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Gay man called ‘faggot’ and outed on social media by Russian helpline

Elena Cherubini May 10, 2017

A young gay man has been insulted and later outed after phoning a helpline in Russia

The man reportedly called FROG, a St Petersburg-based Russian hotline, looking for counselling.

After the man explained that he was gay, FROG’s employee told him: “This line isn’t for faggots.”

The man complained via social media to FROG’s director Alexander Bronshtein, but the manager condoned his employee’s behaviour.

Flickr Delwin Steven Campbell

Bronshtein told him: “You were told [we] don’t work with faggotry and then you were wished all the best. What’s rude about this?”

LGBT rights activist and founder of Children-4o4 Lena Klimova was contacted by the young man on social media.

She pointed out FROG’s ‘statement of trust’ that reads: “If you’re sad, lonely, and in pain, call us! We will help everyone!”

She said: “This statement is not accurate. ‘We help everyone except gay men’[…] would be true.

“Confidence is so needed on phone helplines, it is for people who are in a crisis situation. What this counsellor did was not just grossly unethical, but he could endanger the life of a man who came for help.”

After warning people to avoid calling FROG, she shared screenshots of the young man’s conversation with Bronshtein, blurring his name to avoid outing him.

Bronshtein responded by sharing the same images on Vkontakte, a major social networking service, without anonymising the man – effectively publicly outing him.

He then claimed homosexuality is a ‘curable disease’.

“We really don’t treat people for faggotry and this caller was informed of that, and wished all the best. Except you [Lena Klimova] erased his information for some reason, and left mine,” Bronshtein said.

“If you’re taking screenshots, then do a full screenshot. You don’t need to hide your friend’s name.”

Hours later the director shared a video of Putin defending Russia’s ban on gay propaganda.

Currently Russia has a “gay propaganda law” which bans the “promotion of non-traditional sexual relations” to minors.

More: Europe, helpline, LGBT, LGBT rights, outing, Russia, Russia

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