Pigment prints, 2018
The attitude of the Orthodox Church toward the LGBT people has varied in different times and places. For example, the early Eastern Orthodox Church had adelphopoiesis unions, which have been sometimes interpreted as a kind of proto gay marriage. The Finnish Orthodox Church welcomes the LGBT people to its community, but doesn't bless the homosexual marriages. The modern Russian Orthodox Church, if I have understood the situation correctly, is openly against all expressions of gender and sexual minorities. However, I remember my working periods in the Konevsky Monastery in Russia, which was developed kind of asylum centre for a gay men living in the region.Finland has become one of those popular countries, where to the Russian LGBT people started to migrate, when their position tightened in Russia after 2010. The moral question - should I stay in Russia and fight for the better future, or leave the country to live in more open and tolerant society for example in Finland - might also lead to the moral catastrophe, where the both solutions are not totally satisfying. You have to re-evaluate your ethical norms according to circumstances. How comfortable you feel, and how much and what you can tolerate. Starting life in the new country is not necessary easy, especially if you belong to the both ethnic and sexual minority. Even your own people might exclude you. Staying might mean that you are doomed to live double life or get captured. Saints Sergei and Bacchus have been considered as gay saints, even though there is no proof of true nature of their relationship. Martyr stories are very often stories about violence against the oppressed ones, and those who didn't give up became martyrs. My interpretation of the traditional icon of saints Sergei and Bacchus is written in emoji, what is an attempt to update the saints' story to the modern times and make their story easier to access. At the same time, it is a welcome sign to all the LGBT people to contemplate, how strongly they should fight for their rights to be what they are.