This semester, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to conduct my honors research requirement and write my senior honors thesis as a freshman. I could not be more thankful for Dr. Rebecca Cruise’s guidance and direction while writing this paper. The paper focuses on the history of homosexuality in Russia and popular views of homosexuality there. Additionally, the paper discusses the rise of Vladimir Putin and its effects on views of homosexuality in Russia. One of the most interesting trends I found throughout the semester was that a society’s concepts and ideals of masculinity can often predict how they will treat LGBT+ persons. What a society defines as ideally masculine is meticulously constructed by socio-political institutions, such as the government or the Church. As such, things as simple as a shift in trade routes can affect a society’s views of homosexuality. In the late middle ages, for example, there was a series of Crusades. One major affect of these Crusades was the creation of new trade routes for Western Europe. This shifted trade away from Crimea and Kiev, straining the Kievan economy. Due to this and a number of other factors, Muscovite Princes began becoming more and more powerful, which led to the start of the Muscovy period of Russian history. While the Muscovites were building a city and forging their society, they were not focused on social legislation, and homosexuality was not illegal. This led to a fairly drastic uptick in gay visibility that was recorded by Western European travelers to Moscow. Writing this paper led me to discover many other things like this, and has ultimately improved my knowledge of Russian politics and culture.