Happy St. Patrick’s Day! may you drape yourself in green, get drunk, and run in Irish fields of lucky charms with leprechauns and rainbows.
Above is a photo I took on the 4th of July. I think I might have been angry at the concept of freedom in American at that time, which is why I chose to do a photo shoot in a socialist T-Shirt while everyone else was wearing red, white, and blue. I have another T-Shirt that I bought along with the one I’m wearing that has a quote from the 80s Olympics. It says, “Let the Russians Play with Themselves!” When I bought the shirt I wasn’t digging into my knowledge of world history at that moment and I looked at the quote very differently and thought, “Yeah, Russian should be able to masturbate! (play with themselves)” So, I wore that shirt proudly until the real meaning clicked.
I’m currently working very hard on finishing my first graphic novel which is set in San Francisco and Moscow. In preparation for the story I’ve been revamping and expanding on history and culture and wanted to share some of the books that I’ve read. The first one is called, “Cracks in the Iron Closet: Travels in Gay and Lesbian Russia,” by David Tuller. The book is part memoir/part history lesson. I fell in love with it last year as it is one of a kind. I found it very difficult to find books about gays and lesbians in post soviet Russia or in Russian history period. I’ve only been able to find a few and “Cracks in the Iron Closet” was a goldmine. The Second book is called, “The Whisperers,” by Orlando Figes. It’s very dense reading about the history of the gulags after the Russian Revolution and it’s effects on people and families to the present day. I found that although it was a huge history book it was quite enjoyable to read.
So if you have an interest in Russian History or Gays and Lesbians in Russia I highly recommend these two books.