Trans woman recalls fleeing Chechnya after attempt on her life

Trans woman recalls fleeing Chechnya after attempt on her life
Image: Photo: Dave Frenkel / Twitter.

A WOMAN claiming to be Chechnya’s first transgender person has spoken of fleeing Russia after an attempt on her life.

The woman, known as Leila, said she transitioned in the mid-2000s, and even worked for former Chechen president Akhmad Kadyrov before her transition, International Business Times has reported.

Leila faced harassment when she moved to Moscow, and was stabbed in 2015. She said her Chechen attacker told her, “When will you stop disgracing your people?”

Her relatives were ordered by unknown people to kill her, and she received threatening texts. Despite this, the police would not take her concerns seriously, and threatened to escort her back to Chechnya.

Following the attempt on her life, Leila fled to the United States.

She told Russian television station Rain that LGBTI persecution in Chechnya began when president Ramzan Kadyrov came to power in 2007. She said she knew at least two people murdered for their orientation.

Chechen officials have denied gay people exist in the region, amid allegations of widespread persecution and concentration camps torturing gay and bi men.

The US has denied visas for around 40 gay Chechens who are in hiding in Russia, according to the Russian LGBT Network.

You May Also Like

One response to “Trans woman recalls fleeing Chechnya after attempt on her life”

  1. I don’t mean to draw too long a bow but to me this story really highlights why Safe Schools is needed. When we look around the world, we see patterns. Well educated and broadly experienced individuals may be transphobic or homophobic but they generally don’t feel much need to act on this by directly targeting trans and gay folks. Poorly educated, more religious types go the other way and are inclined to extreme reactions. We can see this among individuals in a group, it’s much more difficult when we see these patterns playing out on a nationwide level where being “the only gay in the village” is a matter of life and death.