Two Russian YouTubers known abroad for their viral prank videos conducted a social experiment over the weekend to see how random people in Moscow would react to a gay couple holding hands, and quickly realized their country’s horrific public treatment of LGBTs is no joke.
The pranksters, known as duo ChebuRussiaTV, were inspired by the many recent marriage equality victories around the world.
“On one side of the planet this is absolutely normal,” they say matter-of-factly as they take each other’s hand. “In Russia — it’s not.”
The men start trolling the streets hand-in-hand and it doesn’t take long for them to realize how terrifying being openly LGBT in Russia actually is. Over the course of three minutes, the couple walks as they’re continuously heckled, called hurtful slurs and even physically slammed by passersby looking for a fight.
There are at least two instances where the men are physically assaulted. Toward the end of the video, an overly-aggressive man forcibly separates the two and menacingly pushes them across the sidewalk.
Check out the troubling video below.