Errors of the 'anti-gay' law

Russia (Moscow)

An online forum with the simple slogan ‘We Exist!’ is providing support for the 2.5 million gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youths in Russia.

When President Vladimir Putin passed The Gay Propaganda Law ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, he authorised LGBTQ harassment at the highest possible level and outraged a young social worker Elena Klimova. Elena risked the wrath of the Russian government by creating youth forum Children-404 (named after the error code ‘404 – Page Not Found’). Fighting for basic human rights and freedom of expression, thousands of teens flocked to the site to post letters, share injustices and discuss discrimination, sheltering their faces behind pieces of paper and hands scribbled with their stories.

In January 2014, Klimova was convicted for violating the ‘anti-gay’ law she sought to mitigate, and fined for “spreading information containing propaganda about non-traditional sexual relationships” via her documentary based on the tales of these children whose struggles are largely invisible. Around the world, screenings received standing ovations – in Russia, they were broken up by police. Elena was acquitted in March 2015, and remains undeterred as Children-404 continues to offer a lifeline for youths of non-traditional sexual orientation in demoralising times.

Written by

Lisa Goldapple, Editor, Atlas of the Future (03 August 2015)

Project leader

Elena Klimova, Founder

Support the Atlas

We want the Atlas of the Future media platform and our event to be available to everybody, everywhere for free – always. Fancy helping us spread stories of hope and optimism to create a better tomorrow? For those able, we'd be grateful for any donation.

Creative Commons License



Take me somewhere
Take me somewhere
Data Protection Act: LOPD.
In compliance with Organic Law 15/1999, of 13 of December, on Personal Data Protection, and the development of Rules of Procedure, approved by Royal Decree 1720/2007, of 21 of December, Atlas of the Future subscribers may be required to provide Personal Data, which will be included in a file owned by Democratising The Future Society SL. Such file is duly incorporated in the Spanish Data Protection Agency and protected in compliance with the security measures established in the applicable legislation. Subscribers may exercise, at any time, their rights of access, rectification, cancellation and/or opposition regarding their Personal Data. The subscriber shall notice their will, either under written form addressed to Democratising The Future Society SL, Ref. LOPD, Calabria, 10 6-3 08015 - Barcelona (Spain) and/or by e-mail, clicking here. Also, the subscriber shall communicate Atlas of the Future any modifications of their Personal Data stored, so that the information stored by Atlas of the Future remains at all times updated and error-free.
Get World-changing projects and news in your inbox weekly.