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LGBT people face discrimination and abuse in RussiaGetty

A gay man who reached out to a mental health helpline in Russia was called a "faggot" by an operator who then outed him on social media.

The man had called "FROG", a helpline based in St Petersburg for people dealing with mental health issues.

After explaining he was gay and needed support, the operator told him the helpline "isn't for faggots" and hung up on him.

The FROG website claims to provide 24-hour support. "If you want to talk, to understand yourself, if you need support and someone to listen to... Call! We help everyone!"

After the incident, the man reached out to the organisation's director, Alexander Bronshtein, to complain – but he was told the operator had done no wrong.

"You were told that [we] don't work with faggotry and then you were wished all the best. What was rude about this?" Bronshtein asked the man, arguing the Russian word "pedorastiya" – which translates to "faggotry" – was an acceptable term.

The man then reported the incidents to a support group for young LGBT Russians, Children 404.

Lena Klimova, the founder of the group, posted about the man's experience on the social media network VKontakte.

Bronshtein responded with a now-deleted post on the network. "We really don't treat people for faggotry and this caller was informed of that, and wished all the best," he wrote.

"Except you [Lena Klimova] erased his information for some reason, and left mine. If you're taking screenshots, then do a full screenshot. You don't need to hide your friend's name."

Bronshtein also posted screenshots of his conversation with the man, revealing his identity. The post has since been removed.

Anti-gay rhetoric and abuse is commonplace in Russia. In 2013, the country's national parliament, the State Duma, passed a federal law banning gay "propaganda", amid a Kremlin push to enshrine deeply conservative values.

A report published in the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta recently reported that gay men were being detained and tortured in prison camps for LGBT people.