Masha Gessen was born in Russia in 1967, and forced to leave in 1981 by state-enforced anti-Semitism. After working as a writer and editor on magazines including The Advocate and Outweek in the United States, she returned to Moscow in 1994. She is now staff writer on the magazine Itogi and political columnist for the journal Matador. She is a contributing editor to the American magazine Lingua Franca and writes regularly on Russia for the New Republic and the New Statesman. She edited and translated an anthology of contemporary Russian women's fiction and was a contributing editor to Long Road to Freedom: The Advocate History of the Gay and Lesbian Movement.