Russia’s Only Trans Politician De-transitions

Roman Aleshin, Russia’s first transgender politician, announced on Wednesday that he was de-transitioning.

Aleshin, former head of a branch of Russia’s Civil Initiative party in the country’s Altai Territory in southern Siberia, made the announcement in a post on Telegram, saying he realized during Lent that he identified as a man and a Russian patriot.

Aleshin, formerly Yulia Aleshina, was previously described by Russian media as the first transgender female politician in the country.

Discrimination against transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals in Russia intensified after President Vladimir Putin signed into law a bill last July that prohibits individuals from altering gender identifiers on legal documents, or undergoing gender transition. It also introduces liability for doctors providing medical care to transgender individuals, the U.S. think tank the Wilson Center notes.

A man waves a damaged rainbow flag during a gay pride event in St. Petersburg, Russia, on July 26, 2014. Roman Aleshin, Russia’s first transgender politician, announced on Wednesday that he was de-transitioning.


“I realized I was a man during Lent. Mom told me that I was baptized at 7 months. Before [Lent], I had mental torment; after all, moving from one psychological gender to another is difficult,” wrote Aleshin, who announced his resignation from politics in October 2022 over the country’s anti-LGBTQ+ laws.

“I went through the old albums of my ancestors, prayed for them, and this helped me take root in the idea that I am a man,” he said.

“I am a patriot of my country, that’s why I live in Russia. I apologize to the entire Russian people!” Aleshin added.

On Thursday, news website Bankfax published an interview with Aleshin in which the former politician said that he was influenced to de-transition after having conversations with his mother and relatives.

Aleshin believes his initial desire to change gender was a “punishment” for the “sins” of his ancestors, and he now wants to atone for these sins, Bankfax reported.

According to Bankfax, Aleshin does not intend to return to politics, but plans to receive a church education and become a clergyman.

The Wilson Center cited data from Translation, an initiative group aimed at helping transgender and non-binary people in Russia. It found that “97 percent of transgender people have experienced harassment or discrimination in the workplace” and that “trans people face rejection from their families 57 percent of the time.”

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