The U.S. Embassy in Moscow hung a rainbow flag, the symbol of the LGBT community, from its front facade last week in honor of Pride month.
The flag is not often displayed in public in Russia due to a controversial law that prohibits “homosexual propaganda toward minors” and persistent anti-LGBT attitudes across the country.
Despite backlash against the flag from Russian lawmakers and right-wing groups, Muscovites posted photos of themselves in front of the flag dressed up in bright rainbow outfits and makeup, or kissing their same-sex partners.
U.S. President Donald Trump banned American embassies from hanging Pride flags on official embassy flagpoles in early June, contradicting the Trump administration’s official statements in support of the LGBT community for Pride month.
According to public polling, young Russians tend to be more tolerant of the LGBT community than older generations.
This photo shows two men kissing and holding the popular gay romance novel “What If It’s Us.”
“I want this reality for all of us: Support, pride, equal treatment. Honestly, I have no hope,” the Instagram user who posted the photo wrote.
Despite gradually improving opinions, gay rights continue to be a contentious topic in Russia, with one in five Russians believing that LGBT people should be “eliminated,” according to a poll conducted in April. LGBT people in Russia often face discrimination, threats and violence.