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The International Foundations of Russian Gay Communities and Civil Society

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Civil society, when taken as a whole, is a complex phenomenon that incorporates several movements and can be accompanied with international support. For instance in 1987, 40 NGOs (non-governmental organizations)

Civil society, when taken as a whole, is a complex phenomenon that incorporates several movements and can be accompanied with international support. For instance in 1987, 40 NGOs (non-governmental organizations) were registered by the government, and within 25 years, the number has increased to 300,000 in the present day Russian Federation. These numbers only include registered organizations, and do not count unregistered organizations, as approved under article 3 "Public organizations...can function without state registration and acquiring of the rights of registered legal body," or organizations that have been refused registration, such as the "Marriage Equality Russia" NGO that was denied registration in 2010. Thus the total amount of NGOs is significantly higher than 300,000. Every one of these NGOs "contribute to Russia‘s economic, political and social life in numerous ways and provide opportunities for citizens to help create better communities and elevate their voices" ("USAID in Russia"). With hundreds of thousands of organizations attempting to make a better society, they are creating a Russian civil society, one that could use the experience of countries with already well-established civil societies (Walzer). Walzer, however, notes the importance for civil society of political engagement with the state (317). In this thesis, I argue that the LGBT movement in Russia today has set an important example for other groups in civil society through its willingness to take on the Russian state through demonstrations and to use the state through the EU Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

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Date Created
  • 2012-12

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Health Disparities Among LGB Women From Experiences With Their Healthcare Providers

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This study investigates how the patient-provider relationship between lesbian, gay, and bisexual women and their healthcare providers influences their access to, utilization of, and experiences within healthcare environments. Nineteen participants,

This study investigates how the patient-provider relationship between lesbian, gay, and bisexual women and their healthcare providers influences their access to, utilization of, and experiences within healthcare environments. Nineteen participants, ages 18 to 34, were recruited using convenience and snowball sampling. Interviews were conducted inquiring about their health history and their experiences within the healthcare system in the context of their sexual orientation. The data collected from these interviews was used to create an analysis of the healthcare experiences of those who identify as queer. Although the original intention of the project was to chronicle the experiences of LGB women specifically, there were four non-binary gender respondents who contributed interviews. In an effort to not privilege any orientation over another, the respondents were collectively referred to as queer, given the inclusive and an encompassing nature of the term. The general conclusion of this study is that respondents most often experienced heterosexism rather than outright homophobia when accessing healthcare. If heterosexism was present within the healthcare setting, it made respondents feel uncomfortable with their providers and less likely to inform them of their sexuality even if it was medically relevant to their health outcomes. Gender, race, and,socioeconomic differences also had an effect on the patient-provider relationship. Non-binary respondents acknowledged the need for inclusion of more gender options outside of male or female on the reporting forms often seen in medical offices. By doing so, medical professionals are acknowledging their awareness and knowledge of people outside of the binary gender system, thus improving the experience of these patients. While race and socioeconomic status were less relevant to the context of this study, it was found that these factors have an affect on the patient-provider relationship. There are many suggestions for providers to improve the experiences of queer patients within the healthcare setting. This includes nonverbal indications of acknowledgement and acceptance, such as signs in the office that indicate it to be a queer friendly space. This will help in eliminating the fear and miscommunication that can often happen when a queer patient sees a practitioner for the first time. In addition, better education on medically relevant topics to queer patients, is necessary in order to eliminate disparities in health outcomes. This is particularly evident in trans health, where specialized education is necessary in order to decrease poor health outcomes in trans patients. Future directions of this study necessitate a closer look on how race and socioeconomic status have an effect on a queer patient's relationship with their provider.

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Date Created
  • 2016-05