Russian poetry prize bans entries from transgender people


Russian Poetry Competition Bars Transgender Submissions

In a move that has sparked controversy, the Andrei Dementyev All-Russian Poetry Prize has announced a ban on transgender individuals from participating in this year’s competition. The contest, organized by the government of western Russia’s Tver region, cited the protection of traditional values as the motive behind the decision. The rules posted on the website of a local poetry organization explicitly prohibit entries from citizens who have changed their gender.

Quick Facts

  • The Andrei Dementyev All-Russian Poetry Prize has barred transgender individuals from submitting entries, citing the preservation of traditional Russian values.
  • Russia, under President Vladimir Putin, has implemented a crackdown on LGBTQ rights, including designating the international LGBT social movement as extremist.
  • Transgender individuals in Russia have faced restrictions on rights, including a ban on gender change surgery and hormone therapy and being prohibited from adopting or fostering children.

The move is in line with Russia’s broader crackdown on LGBTQ rights, which is positioned as a defense of traditional Russian values. President Putin’s administration has actively portrayed LGBTQ rights as a Western imposition that undermines Russian societal norms. The contest, named after a local Soviet-Russian poet, previously did not include a ban on transgender participants, as reported by Russian independent news outlet Mediazona.

Officials have not provided a specific rationale for the exclusion of transgender individuals from the competition this year. Nef Cellarius, program coordinator for Russian LGBTQ rights group Vykhod (“Coming Out”), expressed concerns over the trend among local officials to align with the Kremlin’s stance on various social issues. The Tver organizers did not respond to Reuters’ request for comment.


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