Open Forum

TERF and Anti-trans Initiatives in Russia: Is There a Connection?

  • Yana Kirey-Sitnikova (Independent researcher)


Trans-exclusive radical feminism (TERF) was imported onto the Russian soil around 2013, when trans people became more visible and I introduced transfeminism in a number of blog posts, which later were compiled into the first Russian-language book on transfeminism (Kirey-Sitnikova, 2016). In 2016, a large survey of feminists (n = 1364) revealed that 10.2% respondents identified as TERF and 4.4% as transfeminists (Kirey-Sitnikova, 2018). The TERF movement was shown to consist of individuals with higher income and educational level living in big cities, lesbians, and those more involved in feminist activism. Knowing a trans person was not a predictor of trans inclusion, many feminists joined the TERF movement after meeting a trans person supporting patriarchal gender norms (Kirey-Sitnikova, 2016). The most vigorous debates between these groups occurred on the Russian blogging platform “LiveJournal” (LJ) and consisted largely of translations and interpretations of texts by US feminists (Ibid.). As I described elsewhere, self-colonisation in the form of indiscriminate borrowing of terms and concepts from the Anglosphere is a prominent characteristic of all Russian progressive gender movements (Kirey-Sitnikova, 2020). After 2016, I moved on to other topics and did not follow these debates. This small contribution is aimed as an update on TERF from that time till now.

How to Cite:

Kirey-Sitnikova, Y., (2023) “TERF and Anti-trans Initiatives in Russia: Is There a Connection?”, DiGeSt - Journal of Diversity and Gender Studies 10(2), 152-155. doi:

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Published on
11 Dec 2023