Masha Gessen

Alter Girl
July 26, 2004

I gave up the homosexual lifestyle four years ago. That day, my girlfriend and I went from club to club in Moscow, drinking and dancing until we nearly dropped, then walked home at sunrise. The next day, we flew to a court hearing in Kaliningrad, where I was declared the legal mother of a three- year-old boy who had been given up at birth. Then we flew home to Moscow to find that our neighbors, whom we had never met, had decorated our door with balloons. They all came by to say something kind or to bring something for our new child.

See No Evil
February 09, 2004

IMAGINE THAT THE king has died. Now imagine that every day on television you see a procession of people chanting, “Long live the king!” Imagine it wasn’t always this way: Just a few years ago, if the king’s health became shaky, everyone discussed the problem openly. But no more. And now you have to choose. Either you go along and pretend that a dead man is alive—which isn’t all that difficult, since everyone is doing it—or you insist, unreasonably, that you see what you see, in which case you will be branded a kook. Now imagine you’ve been parachuted into a country like this as a foreign corre

May 22, 2000

The glitz and fanfare surrounding Vladimir Putin's May 7 inauguration led many to compare the event to a czar's coronation. A better analogy would be a shotgun wedding: everyone knew the real reason for the event but was too polite to name it.