Masha Gessen ….. an American-Russian activist!


~~January 27, 2014~~




Maria Alexandrovna Gessen, better known as Masha Gessen (born 13 January 1967), is a Russian and American journalist and author.

~~Early life~~

Gessen was born into an Ashkenazi Jewish family in Moscow. In 1981 Gessen moved with her family to the United States. She returned in 1991 to Moscow. She holds both Russian and US citizenship. Her brothers are Keith Gessen, Daniel Gessen and Philip Gessen.

Masha Gessen
Gessen, Masha.JPG

Masha Gessen at the 6 Moscow International Book Festival, 2011
Born (1967-01-13) 13 January 1967 (age 47)
Moscow, Soviet Union
Residence New York City, USA
Nationality Russian, American
Occupation Journalist, author


Gessen is openly gay and an activist for the rights of sexual minorities. She served as a member of the board of directors for the Moscow LGBT rights organization “Triangle” from 1993 to 1998.

She has written on LGBT rights and Russian affairs. She writes in both Russian and English, and has contributed to The New Republic, New Statesman, Granta, Slate and Vanity Fair, and US News & World Report.


Her 2012 book The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin is a political biography of Vladimir Putin, whom she describes as a dictator.

She was dismissed from her position as the chief editor of Russia’s oldest magazine, Vokrug Sveta on 1 September 2012 after she refused to send a reporter to cover a Russian Geographic Society event featuring President Putin, claiming that it had become a mouthpiece of Putin’s government.


In September 2012, Gessen was appointed as director of the Russian Service for Radio Liberty, a US government funded broadcaster based in Prague. Shortly after her appointment was announced and a few days after Gessen met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, more than 40 members of Radio Liberty’s staff were fired. Radio Liberty also lost its Russian broadcasting license several weeks after Gessen took over. Gessen’s role in both of these events is unclear but has caused controversy.

In December 2013 she moved to New York to avoid legislation in Russia that bans “homosexual propaganda”. 


~~Personal life~~

Gessen has two children: a boy Vova and a girl Yolka; both are US citizens. Vova was born in 1997 in Russia and was adopted by her from an orphanage in Kaliningrad. Yolka was born to her in the US in 2001. In 2004 she was married in the US to Svetlana Generalova, a Russian citizen who was also involved in the LGBT movement in Moscow.


  • Masha Gessen (1993). The Rights of Lesbians and Gay Men in the Russian Republic. International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Comm. p. 60. ISBN 978-1-884955-13-6.
  • Masha Gessen, ed. (1995). Half a Revolution: Contemporary Fiction by Russian Women. Cleis Press. p. 269. ISBN 978-1-57344-006-6.
  • Masha Gessen (1997). Dead Again: The Russian Intelligentsia after Communism. Verso. p. 211. ISBN 978-1-85984-147-1.
  • Masha Gessen (2004). Ester and Ruzya: How My Grandmothers Survived Hitler’s War and Stalin’s Peace. Dial Press Trade Paperback. p. 384. ISBN 978-0-385-33605-5.
  • Masha Gessen (2008). Blood Matters: From Inherited Illness to Designer Babies, How the World and I Found Ourselves in the Future of the Gene. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 336. ISBN 978-0-15-101362-3.  (a New York Times Notable Book of the year)
  • Masha Gessen (2009). Perfect Rigor: A Genius and the Mathematical Breakthrough of the Century. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 256. ISBN 978-0-15-101406-4.  (about Grigori Perelman)
  • Masha Gessen (2012). The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin. Riverhead Hardcover. p. 304. ISBN 978-1-59448-842-9.



Russian Gay Activist’s Plea: ‘Get Us the Hell Out of Here’

By: Michelangelo Signorile

Editor-in-Chief HoffPost Gay Voices

Masha Gessen is a Moscow-based writer, journalist and activist who’s been speaking out in recent months on Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law. Though she’s an American citizen, she’s from Russia and has lived in Russia for many years, raising three children with her lesbian partner, a Russian citizen.

Gessen hoped Western pressure in recent months would help change the course of Russia’s crackdown on its LGBT citizens, but now she believes that that’s not going to happen, and that it’s time for Russian LGBT people to flee the country to escape what she says has now become “all-out war” against LGBT people in Russia. And she’s calling on the United States to allow political asylum for LGBT Russians, and for LGBT activists here to focus on making that happen.


“My situation is that my partner and I are raising three kids, one of whom is adopted and two of whom are biological,” Gessen explained to me yesterday on my radio program in an interview from Moscow. (Listen to clips of the interview below.) “In June the Russian parliament banned adoption by same-sex couples. It was a fair assumption that the law could be used to annul the adoption of our oldest son, so we made the decision to send our oldest son out of the country immediately.”

But now, if the new law passes — the adoption law passed in four days — Gessen’s biological children could be taken too.

(Since the time of this writing, the Russian anti-gay and anti-adoption laws have been passed.)


“I had a horrible conversation with my daughter this morning,” Gessen said. “I got the news of this bill while I was sending her off to school. I said, ‘They’ve finally filed the bill.’ Obviously we’ve talked about this at length in the family, and we expected something like this would show up. And she’s 11. She sat there thinking. After about 15 minutes she said, ‘Can I stay with my other mom if they take me away from you?’ She can’t grasp this, that they’re trying to outlaw our whole family, that there isn’t the option of going with one or the other.”

Gessen said the crackdown on LGBT people in Russia has intensified, despite international outcry, and that LGBT Russians are “living through an all-out hatred campaign that’s been unleashed by the Kremlin.”


“You turn on the television, you see somebody highly placed,” she explained, “talking about whether the homosexual ‘propaganda’ law is enough, or if we need to take it further. That sounds like a call to violence. It’s taken as a call to violence, sometimes operating in many cities, in the very center of Moscow, in the trendiest of bars, where people have been getting beaten up, and the police do not interfere. Anti-gay violence is seen as par for the course, and if you don’t want violence, remove the gays, not the perpetrators.”

Gessen believes that the events of recent days, and Putin’s interview with the Associated Press this week, in which he claimed that the charges of homophobia were blown up and that Russia can’t be homophobic because “Tchaikovsky was gay” and “we all loved his music,” show that criticism from outside is not going to change anything inside Russia.

“At this point, with the fact that they’re proposing this law during the G20 Summit, it shows that no Western pressure is going to keep Russia from passing anti-gay laws, from endangering the lives of lesbian and gay people, from endangering our families,” she said. Gessen is fortunate that, as an American citizen, with the Defense of Marriage Act now struck down, she can move to the U.S. with her partner, whom she can sponsor for a green card. But she knows that that’s not the case for the vast majority of LGBT Russians.

“It’s high time to talk about asylum,” she said. “The only way at this point that the U.S. can help Russian gays and lesbians is get us the hell out of here.”

For full read/Article:





‘Russia’s Authoritarian Regime Russia is not inhabited by monsters, it is a monster’



We ALL are ONE!!


We ALL fight the fight!! 


This entry was posted in Equality and tagged by Dr. Rex. Bookmark the permalink.

About Dr. Rex

I'm originally from Puerto Rico. I was born in Santurce and raised in Rio Piedras. Have lived in Florida since 1999. I have a doctorate degree in Medicine; completed in 1976. My Internal Medicine specialty was completed in 1979. Worked for Puerto Rico's health system until 1985. At this time, I'm happily retired after working for the federal government for almost 28yrs. I want to offer any knowledge that I have to anyone "out there" who is interested. My views are liberal in almost every sense. My knowledge is "eclectic" - a bit of everything. Music and reading are my passion. Blogging has also become a very interesting endeavor. Metaphysical topics attract me. I'm interested in news reporting human issues like injustice, discrimination and abuse - the "wrongly" affected. My intention is to bring this knowledge to an understandable level and to help anyone in need. I'm open to questions and will answer them to the best of my ability. Currently working on an enterprise whose main mission will be to bring peoples of all walks of life together. To be one .... since we ALL are ONE!! The future looks bright and promising!!!

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