In 2013, while in the process of researching and collating the collective work of this book, I found two specific images that were psychologically impacting with regard to the life chances of queer youth. The first was an image from a drama, of a child (who identifies as gay later in life) placing his hand on a glass door pane and leaving a trace of his hand, while in the company of his family (see Figure I.1). The second was an image from the news, of a queer youth activist cradling her (or his) head, while a gang of other youths are in the process of an attack (see Figure I.2). The first was from the groundbreaking Swedish television drama Don’t Ever Wipe Tears without Gloves (original title: Torka aldrig tårar utan handskar), which tells the story of young gay men in the early 1980s, and their relationship to family, queer community and the spread of AIDS in Sweden. The second appeared in the Guardian newspaper as a photograph by Maxim Shemetov, in a report relating the growing oppression of queer citizens in Russia after the passage of legislation that bans ‘homosexual propaganda’ to minors (Guardian 2014). This legislation is currently causing extreme oppression in Russia, actively encouraging vigilante groups to seek out LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) citizens and inflict violence and torture, without necessarily inviting redress from the authorities, as evidenced in the television documentary Hunted (Channel 4 2014).
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- Palgrave Macmillan UK