Why journalist Masha Gessen is leaving Putin's Russia

Masha Gessen, centre, takes part in a protest against a bill banning

Masha Gessen, centre, takes part in a protest against a bill banning "homosexual propaganda" in Moscow. (Maxim Shemetov/Russia)


For years, Russian-American journalist and gay-rights activist Masha Gessen has vowed to stay in Russia and continue to fight against the Putin regime.

It's no small deal, therefore, that even she is joining the exodus of those fleeing Russia's "homosexual propaganda" laws.

Gessen tells Q guest host Stephen Quinn that the newly-passed bill, and the hostile climate it creates, are too much for her highly visible family.

"We are the only out same sex family in the country, as absurd as that may sound," said Gessen, who has spent 20 years reporting from Russia.

"LGBT people have become the targets of choice in this xenophobic campaign."

Gessen, a lesbian mother of three and a well-known critic of the Putin regime, also worries about a reportedly planned law that seeks to remove children -- adopted or not -- from same-sex families.

As a result, Gessen has already sent her eldest child to the U.S., where she'll soon be joining him along with the rest of her family.

Gessen's take on Putin's Russia

The world renowned journalist is a familiar voice on Q. She has joined us many times to relay stories she's found in the backrooms and backstreets of contemporary Russia.

Most recently, she joined us in May to discuss the situation of jailed Pussy Riot member Maria Alekhina.

Here are a few of Gessen's recent articles elsewhere on the web:

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