Art Kolesov3

Watch This: A Russian Pastor’s Son Comes Out

Screengrab from ArtemusPrime YouTube

“In my family I often heard that all gays should be destroyed, that they should be bombed and that if anyone in our family turns out to be gay, my family should kill them with their bare hands.”

A young violinist came out and shared his story growing up in Russia, a country that has gay propaganda law—a law that makes it illegal for people to “tell children under 18 that being gay is normal.” Shortly after he uploaded the video, news that Chechnya is rounding up gay men and sending them to concentration camps to torture and beat information out of them broke out in the Internet. He said it was no surprise.

The young man’s name is Artem Kolesov, he just turned 23 when he made the video.

Artem was born in rural Russia to a father who was a deacon and to a mother who was a youth pastor. In his coming out video Artem shared that he had known since he was five that he was gay but that not only is homosexuality not supported by the church, it is also called “Western illness.” It didn’t help that his parents themselves consider homosexuality as a sin.

His story is one of struggle, silence, abuse, trauma, fear, self-hatred that turned into depression causing him to attempt to take his life five times.

Artem added that when he was depressed, he would cry every night and ask, “Lord! Why me? Why do I have to go through all of this? What did I do wrong? Why can’t you just fix me? Cure me from this. I want to be normal.”

He said it had only been a month since he told his mom he was gay and she requested him not to tell anyone about it. Artem chose to break his silence in hopes that his story will be able to help anyone the way other people’s stories had helped him.

My most favorite line from Artem is the part where he said that, “We come out, because we want to show others, that we are people just like them—we’re engineers, doctors, teachers, violinists, sons and daughters, and most of all, we’re humans.”

Very well said, Artem. You really should watch the video below guys it is illuminating and heartbreaking so be sure to keep your hanky at the ready, it made me cry.

In an interview with BuzzFeed, Artem said because of his coming out, he is no longer on speaking terms with his family.

There are 6 comments

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  1. Westly Light

    Firstly pardon my “hacker”…

    Childhood is a time of (if you belong to a humane family) excited intrigue, investigation and appreciation (!?). If some dynamic of reality is professed by those whom you rely upon for safety (?!) (but are taught no realistic understanding of that dynamic in reality (per it being absolutely misunderstood in this instance) “seems” to exist within you per vague interpretation being introduce to the (at the time) naive conscious mind, appreciation (of the social body) is replaced by self defense that has no realistic scientific capacity to defend itself per dependence on the older persons in the community. Indeed how could such an identity (naive and scientifically un-established) make such an absolute determination of “self” if not for sociological interactivity prompting it to do so? Investigative exploration being retarded by “hyperdefensive” insanity incapable of simplification can be the only logical explanation as the human being is an investigative intelligent identity in need of support at this time. Very sad to not make the subject of human inter-relation an approachable subject to the inter-relating human being. Russia need help. Amen.

  2. Steve

    Artem is an amazing man with an incredible story that is hard for most people in the west to fully comprehend. His bravery and inner strength are inspirational. I hope he and his family are someday able to reconcile. He has a bright future and hopefully personal happiness living an honest and full life.

  3. Elixirmixer

    This is an intelligent man who has been blessed with many things. His childhood was a nightmare. His “religious” parents and his time/place in Russian society didn’t click with who he was. Some things to think about…Did Russians really hate Americans? During the cold war, we were told they were our enemies, but I don’t recall hating them. I wonder if this family lived in the city would they not have been so backwards in their thinking. I have 2 daughters. When my youngest was 11 we were at an event, which was attended by a lesbian couple. They were a volatile pair. My daughter asked “are danielle and joyce a couple?” I said “I think they were, butt not anymore.” She said “oh thats so sad”. ..then went about her business. I was proud of her, and proud of myself as a dad that being gay is such a non issue.
    Unfortunately, this fella and so many others have to live life in such despair. How anyone who believes in God cannot justify these hateful opinions. I dont believe for a second that religion is the true reason for their hatred..

  4. Lamar

    You know, homosexuality is the ‘other’ something that has been with humanity from the beginning, is normal, it’s an issue, with the majority.

    I was in the store the other day, and I heard an older married (60ish) couple; she was sayin,” you’re so rigid, in your thinking.” I couldn’t help myself, couldn’t resist, I had to say to them “there’s such stupidity, within rigidity, as it an affliction, really.” I mean, my God, man, even before antiquities, I’m sure, it was just excepted as normal, until organized religion of course.

  5. 57GayYears

    Congratulations on being beautiful! So many people will hate you because you are! I could change a few names in your story, the location, and the reasons that people loved me, and it’d be mine. So, You’re different and yet you aren’t. Each of us have stories and your’s touched me, but it also reminded me of how far we’ve come. It’s the differences that attract us to each other, or sadly, in some cases repulse us. There’s so much despair in the world today and misery loves company. So many people that cannot find true love begrudge us when we do. The whole Adam and Steve thing not being right thing is a good example. Sure, back a few thousand years when it was common for a man to play with another man sort of as a birth control, (Mary Houses etc). When STD’s ended up out of control, it wasn’t the medical community that was able to even slow it down, it was the Catholic Church. GOD SAYS”……”! And the outbreaks were controlled. There are some that say that the verses in the Bible were altered and the “man who lays with another man” verse was added. The verse calls it an abomination. Simple translation meaning “not natural”. Natural is what occurs in nature. Humans are PART of nature, so being gay IS NATURAL!! There are other creatures in nature that have homosexual actions, from macaws, baboons, dogs, to penquins. (Down Fido!!) It’s STILL with us today though. Trying to live by a book of rules from thousands of years ago simply isn’t possible. Does it mean you have to throw out the whole book? No. But picking an choosing based on what is screamed from the pulpit doesn’t work either. If it did, there would be no inter-racial mingling of any kind whatsoever. Women would still be owned and concubines both male and female would be a status symbol. Times have changed and continue to do so. Try burning a bull on an alter to create a pleasing odor for God, and you’ll be arrested. Even with HIV causing the same type of nervousness, it doesn’t last forever. I am personally happy that much of the hatred isn’t holding on a tightly as it did in days past. Stay Strong and Be Happy my friend!!

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