Photo project

Happy Together:
Same-Sex Couples in Anna Milokumova’s Project

To overcome her own stereotypes about LGBT, St. Petersburg-based photographer Anna Milokumova took pictures of homosexual couples who love each other, build families, and raise children despite social rejection.
Anna Milokumova Age 34

Russian photographer, born and lives in St. Petersburg. Since 2016 is a student at Fotografika Academy for Documentary Photography and Photojournalism.

— ‘Treat and isolate’ — this is the attitude that over 85% of people in Russia have to love that they are used to not accepting. We Are Together is a project about LGBT people who befriend and love each other, create families, raise children, despite everything. There is currently an acting law in Russia that prohibits propagating ‘non-traditional’ relations among the underaged, so not all of the people in my photographs decided to show their faces, but all of them told me about their feelings.

Working on this project became an important step for me in overcoming my own prejudice towards LGBT people, as I was raised in a family where homosexuality and bisexuality was dispraised. I first met a gay person when I was as old as 19. And he has been my best friend for many years now. He is always by my side when I need him, he is very honest and surrounds me with kindness. I am proud of this friendship.

Not all of the people in my photographs decided to show their faces, but all of them told me about their feelings.
Zhenya, 21, works in a cafe. Roman, 17, is a student. Their relationship lasted several months. They used to like taking walks together or paying visits to their friends. This was a very emotional relationship, based on passion and attachment.
Pollina, 22, and Tasya, 23, are students. They have been together for almost five years. They like living, working, reading, and studying together. A relationship for these young women is a family built on mutual respect, support, a genuine interest in each other, and common plans for the future.
Maksim and Zhenya are both 22. They work in the restaurant business together. They have been together for over three years. They spend their free time taking walks or watching movies together. The thing that they value most in a relationship is forgiving and accepting each other.
Kirill, 25, is a psychologist. Igor, 46, is a human rights activist. They have been together for six years. Most of all they like sharing the things that surprised them or made them happy or sad during the day with each other. They read books aloud and discuss them after. The main thing in their relationship is a high level of acceptance and support, believing in each other, and also constantly reflecting on their relationship.
Dante, 34, is a PR manager. Maksim, 26, is a hairdresser. They were close friends for over a year. They had similar views on life and politics in common. They organized human rights events and had fun together. Friendship for them means mutual understanding and also something that should not be sacrificed. But friendship is fragile and can be broken with time.
Alexander, 28, works in the restaurant and tourism businesses. Evgeniy, 41, is working with interiors for detached houses. They have been together for almost three years. They like traveling, roller skating, watching movies together. In their relationship they value mutual understanding and respect.
Yana, 34, and Svetlana, 43, work in the beauty industry. They were together for over six years and were very close. They liked reading motivational books together, attending workshops on self-development, and traveling together. Their long relationship was based on mutual support, understanding, sex, communication, faith, and spirituality.
Polina, 27, works in the beauty industry. Lada, 22, is a student. They have been together for over a year. They like traveling, taking walks, and eating tasty food. In their relationship they value love for life, balance, caring for each other, and tenderness.

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