Russia’s pioneer transgender politician ends governorship bid amid new anti-LGBTQ+ legislation

by Lucas Garcia
Airport Protests

Yulia Alyoshina, the first openly transgender politician in Russia, has withdrawn her intention to run for a governorship due to the nation’s recently introduced anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, which has undermined the necessary support for her candidacy registration.

Alyoshina had aimed to champion the opposition Civil Initiative party in the upcoming governor elections for the Altai region in southern Siberia scheduled for September.

A staunch advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, Alyoshina had hoped to utilize her campaign as a platform to voice her objection to the recently passed bill that criminalizes gender-affirming procedures in Russia. This contentious legislation initially received approval from Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, on June 14.

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On Monday, however, Alyoshina announced her inability to accumulate the required minimum of 502 signatures from local municipal council members and village leaders, necessary to qualify for the election.

Alyoshina disclosed on Monday in a Telegram post that 19 council members “were undeniably prepared to sign in support of my nomination”. However, some who initially extended their support later withdrew it, referencing the proposed legislation prohibiting gender transitioning, currently under scrutiny in the Duma.

The “municipal filter”, a requirement introduced in Russia in 2012, mandates that local office candidates secure signatures of support from municipal council members. Civil rights groups have criticized this stipulation, viewing it as a tool for state officials to exclude opposition candidates.

The LGBTQ+ community in Russia has faced escalating pressure over the past decade, with President Vladimir Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church initiating a campaign to safeguard what they consider to be the nation’s “traditional values”.

The proposed legislation prohibits “medical interventions for the purpose of sex change”, and any changes to one’s gender in official documents and public records.

Prominent lawmaker Pyotr Tolstoy, a sponsor of the bill, contends that the law is designed to “defend Russia’s cultural, family values, and traditions, and to resist the encroachment of the Western anti-family ideology.”

Despite needing three readings by the State Duma before becoming law, it is widely expected to pass given the endorsement of around 400 of the house’s 450 members, inclusive of the house speaker and all political faction leaders.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Transgender Politician

Who is Yulia Alyoshina?

Yulia Alyoshina is Russia’s first openly transgender politician who intended to run for the governorship in the Altai region.

Why did Yulia Alyoshina abandon her political campaign?

Alyoshina abandoned her political campaign due to a new anti-LGBTQ+ bill in Russia, which has led to a reduction in the necessary support for her candidacy registration.

What was Yulia Alyoshina’s political platform?

Alyoshina’s political platform was centered on advocating for LGBTQ+ rights. She opposed the recent bill criminalizing gender-affirming procedures in Russia.

What is Russia’s “municipal filter”?

Russia’s “municipal filter” is a requirement introduced in 2012, mandating that local office candidates secure signatures of support from municipal council members.

What does the new anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in Russia propose?

The new anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in Russia proposes a ban on “medical interventions for the purpose of sex change”, and any changes to one’s gender in official documents and public records.

More about Transgender Politician

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StephM July 10, 2023 - 9:50 pm

so proud of yulia. wish her journey had been easier. but she’s made a stand and thats what matters right?

Mike_T July 11, 2023 - 4:52 am

I mean, whats the point of the municipal filter? Sounds like a way to keep the old guard in power and suppress any opposition…

Tommo86 July 11, 2023 - 11:03 am

Smh… just another example of how backward the world still is. Keep fighting Yulia!

LindaR July 11, 2023 - 11:28 am

yulia, your courage is inspiring! thank u for standing up for lgbtq+ rights, despite everything against u

Jake91 July 11, 2023 - 12:31 pm

really sad to see. Alyoshina was an icon, tryin to make a difference… Seems like russia’s just going backwards on rights…

JoshH78 July 11, 2023 - 4:57 pm

This is troubling news. With the current climate for LGBTQ+ folks in Russia, I can’t say I’m surprised, but it’s still heartbreaking.


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