‘Query “A STAIN ON THE RED BANNER” (fiction)’ By Polina Krymskaya

Seva and Zhenya are ordinary schoolboys, unlucky enough to be born gay during the difficult Soviet times. They discover their feelings for each other are far from ‘friendly.’ This realization completely knocks them out of their rut; no one knew this was even possible. It becomes a difficult ordeal for the young boys. Every day, they struggle with fear, misunderstanding, and rejection. It is both of them against the whole world, waiting only for the night to come to be their guardian angel. Their feelings would be insignificant if all this became an obstacle for them. However, while trying to sort things out, Seva and Zhenya make many mistakes – and enemies. Their new detractors decide to get even with the boys. After accidentally learning about the boys’ feelings for each other, Seva’s classmates capture their kiss on film. Shocked by the betrayal, Seva and Zhenya think this is the worst that could happen to them. But all the children were ignorant of the fact that Seva and Zhenya’s relationship was not only “wrong”, but also against Soviet law. Their detractors had no idea how this innocent revenge could turn out.

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