A recently married LGBT couple says
that they hope their marriage will help change attitudes in Russia.
Alyona Fursova and Irina Shumilova
married in front of family and friends at a registry office in St.
Petersburg last month.
Despite Russia's ban on gay marriage,
the women were allowed to marry because Irina describes herself as
transsexual rather than transgender.
“Yes, in my passport it says 'male,'”
she told Russia
Today. “I am transsexual, meaning that despite having a
XY-genome, psychologically I am a woman.”
“To be honest, it's scary and
uncomfortable, because we don't know what to expect in the future,”
CNN this week. “We can get married now because I have female
documents and Irina has male ones. But already we've heard that
government officials are preparing a law to forbid this.”
St. Petersburg MP Vitaly Milonov, a
vocal opponent of gay rights, called the union an “ugly insult to
millions of Russian families” and vowed to pursue an investigation
into its legality. Milonov's 2011 ordinance banning the promotion of
“gay propaganda” to minors inspired a nationwide law that led to
calls for a boycott of the Winter Olympics held earlier this year in
Shumilova told CNN that she hopes her
marriage will help change attitudes in deeply conservative Russia.
“I really hope it helps people to
understand that if they fight for their rights, they can get them,”
she said. “I want this sort of reaction in the gay and transsexual
community. But I also want regular people to be more tolerant of
relationships. That would be really cool.”