Chicago Tribune

'Chicago changed me': For Russian man seeking asylum, celebrating Pride in a way he couldn't at home

A toddler stands in his childhood home near Moscow, wearing a pink skirt. His face radiates joy.

Looking at the photo on his phone, Alexander recalled his mother laughing. It was the last time he could be himself in the country he grew up in.

"Two, three years old, this is when I started realizing that I was different," he said.

Now 24 years old and living in a tidy, two-bedroom apartment in Lakeview, he has applied for asylum - after arriving in the U.S. on a student visa - and is living here legally as he awaits a decision. Returning to Russia will

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Chicago Tribune

Chicago Tribune3 min read
Editorial: When Tragedy Rattles Trust: American 191 And The Boeing 737 Max
To take flight as a passenger in a large airplane is disorienting. Let's be honest, it is unnatural for us wingless humans to soar above the Earth. Yet U.S. commercial air travel is so common and reliable that fliers worry about whether the onboard W
Chicago Tribune5 min read
There's A New Era Of Sideline Scrutiny For College Basketball Coaches. So Where's The Line Between Motivation And Mistreatment?
The scene was played over and over. It became a trending topic on social media and a hot take on sports talk shows. During a first-round victory against Bradley in the NCAA Tournament, Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo marched onto the court d
Chicago Tribune2 min read
Cubs Blow 9th-inning Lead And Lose To Phillies In 10 Innings In Jake Arrieta's Wrigley Return
CHICAGO - Jake Arrieta received a standing ovation prior to his first at-bat Monday night, and his stinginess enabled the Phillies to rally for a 3-1 lead over the Cubs and Yu Darvish after seven innings. But things went haywire for both teams until