Over 40% of gay men and MSM (men who have sex with men) in Russia are only open about their sexuality with "few" of their friends. These are the results of the study EMIS (European Internet-based survey of men who have sex with men), held in the summer of 2010.
The openness of Russian gays was studied by the number of friends, relatives and friends who were aware of the fact that the respondent was attracted to men.
It was found that gay men and MSM in Moscow are more open with their friends in comparison with their counterparts in St. Petersburg and other cities in Russia, although the difference is not great at only around 1.5%.
The study also looked at the situation of gays in the Russian provinces as well. The study found that the smaller the town, the more secretive gay men and MSM were. In the cities with more than one million people, 33.3% reported that their sexual identity was known to most of their friends, in larger cities 22.6%, and only 15% in small cities and towns. At the same time, the number of secretive gay men and MSM is inversely proportional to the size of the settlement. The smaller the town, the greater the number of gay men and MSM reported that none of their friends knew that they are attracted to men.