Thursday, March 17, 2016

Kicked Out of the Russian Army for Being Gay

Wilton Manors, Summer 2002

Whenever he's asked for his coming out story, Yuri tells about that night in December 1997, when he was a 23 year old graduate student, new to America, who claimed to be straight until he came as my date to a Christmas party and spent the night later.

Everyone assumes that there was nothing before, just 23 years of silence and darkness.  He's only told a few people about his gay life in Russia.

But in the summer of 2002, at a party during the visit of John, the Shy Boy in the Third Row,  John asks "How did you get through high school and college without knowing?  Even in Russia."

"And without doing anything?" Wade adds.

"Well, I didn't do anything until I was 23, just like Yuri," John says.  "But I knew when I was about twelve."

"I don't know there was anything to know," Yuri answered.  "I thought I was straight, because I knew nothing else.  And for sex, all I did was..."  He stops and looked around the room in alarm.  "Um...all I did was drochit, jerk off."

"Oh, no, you were going to say something else!" Wade exclaims.  "You  were with someone before you came to America!"

Yuri shoots me a pained look.  He really wants to "share" John the Bodybuilder tonight, and he thinks his "real" coming out story will seal the deal.  But it's embarrassing.

"Ok, you will hear it," he says, finally.  "But Boomer will tell it, so I'm not embarrassed."

Volgograd, Summer 1992

Yuri grew up in Volgograd, in the south of Russia, a cosmopolitan city where you could hear people speaking Turkic languages of the steppes like Kazakh, Tatar, and Kalmyk, plus Armenian, Ukrainian, and even an archaic form of German, spoken for centuries by the Volga Nemtsy.

"Enough languages!" Yuri exclaims.  "Go to the gimnaziya."

He didn't learn about the existence of gay people until high school, when teachers began including them in lectures as pitiable examples of capitalism gone awry, men brainwashed into believing that they were really women.  Fortunately, there were none in the Soviet Union, teachers said.

But there were men: slim, smooth technology students from Latvia, barrel-chested weight lifters, hairy-chested bears with massive bulges. Nudity was much more common than in the U.S.  Yuri "knew" that he was straight, that he would one day marry a woman, but he still looked -- in the weight room, in the park, in the sauna.

He looked.

You know how to check out a straight guy's bulge.  A quick downward glance.  If he notices, he'll just think you're trying to avoid eye contact.  Nothing more blatant.

Yuri didn't know that.  He looked openly, longingly, at crotches, evaluating bulges, trying to determine the size and shape of the guy's beneath-the-belt gifts, imagining that he was going down on him or spreading his legs for him to enter.

No one took offense, or associated it with being golubyye, "blue."  Yuri assumed that every guy did it.

Yuri graduated from the gimnaziya in June 1992, and was immediately drafted and sent to a military base on the Caspian Sea: the Soviet Union was breaking apart, transitioning into a democracy, and soldiers were needed to maintain order.

He didn't fit in well: he was smaller than most guys his age, bookish and intellectual.  He was bullied, called names.  He was stripped and thrown out of the barracks naked.  His bunk was messed up just before inspection, so he'd get a demerit.  His packages from home were confiscated.

But Sergeant Andreivich, a middle-aged career soldier in charge of his barracks, took an interest in him, buying him sodas, giving him books on military history, inviting him for late-night conversations in his room a little off the main dormitory.

Andreivich was in his early 40s, bald, with a hairy chest, nice pecs, a little belly, big hands -- and a big bulge.  Yuri couldn't take his eyes off it!

One day Yuri came into Andreivich's room while he was dressing, and saw him naked from the waist down -- a thick uncut Bratwurst!

"Why look, when you can touch?"  Andreivich said.  He sat down on his bunk and spread his legs.  Yuri approached, got on his knees, and touched it.  It sprang to life.  He became aroused himself as he began oral sex without ever having heard that such acts existed.

When he finished and Yuri swallowed, he felt like he had become as close to a man as anyone in the history of the world, like their souls had merged.  Then Andreivich lay Yuri on his bunk and held his hands and went down on him.

"Women are great," Andreivich told him later.  "Every man would prefer to be with them, of course.  But when there are none available, men can do everything a woman can.  It is not blue, like in the decadent West.  It is friends helping each other, the true spirit of comradeship."

They got together often before Yuri was discharged.  Then he enrolled in a five-year degree program in geology at St. Petersburg State University, where he found other friends, usually older guys with wives and kids.

He even "dated," going out to dinners and American movies with a new professor named Sergei: very muscular arms, smooth chest, thick Kielbasa.  Sergei introduced him to anal, and to the atmospheric anomalies that he would be studying later on.

But he never thought of himself as gay, not until he graduated in June 1997, came to the U.S. to study for his Ph.D., and met Boomer at Setauket University.

Gay, out, and proud, as well as incredibly goodlooking, with the physique of a Greek god and a porn star-sized penis, Boomer gently took the poor naive Russian boy under his wing, offering support, encouragement, and a glimpse of his super-sized...

"Ok, ok!" Yuri exclaims.  "Everyone thinks Boomer is great.  Especially Boomer.  This story is supposed to be about my special friend."

"Wait -- something doesn't add up!" John says.  "You graduated from high school in 1992, finished five years at the University, and came to the U.S. in 1997.  How did you have time for military service?"

Yuri looks down.  "Actually, I was only in the military for two months.  I was discharged for psikhologicheskiye deviatsiiue, having a psychological deviation."

"Oh -- did they find out about your relationship with Andreivich?" Wade asks.

"No.  It was the Starshiy Leytenant, the guy in charge of  He saw me looking at his crotch, and thought I was goluboy and called the psychiatrist."  

"How embarrassing," he adds. "To be having sex with guys right in the barracks, but then you get discharged for looking,"

See also: The Gay Russian Teenager; The Shy Boy in the Third Row.

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