The influx of information from abroad since the late 1980's had one predictable side effect on the Russian gay population: after seeing in movies and magazines that their counterparts in Western countries were able to live much more openly, many Russian gays made efforts to emigrate.
Thousands of gay men and lesbians took advantage of relaxed travel restrictions to go abroad as tourists, then spent their time finding ways to stay. In major US cities, personal ads from foreign visitors seeking partners for "fixed" marriages are not uncommon, with some offering monetary compensation in exchange for the wedding vows.
"A couple of years ago, before I got my own apartment, I really wanted to emigrate to Sweden," says Grisha. "A lot of gay men here did. In Sweden and Denmark, same-sex marriages are legal, so there was a period of time when everybody dreamed of going there.
"But then, in 1993, Article 121 was repealed and I got my own apartment, both of which made living here easier. These days it actually seems possible that Russia will eventually come to a point where we can live as openly as gays in the West. It may take a while, but that seems to be the direction we're headed in," he says.
"At least, we can hope for that now."