A Russian man beaten because he was gay has sent a powerful message to his homophobic attackers.
Ivan Kravistin was at his local supermarket in Syzran, roughly 600 miles east of the capital Moscow, when he was set upon by a man.
Ivan took to Russian social media site VK after the savage assault, describing his attacker as a large muscled man who blocked his exit out of the shop.
The LGBT rights activist was asked if he dyed his hair or painted his nails because he was a “fag”, Pink News reported.
The assailant then proceeded to beat Ivan until he was a bloody pulp on the floor, repeatedly punching him in the face.
A fellow shopper tried to intervene - despite admitting he too ‘did not like gay people’ - but said that they should not be harmed.
Eventually police were called who arrested the intolerant man on a hooliganism charge.
Yet after the unprovoked attack Ivan said his family have suggested he revert to his original hair colour and ‘tone down’ his style.
But he refuses to be cowed or intimidated into changing who he is, regardless of the actions of bigots and homophobes.
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Landmark LGBT TV moments
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2/9 Orange is the New Black – 2013
The Netflix series features lesbian and bisexual women of different colours and sizes, but its greatest accomplishment is the honest portrayal of its transgender character, Sophia Burset (played by Laverne Cox).
3/9 Brookside lesbian kiss - 1994
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4/9 Lesbian lead on US TV - 1997
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5/9 Primetime TV gets gay characters - 1998
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6/9 First lesbian drama series - 2004
Television gets its first predominantly lesbian dramatic series in Showtime's The L Word.
7/9 Glee - 2009
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8/9 Modern Family – 2009
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9/9 E4's Cucumber, Banana and Tofu – 2015
Russell T Davies' recent trio of programmes bring a sensitive and serious yet funny portrayal of contemporary queer life with gay and lesbian lead characters—Henry and Scotty.
Taking a stand against Russian society’s treatment of gay people, he said in an emotive post: “According to some, I need to stop talking about gay rights and to accept the reality that in Syzran and Russia that all gays will never be accepted as the norm.
“Live as yourself behind closed doors with a boyfriend, and everything will be alright.
“If I wasn’t ‘searching for trouble’, my life would be a fairy tale.
“That ‘happily ever after’ is a lie. If you submit to homophobes, if you submit to the closet, you’re not living your best possible life.
“While I might have a broken face, you have a broken life.”
Russia’s stance on LGBT issues has been questioned globally, with a controversial ‘gay propaganda law’ enforced since 2013.
Ivan added: “If my choice is between living my life then dying suddenly or a slow, painful, closeted life – I choose the first.
“Say whatever you think about homosexuality, I do not deserve this. No one deserves this.
“I’m not going to let this force me back into the closet, this is the reason why I came out in the first place: people need to know we exist.”