It’s safe to assume anyone reading this has a “coming out” story; one that is personal and unique to them. Reactions to someone’s coming out have an enormous range from “what took you so long?” “you are loved unconditionally;” “no you’re not;” “you’re going to burn in Hell!” and in some extreme cases physical violence. But the one thing they all have in common is the anxiety of actually telling someone. Now imagine being a young gay man from a Pentecostal Christian family living in rural Russia and deciding to come out.
That’s a kind of anxiety on an unimaginable level; but it’s the story of 23 year-old Russian violinist, Artem Kolesov who not only came out but did it in a YouTube video.
In an article and interview with Kolesov from Buzzfeed.com,
“I did it,” he wrote [in an initial email], “Because it breaks my heart to know how many Russian children and other LGBT youth around the world feel like they’re alone…
It detailed the years he spent praying that God would take his homosexuality away, the depression he suffered, the five attempts to kill himself, and his reasons for speaking out now.
“I never heard anything good about gay people,” he says. “All I knew was that gays are the people who everyone should hate. I was scared because I knew that I was gay. I didn’t know anyone who I could talk to about it. It seemed that I was the only gay person in Russia.”
And watch his powerful Coming Out message below (turn on subtitles)