Transfeminism and transgender rights in Russia

Yana Sitnikova

Lecture and discussion about transsexuality and transgender rights from the perspective of transfeminism.

Yana Sitnikova is a radical trans_feminist and political activist in Moscow. Yana is everywhere at the same time and all over the place and always right there with her statements and questions to herself and the Russian society. Out of principle she writes in Russian only and is one of the few activists in Russia that deal with transgenderism at all. Yana publicly critizises societal transphobia, also within feminist and LGBT-communities. Her text “I propagate transgenderism” was discussed in Russia, within the context of homo- and transphobic laws, as “propaganda of transgenderism and lesbianism” and even as “destructive for the heterosexual family” – this is why Yana was excluded from the political party “YABLOKO” (member of ALDE and Liberal International).

Invitation politix: that’s an educational event so the participant’s gender doesn’t matter much. I’d prefer that women are given privilege if there’d be not enough space for everyone

Yana Sitnikova provided us with an additional text that reflects her work. We would like to relay this to all of you here:


I propagate transgenderism

A route to write this text was not easy, it claimed not only fundamental change of the theoretical notions of homo- and transsexuality, but also a breakaway from convenient positions of biological determinism to the slippy ground of social constructivism. I go towards a decisive separation with those LGBT activists, who use conformist positions such as:

a) homo- and transsexuality is a congenital feature and

b) for which reason they can not be propagated.

First off, I reject the idea of politics and daily live spliting off and I consider such an idea as politophobic. “The personal is political” – this is one of the major feminist slogans. Any personal statement is political. There is no objective way of information extending by means of which LGBT people are excused themselves, but any kind of information holds political meanings which are sometimes even hidden and created by those who propagate them. Therefor any statement or action can be considered as political propaganda. Every day we are exposed to a steam of information: on the streets and through the TV broadcasting we watch the people who propagate the norms of women‘s and men‘s behavior, which include also norms on how to start a relationship, how to create heterofamilies and how to bear children. It is time to propagate homo- and transsexuality in contrast to hetero- and cisnormativity!

Further, I confirm that medicine does not exist free from politics. The pathology is a political nation used for marginalisation of nonconformists and differently acting people. Why is homosexuality excluded from the international clarification of the diseases but transsexuality is icluded into the list of the psychological diseases? Western LGB movements more effectively propagate homosexuality, while transgenders are going at the tail of the movement. They (transgenders) fuss over the idea that the depathologization of transsexuality can close access for them to the hormonal therapy and operations. I am not coming all the way with these confirmists, conservative trans-actors, who are afraid of everything. I propagate trangenderism as a norm which is no less than cisgender, but also that it is much better to be transgender than cisgender.

Interrogation ( shows that only 6% of the population face “homosexual propaganda”. If you have not faced it yet I will show you. There is the manifest of the feminist painter Manna Kashi: “I propagate female homosexuality” ( And there is also a perfect graffiti street-art group, “Feminist initiative” (

I hope that being familiar with these exellent examples of homosexual propaganda, women will leave their husbands – domestic violators, and reject heterosexual relationships completely. Why do we face the homosexual propaganda on rare occasions and especially the transsexuality propaganda? Both male and female LGBT activists are mostly conservative and conformal. They pretend to state that we are similar to them. That’s really… thanks! No, I am not like you, sexists, transphobes, fascists.

I am a transsexual and a lesbian and pround of this fact. I want my children to be similar to me and not to you. I want people like me to be the majority. That is why I am going to propagate transgenderism.

In their attempts to show that “we are the same as you”, LGBT conformists join the patriarchy. They try to prove that homo- and transsexual people as well as hetero- and cissexuals want to create families and foster their children. Thereby they propagate institutions of the nuclear families, support the opinions of the disparity of mono- and polygamous relations and the need for everyone to have children. Trying to fix the rotten system of patriarchy in one place, they become its supporters in other places.

Whether it is possible to propagate transgenderism and transsexuality? Conformist trans-activists say that transsexuality is of congenital character, that they were born “as women in the alien body”, that “our transsexuality is not our fault but the fault of nature”. Such an approach is rather convenient in order to prove that our transgenderism is not our choice, and if there was a chance to choose we surely would choose the cisgender. I disagree with the position about the congenital mode of transgenderism. I do support the approach of the trangender activist Anno Komarov who was participating in the public pickets with the poster “my gender is my choice”. I want to be the one to fix my destiny and my gender, and to make decisions concerning my body independently – that is why I propagate transgenderism.

I won’t talk for all transsexual women, however, I was not born “as a woman in a man‘s body”. I was a man literally, and moreover, I was a misogynist, discharging violence against women. Nowadays I am ashamed of the period of my life when I was a man. I consciously refused all the privileges men have by becoming a woman. I think that belonging to the class of oppressors, i.e. men, is embarrassing. I am happy that today I can share oppression with other women and perform together with them against gender hierarchies.

I propagate transgenderism because I want to live in a world where human destiny is not determined by something between the legs, which nature has prepared before birth. I want every one of us to be free to chose its gender, clothes and behaviour, instead of being constrained by other people. I want each of us to have the right to dispose of our own bodies, whether it concerns abortion or sex reassignment.

There is nothing that calls into question the advantage of masculinity over femininity like the existence of people who were born men, but reject male privileges and chose to be women instead. There is nothing that violates the binary gender system like the possibility to “transition” from one gender to another. There is nothing that goes against the idea of male and female biological orientations like the woman who became a man and who now performs the same functions as a man.

The more often we will propagate transgenderism, the sooner the rotten foundation will be ruined and there will be a world in which each person chooses their own gender independently.