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Sergey, Kazakhstan

Sergey grew up in Kazakhstan where he was taught to believe that being gay was a psychological problem that could be cured. He eventually accepted that he was gay — and that it was ok — but never believed he would be able to come out of the closet. However, when his work as a journalist and PR manager brought him to the United States, Sergey realized it was possible to live openly as a gay person. When he returned to Kazakhstan, he was inspired to write about LGBTQ experiences in his home country but was targeted as a result of this brave decision. He was forced to seek asylum in the United States and now lives in Brooklyn with his husband. He is currently a pre-med student.

Photo credit: Steven Laxton, stevenlaxton.com