Tolya, 29
train conductor
Kostya, 33
Army officer

Kostya
I've been in the army for 13 years: four years in an army college, and nine on active duty service. Only seven years to go and I'll be eligible for pension. I don't have any problems at all with being a gay army officer. Some of the other officers know, some don't, but nobody ever gives me any trouble about it.

I was married for a number of years, and have two kids. My wife knows I'm gay -- I told her myself -- but we still have a very good relationship, and I see the kids all the time.

Tolya
Kostya and I do things together with the kids. They come over to our house, or we take them places. Tomorrow we're supposed to go to the youth theater with them.
Kostya
Tolya and I have been together for two years, and live together now, so my children know him well. He and I first met at a meeting of "Parus"("Sail"), an organization for gay men in Omsk, where we live.
Tolya
In Omsk, the gay community is more organized than in Novosibirsk, probably because the city itself is much more compact, while Novosibirsk is spread out over a huge area. "Parus" meets every Thursday, and we usually have anywhere from 30 to 60 men...
Kostya
We use the office of the government AIDS Center for our meetings. The director of the AIDS Center is a straight man, but he is sympathetic to our cause, and even lets us use the center's computer for keeping records. The computer is really old, though, so we keep all the information in written form, too.
Tolya
Another reason we keep things in written form is because we don't want to put all the information into the computer for privacy's sake. For example, one of the services we offer is an introduction service. We put all the information about each person into the computer, except his name, address and telephone number. It's not our computer, and so we can't be completely sure of privacy, which is obviously a big concern for our members.




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