Having formed groups based on their sexuality in social networks, teenagers declared a war on each other in reality.
We want to tell you a story.
A story about our children.
The children we don’t really know.
They put it this way themselves: ‘We are invisible. We are not seen. We are not known, but we exist’.
Recently they have declared themselves to the world.
They invented a name for themselves – ‘Children-404’. The name was chosen by the analogy with the internet error 404. “It’s this thing which happens when you surf the web, and the search engine spits it out – the page is not found.”
Thus the country has found out about teenagers with non-traditional orientation.
Straight away a glove was thrown down at them.
– by other kids, who called themselves ‘Children-1488’.
The story behind the struggle of two teenage gangs and who they, these children with a number, are – in the material by the newspaper MK.
To put it shortly – the group Children-404 are 12-16 teenagers, who declared their non-traditional sexual orientation to the world.
The group Children-1488 are citizens of the same age, who identify themselves as nationalists, homophobes and fighters for the moral appearance of their peers.
The former live quietly and don’t bother anyone.
The latter follow the covenants of their guru Maxim Martsinkevich, known among the people as the Backsword. Once upon a time, with at the beckoning of their leader, these teenagers swore to ‘clear’ the country from children-404. They created a project called ‘Occupy-gerontofiles’, the aim of which is to catch a gay minor in a trap, mock his ‘sins’ on a camera and upload the video to the internet. After being exposed in that way, a teenager becomes an outcast in his school or circle of friends…
However, whereas earlier the group ‘Occupy-gerontofiles’ randomly looked for their victims and picked profiles of cute-looking boys in social networks, the appearance of the group Children-404 made their ‘success’ rate much higher.
My mum decided to clear up my brains and locked me up in a madhouse.
Just as the project ‘Occupy-gerontofiles’ has its own mentor, the group Children-404 wasn’t formed out of nothing, either.
The initiator of it was a journalist called Elena Klimova.
The idea of uniting children with non-traditional sexual orientation occurred to her accidentally.
‘One day I wrote an article where I explained my position on homophobic prejudices in our country,’ – starts Klimova. – ‘And very soon I received a letter from a girl called Nadya from Samara. She is a 15 year old lesbian. She was bullied both at school and at home. She decided to leave this life, but read my material and changed her mind. That’s how it all started…I called Nadya and wrote down her story. Nadya became the first teenager whose confessions of this slippery subject ended up in the net. And similar stories started pouring as from cornucopia.
On the hundredth message Elena realised that there are a lot of those like Nadya and opened the group Children-404 across the social networks.
Since then every day new stories appear in the group.
‘I am a lesbian. Orthodox. My mum raised me up with care and took me to church. She is a fanatical Christian and my dad is a racist and a homophobe. I love them very much. But I also love a girl. What I am to do? How would my parents react? I am afraid. I am trying to talk to them in the evenings, during dinner…but my dad flips and gets extremely angry. He drinks…I am not even trying to talk to mum. Sometimes I flip. Recently was going to commit suicide…’
‘Today at least 5 cases of suicide motivated by mockery and bullying of peers and the lack of understanding from parents.’ – says Klimova. – ‘Often children take their own lives and parents don’t even know the reason. And even if they do, they will stop at nothing to prevent the information from becoming public knowledge. Once a mother led her son to a suicide because she was ashamed of him being gay. And then she wept at his funeral.’
I read about 30 stories and could not take it anymore. All those testimonies look so similar and a happy ending is a rarity.
Maybe that is a way in which kids play an adult life?
‘When I receive letters from 12-13 year-olds I am also quite sceptical’ [really did not expect this – translator’s note] – continues Klimova. – ‘I am sure there are those who just play into same sex relationships. Anyway, those who just play around would quit sooner or later, because one cannot go against one’s nature. But the vast majority of the stories are absolutely true. And it is often a scary truth to hear. For example, parents who find out about their children’s preferences behave inadequately. Many beat their children up almost to death, lock them up at home, cut off their internet access, take away their mobile phones, send them to mental health asylums, take them to ‘Orthodox’ psychologists or to church, fill them up with hormone drugs or kick them out of the house. One girl had to flee her country because her mother cruelly beat her up and threatened to kill her.’
‘My name is Anastasia, I am 15. Stupidly enough I told my parents that I fell in love with a girl. I spent a week in a madhouse as a result. Mum said it’s all for ‘my brains coming to their place’. I was accepted in quite easily. Mum framed it as ‘a normal check up, I’m afraid for her’ type of thing. I wasn’t asked whether I want to go there…The ward had 10 people in it, both males and females. Going out of the ward without permission is prohibited and there are no doors. You just lie there and stare at the celling. Then lunchtime and medications, including sleeping pills, come, then a dinner and more meds at 7, then bedtime at 10pm. Sometimes they take you to the doctors in the meantime. That’s it. The doctors said that my case is a perversion and delusion in a young head. Somebody claimed that it is not natural. The psychologist said that it is normal. They didn’t really treat me – just injections, meds, ‘draw three trees’, ‘draw a lamb’ and all that kinda thing. They found some condition and a state close to depression during their check ups. 2.5 years have passed. Recently mother decided to take me to more doctors. According to her it is a ‘deviation’ that can be cured.’
The well-known story of 16 year old Moscow boy Ivan, who was forced into a mental health asylum by his father with the words ‘It’s better to be a vegetable rather than a gay,’ is still fresh in our minds.
Ivan confessed his orientation to his parents on his 16th birthday. Father started to threaten to ‘leave him to rot in a madhouse’, to get him to prison just to make him ‘normal’. As a result the teenager was locked up in his flat and his personal belongings and shoes were hidden away. Father suggested to him to go to a psychologist. Instead of a psychologist Ivan was brought to a mental health asylum and forced to stay there.
Two days later the guy was visited by his friends and mother. The young man told them that he had been given medications and injections which ‘mix up his memory’. He couldn’t recall the names of some of his friends. He was forbidden to use a phone. The handles from the windows and doors in his ward were removed and he was locked up at nights.
The story caused a strong reaction from the society –all the land jumped in to save the teen. MPs, journalists and lawyers got into it. As a result, the guy’s forced stay in the hospital was ruled unlawful. The father did not accept him back – the family has fallen apart and the teenager was left to live with his mother.
‘Parents of LGBT-children most often do not suspect anything about the mindset of their kids, and the latter don’t tell them anything out of fear,’ – Lena seems confident. – ‘In Piter there is a special organisation for supporting families like that. Parents of LGBT-children are also lonely and it is tough for them, too. It is not as shameful to have an alcoholic, murderer or a drug addict son as it is to have a gay one.’
Ksenia, Taganrog, 17: ‘It is tough in the family. I am always addressed as ‘worthless’ or ‘nobody at all’. I will never forget an argument with my mother, when she shouted: ‘I didn’t give birth to you so you could lick those wenches!’
Anton, Yekaterinburg, 17: ‘Father found out and beat me up. Said that he’ll kick me out of the house if I ever open my mouth on that again. After that he would often insult me: ‘Why are you such a mollycoddle?’ or ‘Everyone has normal kids and I have a freak’. I tried to commit suicide.
There are anonymous psychological centres for children with such ‘deviances’. However, teenagers consult psychologists very rarely.
Sometimes kids go to the school psychologists. – says Klimova. – But sometimes those physiologists tell everything to the parents after a talk with the ‘patient’. Nothing good ever came of it…
‘Mum stormed into my room and started shouting at me and insulting me. I asked why she hatred me so much. She said that I betrayed the holiest things – family and God. Then she said that her biggest dream is that I get HIV and die as soon as possible, so she can be happy. I went to the kitchen; a mug was wrested out of my hand and washed with soap. Father said dryly that he doesn’t have a son and never had one. Sister supported him and shouted that I am no brother of hers. She also said that if it wasn’t for the thought of prison, she would have strangled me with joy’.
His behaviour and manners irritated us. So we killed him. Could not hold back.
Moscow might be a ‘big village’, but It is much easier to get lost in it than it is in a deep province.
A.I., 15, Tajikistan:’…I was working in Ukraine as a model. But then I decided to move back to my homeland, to Tajikistan. I look after myself, dress up well and can speak 6 languages. But who cares about that – I am gay. I stick out of the crowd. It has been a motive for hatred and bullying. The whole schools knows me and insults me. People film me on the streets, shout horrible things at me, some try to hit me. Recently I have told my sister about my orientation. She’d started crying, couldn’t sleep for three days and eventually told me that it is not normal and I need to be cured. She said that I can no longer live in Tajikistan, because my family is famous and influential and I would be the shame of the family. Knowing my father – he can kill me or disown me (when I was plucking my eyebrows once he threw a chair at me). I decided to save up money and flee somewhere. But where can I go on my own? I will not be hiding my nature, as I am not a shadow’.
‘I am gay. Realising it was very difficult for me. Everything happened: I escaped into myself, I was hysterical, I had panic attacks. I hide my orientation, as I live in a small provincial town in the middle of Tatarstan, where one guy has already been killed for being a homosexual. Fearfulness, dread, insularity and aggressive reaction is my normal behaviour. I am afraid that the truth will be found out and I will be lynched. Sometimes I just want to shout: ‘Accept me the way I am!’. Often I just escape into myself. I switch on music and just lie down. I feel safe at those moments’.
‘I am 16, I live in a small town which cannot be found on most maps. When my classmates found out about my orientation I was bullied and lost all my acquaintances. It is the norm for a teacher to say that faggots will burn in hell. It is counted as something essential to beat up a fag in our town. Guys get beaten up for having long fringes, because they look like gays’.
Sometimes guys with long fringes who looks like gays get killed.
This year Volgograd celebrated the 9th of May gloriously. Exactly on Victory Day a 23 year old man was barbarously killed.
His head was smashed with a stone. Prior to that he was raped with beer bottles. His genitalia were cut into pieces. This human being dies in horrible suffering. That was the way the 9th of May was celebrated by the followers of national-socialist ideas. They repented at the inquest: ‘During such a holy celebration gays should sit at home and not stick a nose on the streets. The guy’s homosexual orientation and his provocative behaviour and clothes offended our patriotic feelings. We just could not hold back…It’s all simple…We just killed him.’ [translator’s note – the homosexual context of the murder, initially reported by internet mass media, was quickly covered up and an attempt was made to present the story as a debt fight; moreover, in several interviews the guy’s father refused to acknowledge his son was gay and blamed gambling for the death of his son. Initial reports presented the story as the guy coming out for the first time in his life to those ‘friends’ of his, with whom he’s been drinking during the celebrations, and subsequently getting killed for that.]
Very recently Elena Klimova received a letter from a girl who told the story of her friend. His looks and views were also not accepted by those around him.
I know who was killed by homophobia. My friend Andrei. We met when we were around 9. As long as I had known him he was a shy, kind, lovely boy, though a bit closed off. When we were 14 he entrusted his secret to me – he has always liked only guys. Nobody knew that at school. They still bullied him – he was very modest, had almost no friends and did not date girls. In year 10 one guy from our class found himself a form of entertainment – he created a page in a social network and wrote to people he knew from it, pretending to be gay and looking for his true love. And he wrote to Andrei. Not straight away, but my friend did eventually respond with the same feelings. The next day the whole school found out.
Andrei stopped going to school, he was missing studies for about three weeks. Then he appeared again. Classmates were silent and smiled, nothing else. They invited Andrei to go and have a smoke with them after classes. They beat him up there. Very badly. Me and my female friend went for a smoke and found him. Called an ambulance. He was taken to a hospital. He had a severe concussion, several broken ribs and haematoma throughout his body.
Around a month later Andrei was discharged. He said that parents transferred him to a different school. He promised we’d meet in the evening. When I came to see him, his mum opened the door, all in tears, and said that he jumped off a roof of a 14 storey house in the morning.
Beatings up…Insults…Humiliations…These words come from every single letter from a teenager with non-traditional orientation. Whom exactly do they seem to be interfering with?
As it turns out, many people.
Luba, Khabarovsk, 14: ‘One day my female classmates locked me up in a room. There were 5 of them, I was on my own. Boys were standing and watching, but didn’t help me. Girls beat me up, without explaining anything. I ended up in a hospital with a concussion (they hit my head on a desk). Also I have a crooked nose now. And an offset cervical vertebra. What am I to do? Am I supposed to be afraid of a random girl appearing and beating me up all the time?’
If you want to take part in catching a gay, pay for it.
Some time ago the situation of hatred towards gay minors was made even worse by ‘the Backsword’s children’. The project ‘Occupy-gerontofiels’ exploded the internet after the coordinator of the movement Philipp Denitz uploaded videos, where young people of non-traditional sexual orientation were disclosed. Hundreds of teenagers, scared to death even before that, went underground for some time – deleted their social networks accounts and stopped appearing on the internet.
‘When the project ‘Occupy-gerontofiles’ was started, ‘my’ children were awfully scared,’ – continues Elena. – ‘They wrote to me that they are scared of socializing in the internet. Some started receiving threats from the supporters of ‘Occupy’. One of my kids was promised to be ‘lynched and hung up in a public place’ in a private message. My inbox was full of insults. A couple of weeks later they grew tired of it and stopped.’
They didn’t stop because they grew tired of it. Under the pressure from public figures the page of ‘Occupy’ in social networks was blocked and the organiser of the movement was given a serious warning.
It happened after one of the ‘safaris’ (that’s how the supporters of the movement call the process of hunting down gay minors) the leader of the movement Philipp Denitz offered the ‘victim’ a deal. ‘I’ll let you go and will delete the video if you give a blow job to one of the partakers of the safari’ – those were the words Philipp said into the camera. When the scared guy refused, Denitz started to insist: ‘I understand that you don’t want to it, but that’s the only option for you to cover this up. If the video does end up in the net, your friends and parents would see it. You are not the first one. Around four people went through this, we didn’t upload any of those videos. Just once, do it just once…’
The next day the video ended up in the internet.
‘As we know, after the account of gerontifiles seized to exist, Philipp gave out a battle cry – to find those who wrote a complaint to the relevant administrations, to do some educational work with his opponents. He even offered a ransom for it – 15 thousand roubles [300 pounds – translator] for catching ‘the enemy’. – Denitz’s friends told us. – The one responsible for it was not found, but some time later a new group appeared in the social networks – Children 1488. They specifically hunt down those invoked with Children-404.
There is it, the new hobby of Russian school kids. But is ‘clearing the nation’ really that important for the 14-16 year-olds?
As it turned out, the idea of the project is not founded upon any moral aspects, which are propagandised by the Backsword and his loyal supporter Denitz. It is based on material ones…
‘There is no question of re-education or a fight for the morality. Denitz spits on those gays as Backsword does on paedophiles.’ – former members of ‘Occupy’ told us. – ‘They are making good moneys on those ‘safaris’.
If you want to see a hunt for a gay and become a part of the hunting group – pay 1000 roubles (20 pounds). Backsword charges 3000 for his ‘paedophiles’. Normally around 7-10 people come to each hunt. So count it all in. These poor Children-404 are just the bait, used by the Backsword and his team to replenish their moneyboxes! Denitz also claimed money from his victims. If you want the video not to end up on the net – pay. Recently two more groups of Backsword’s have appeared – one catches hiding illegal immigrants and the other one ‘re-educates’ recovering alcoholics. And those who want to join the show know the price.
The original can be found here – http://www.mk.ru/social/article/2013/08/08/896678-deti-v-runete-igrayut-v-gestapo.html