Shtern was employed by the Yekaterinburg government in Sverdlovsk, located in central Russia. Fearing that continuing to employ Shtern would be a violation of Putin’s anti-gay laws, she was sacked.
Prior to her dismissal, Shtern had taken out a mortgage in order to buy a home and had purchased a car. She was unable to make payments on both after being terminated and according to friends was homeless.
Masha Bast, Russian lawyer and trans rights activist, described Shtern’s suicide as “shocking” and said that “Vladimir Putin has created a system where there is no place for transgender people, no place for people who are different. Dasha is a victim of Putin’s laws, and she is a victim of the indifference in Russian society.”
Three days after her suicide a peaceful protest was held in Moscow by transgender activists in order to raise awareness about Shtern. Protesters chanted ‘Killed By Indifference, Killed By Russia. Stop Killing Transgender People.’
INFO: If you or someone you know needs help, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or the Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service on Evening Support line: 02 8594 9596 or 1800 184 527 (regional callers)- open daily 5:30pm-10:30pm.