS people.

    So I knew about his illness. Gradually the place at Sokolinaya Gora became the constant home for Serge. Once he came to me and brought all his library of gay books including those created by Kuzmin, Kluiev, Esenin, O. Wild etc. Some of them were new for me and I've read them with great pleasure. By regret quite before his leaving this world he came and took all these books himself. Probably he needed money, but I don't know the real reason.

    Serge's visits to us stopped once totally. He asked me to visit me in his hospital, but I was busy anytime and couldn't do it. Now I feel the great shame of this behavior, because we were really good and faithful long-year friends.

    As I wrote, my "last meeting" with him occurred at the "Triangle" conference, and I was obliged to Jenie for this meeting. I kept the really warm memory about Serge, and I was happy to know that another his gay friends kept the same memory about him too.

    Vladimir Kabakov

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