Violinist makes YouTube video about growing up gay in Russia

Posted on: April 18, 2017

“A 23-year-old, Russian-born violinist named Artem Kolesov is capturing international attention after posting a YouTube video in which he comes out as gay,” writes Anatasia Tsioulcas on Monday (4/17) at NPR. “The son of two Pentecostal pastors in a small town an hour away from Moscow, Kolesov … in the video … recounts wrenching episodes [including] physical and sexual abuse…. Growing up, he says … ‘All I knew was that gays are the people who everyone should hate…. It seemed that I was the only gay person in Russia.’ The violinist made his video as part of the Russian ‘Children-404’ project, which invites teenagers to share their stories and discuss LGBT issues in Russia. In most of their photos and videos, participants shield their identities…. Kolesov chose to share his name and face, to let fellow LGBT youth in Russia feel less isolated. He recorded the video in Russian, but also provided English subtitles…. Kolesov now lives in Chicago, where he is first violinist in the Yas Quartet…. Kolesov is also not currently on speaking terms with his relatives…. ‘Even if I go back to Russia, I’m not sure I would be feeling completely safe with my own family.’ ”

Posted April 18, 2017