— Rayan Riener

[translate english from ukrainian] Public organization "Pryhyst"* is open to all, regardless of the views on life, beliefs and preferences. And we came very seriously to an interview with Konstantin Ivatovich (creative nickname - Rayan Riener) who was

PRYHYST: Konstantin, you are a non-standard person compared to the average nikoplitsy. Did you feel negative whether you were bullied at school or on the street? And if so, do you encounter the same situation abroad?

Rayan Riener: Thank you for asking this question first. It really is extremely important for our city, and so, of course - many times I have been through a large number of situations involving discrimination, its various forms, cruelty and even xenophobic violence, religious intolerance and homophobia.

When I was living in Nikopol, it was sometimes even hard to get out into the street. I had problems with bullying at school, even before the age of adolescence. But with adolescence there is an understanding that with such a life at all to lose nothing when they hunt and commit cruel attacks, create communities in social networks about "find and destroy"... Perhaps this was the main reason for plunging into creativity, because I often thought I could not survive, and one day I would still kill, and something should remain after me if I have no choice.

Now, I remember my life in my hometown as a terrible dream, but despite this, I've been hardened for life all the time and now it's hard to offend me.

Outside of discrimination I encountered only in Moscow when I lived and studied at school there for several years, as well as after I dropped out of school in the Lyceum in Nikopol and fled to Moscow after another attempt of a local beadle to kill me. There I have often been dealing with racism. It is very pleasant that people in Ukraine usually do not have any relation to racism, against Russia, where it is a common phenomenon. At least in this regard Ukraine is tolerant, although we have big problems with xenophobia and homophobia. People need education, since during the Soviet Union, several generations have grown, shaping their consciousness under the influence of propaganda.

In Europe I did not have such problems. I was in many small Polish cities, much smaller than Nikopol, but this is a completely different atmosphere. Modern youth is not afraid of being there, expressing themselves. Representatives of the LGBT community can be open to parents, society and peers, and do not feel discomfort even in small cities. Everyone lives by his own life, and the police really work there to protect the city from illegal actions. I hope that Ukraine will once become more open to "not like everyone else", since this issue directly affects the economy and enables politicians to mask the real problems of society, distracting people from hatred of minorities and manipulating the population instead of actually improving the lives of Ukrainians.

PRYHYST: Where are you studying? Did your teachers and teachers, colleagues and colleagues support you and your work?

RR: I went to the first class of school №3 in Nikopol, then I left her, as my parents went to Moscow, and we lived there for several years. At that time, I studied at school No. 1970 in Moscow, where I first realized that such racism was unpleasantly surprised by this fact of Russian culture.

Since I started writing from the age of 14, I still had the support of painting only. Teachers have always supported me and put forward all sorts of contests. But after several city and oblast I stopped agreeing, because for the first time I realized that due to the fact of corruption, I would never get first place.

After Moscow, I tried to study at my old school, but the children no longer wanted to take me. There were attacks with bits, after which I generally stopped going to school as a protest sign. After a few months, I went to a large school - No. 24, where the teachers took me very warmly. Perhaps this is one of the best establishments for studying in Nikopol, at least at that time. The administration did not mock children because of the appearance or strangeness. Teachers there, on the contrary, supported me and were interested in my thoughts, for the first time I received the support of my classmate, who supported my work - these were poems. My class was one of the best there - all the children were really different, personalities. Many of them now have a good job or do live abroad at all.

But after school I got to the Nikopol Professional Lyceum, although I wanted to go from the city. My parents were angry with this fact and hid the documents so that I could not go to Kiev. Already at that time, I had friends there who were designers and designers. I had a great chance to work as a model and designer, but because of the parental religiosity, I lost this chance. Therefore, I had to get the profession of "tailor" in the lyceum. The horror that happened there was the worst period in my life. Constant beatings and bullying were unbearable, as well as discriminating from the teachers themselves. Any teenager could calmly go to the office to beat and humiliate me. Teachers did not react: "what can we do?" They said, while someone was knocking me on the back with a wrench. I think that the students of this Lyceum attacked me in the city, after which I found myself in a hospital with a broken skull and because of which I was forced to flee from Nikopol to Moscow, just to save my life.

PRYHYST: Tell us about your book "To Mars"? Is there any story that precedes the idea of writing a book? What (or who) inspired you to creativity?

RR: Novella "To Mars" is a really emotional creative reflection about the surrounding world that I experienced in Nikopol. I wanted to create a story that fully transmitted the consequences of this world in the future, if society does not haggard and will not go through the path of love, science and good deeds, upholding justice. This is also the story of the world on Mars formed by an alternative society that was forced to escape from the Earth because of the unpopularity of society to create something new, gain freedom and the future for children. The main character of the story is not on Mars on his own, but opens on the other planet exactly what he was looking for. But then comes the time when the Martian colonists are faced with the problem of expansion from our planet, which arose before self-destruction through a long thoughtless politics, and a system that destroys all life on Earth.

The subject of the book covers not only the issue of human freedom, but also other: animal rights, ecology and other, more systematic issues. I started raising these questions long before writing this book in many other stories. They are now available to readers, but in English. For example, the story of the consequences of a destructive propaganda system - "Pink Eyeglasses", which was published in the Nikopol media, or the social narrative "Samukomori" and the collection of the same name. This story will soon be printed in Kharkiv, along with other stories from Kharkiv authors, possibly this winter.

I think that the inspiration to come to life came from my very life, I always felt the world around me very specially. Even memories of childhood about a tortoise that got entangled in a package on the banks of the Dnieper, which I dismissed, and then, after several seasons in a row, myself cleaned the beaches. The love of literature itself ... my sister "forced" me. She lives in Moscow, and reads every free minute, because if not my sister, I would definitely be engaged only in artistic art. But it's because of my literary works that I have readers in Europe that buy my artwork. Therefore, I am very grateful to my sister. Books have changed my life! Inspiration to create for me now is a reflection, sometimes it comes spontaneously, sometimes I see something around myself, and there is a story or an image in my head that I want to translate into a life with a pencil or a pencil.

PRYHYST: You have a collection of poems, is there a special history of writing?

RR: The idea to form a collection of poems appeared before the year 2010. For years, the file was stored on an electronic disk, but after publishing "To Mars," I realized that readers want to learn more about me, just as a person, more soul. I thought it would be a good gift for such readers. So I published a collection in Ukraine and now it's translated into English, but it has sales in Europe and America.

As such, there is no history of writing a collection - it's just poems written by the first in my life, but received support from my teacher of literature, a classmate from Nikopol school # 24. I remember how then she gave me 12 points for the whole theme "Postmodernism" only because she was glad to see the modern form of this postmodernism in my works. This situation gave me a big boost to my goal, which made me seriously look at my potential and go further, from writing to publication.

PRYHYST: Now you are cooking something new to their fans? What exactly? Tell us about your plans.

RR: Oh, I always do something! I write, translate, draw. Almost all free time. Some plans did not come true, so I reformatted my creative activities. Generally I do not like to plan - I like to do something to step by step to translate it into life. I now have more English-speaking readers. My audience today is 89-90% of Europe and America, and I received readers from Japan and Australia. Therefore, he was forced to change his direction, concentrate on the translations of existing works. And there are a lot of them: it is a collection of poems, of which only "Tears of the Rain" have been published, but I have stories of even more serious political and social poems for a new collection. Also, I translate the collection "Samukomori", in it also a lot of social works, but even more human motifs, fairy tales, fantasy. It focuses on an even wider audience. So my creative plans are now focused exclusively on translations until I translate all my works into English. Because first of all - it's money. This is certainly not the main thing, but English-speaking reader from Europe or America really pays, respects and is open to your works to support them not in words but in money. This is a work for their readers, their audience. And I think this is the main factor that should put pressure on each author - the reader's request that he is willing to pay for your works of art.

PRYHYST: You do not hide their homosexuality. Is it hard for you to have a camping out? What was the hardest thing to open? How did your relatives react to this?

RR: I have never concealed it, but it should be noted that I did not scream at every step or at least somehow focused attention. Personally, this does not matter to me personally. It's just my life. And most likely if a person was born albino - all pay attention to this fact, but the person remains the same person as everyone else.

I did not have a camping out as such. All friends, friends, knew about it, but somehow we did not talk about it. We discussed more important issues than personal life. I'm usually a very cold man, and my circle of communication is activists, people who have their goals in life go to this, instead of gossiping about relationships. There is a fact, but even from my side there is not much attention to this, I concentrate on my work, everyday affairs, like other people.

It was most difficult for me to open myself, but here's someone saying something - I do not see the point. This is a matter of personal life, you may need to explain something to your family, friends, but not all people around. The most negative was from my mother, because she was religious, but eventually everything got into her place, instead of quarrels - now she respects me as a person who clearly goes to her goal and it is very pleasing to know that she is proud of me, despite the many homophobes surrounding her in Nikopol.

My sister is a lesbian, she was the first to report this to her mom. I remember how my mother was very upset, then everything was fine, perhaps because of this she perceived me as I am, much easier. The main thing for her now is that I am a person she can respect, not a drug addict, an alcoholic or someone whom she so often sees on the streets of Nikopol. And some of these missing people are my peers or people who knew me personally. So she says happy that I'm the one I have.

PRYHYST: How do you understand that different from ordinary guys? Were you trying to build relationships with the girls, did you immediately perceive yourself as you are? Has anyone supported you on the path to self-identification?

RR: I began to understand this in my very early childhood, and I played not only machines but also dolls. He was friends with the girls, who found a common language very quickly. Beautifully painted, sewed. It was not interesting for boys. I think that it is not the sexual orientation that distinguishes me from ordinary guys, but the creative flow of energy, which differs from other artists.

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