Anti-gay purges in Chechnya
The grim truth of being gay in prison | Prisons and probation | The Guardian
I n , when Calvin Burdine was awaiting sentencing for allegedly stabbing his gay lover to death, the prosecuting attorney encouraged the jury in his closing remarks to award Burdine the death penalty, rather than life in prison, on the grounds that sending a gay man to prison was akin to sending a kid to a candy store. After 17 minutes of deliberation, the jury obliged and sentenced Burdine to die. His death sentence was later overturned mostly because Burdine's public defender had slept through much of his trial , but the homophobic thinking — that prison is some kind of paradise for gay men — lingers on. The reality of life in prison for homosexuals and transgender individuals does not appear to reflect this myth. One young man named Rodney, imprisoned for fraud and check-forging, sent me a detailed account of his life so far in prison.
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From records from the hospital where he woke up concussed after being attacked outside of a Kyiv gay club, to written testimony from friends about how he was attacked and harassed in school, he is trying to gather as much written documentation as he can for his court date. Vladislav, or Vladik to his friends, first came to the US in through the Work and Travel program, which allows foreign students to come to the US and work summer jobs and then stay an extra month afterwards to travel. That summer was the first time he learned from gay Russian friends that he could apply for asylum and stay. After that summer spent in New York, Vladik went back to Ukraine, but things only got worse. Studying information systems at the National Technical University of Ukraine, all of his fellow students were exclusively men.