Background. Based on a long personal story of dealing with LGBTQ rights in Russia, the author reviews several transformations in the psychological approach and research to gender and sexual identity. The author describes his professional growth as a psychologist. First his interest was in child sex-role development and then transformed to prevention of sexual crimes, AIDS prevention and sexual education among adolescents. The author shows how his area of expertise in human sexuality brought him to professional ethics for psychologists.
Discussion. In the second part of the article the author reviews changes in social attitudes towards same sex- relationships from their criminalization and medicalization to acceptance and respect. The author emphasizes the pioneering role of Professor Igor Kon in changes of mass attitudes towards sexuality and same sex relationships. The author sees Kon’s legacy in his statement that “As long as gays and lesbians are objects of bullying and discrimination, everybody who considers himself/herself as a thinking person must support LGBTQ people’s fight for their human rights.” At the end of this part of the article, the author describes a recent hate crime based in homophobia, and its victim, the talented St. Petersburg journalist, Dmitry Tsilikin. Tsilikin was involved in sex education in the 1990s and published a book about these issues. His murder was not considered by the court to be a hate crime against an LGBTQ person, despite enormous protest from progressive-minded people all over Russia.
Conclusion. The author recommends the Russian Psychological Ethics Code as a way to help psychologists support and advocate for people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Keywords: Russia; LGBTQ; Ethics Code; Kon; Tsilikin; psychology