The Advocate's Person of the Year, Vladimir Putin
Driving the governmental, religious, and popular disdain for gays and lesbians, the Russian president became the single greatest threat to LGBTs in the world in 2014.
“Imagine a boy who dreams of being a KGB officer
when everyone else wants to be a cosmonaut.”
This quote appears early in The Man Without a Face, Masha Gessen’s 2012 biography of Vladimir Putin. It’s as succinct and illuminating a characterization of the Russian president as you’re likely to find. The KGB, after all, perfected the thuggery, espionage, and aimless bureaucracy that are hallmarks of Putin’s regime. The agency’s crackdown on dissidents offered a blueprint for Putin’s own strongman excesses. That he aspired to such a career as a child tells us something useful about his psychopathology: This is a man hardwired to intimidate. Read more