A Canadian Family Sold Everything And Moved To Russia To Escape LGBTQ People — It Has Not Gone Well

"I'm ready to jump on a plane and get out of here," the mom of the family said just weeks into their new life.

man putting out for sale sign in front of house shironosov / Canva Pro

Many liberal Americans view Canada as a level-headed utopia — the easy availability of basic needs like healthcare certainly helps.

But our neighbor to the north is dealing with a lot of the same political turmoil and disinformation we're swamped with down here. And one family learned this the hard way.

A Canadian family moved to Russia to escape LGBTQ people — and it has been an absolute disaster.

If you've paid attention to politics in the last decade or so, you've surely heard about the massive disinformation and propaganda campaigns Russia and its allies have enacted in Western countries. You've probably also noticed that parts of the political right-wing have made adulating Russia (i.e., Tucker Carlson's recent fawning) and demonizing LGBTQ+ people central to their philosophy. 


Arend and Anneesa Feenstra, conservative Christian farmers from Canada, are right at the intersection of these two strains of right-wing propaganda. 

RELATED: Two Men Knew Exactly What Was Going To Happen To The Challenger Space Shuttle — But Their Warnings Were Ignored


The Feenstras are so afraid of LGBTQ+ people and so convinced of Russia's utopian moral rectitude that they moved eight of their nine children there. Their eldest is rumored to have stayed behind because he thinks his parents are nuts.

Russia, internationally renowned for its shocking human rights abuses against LGBTQ+ people, would seemingly be a perfect fit for the Feenstras. But just two weeks into their new life, it became an utter disaster, and now they're desperate to leave.

The family sold their farm and everything they owned to move to Russia with their eight kids.

"Canada is not the same country it used to be," Arend Feenstra said in an interview, "and we didn't feel safe for our children there in the future anymore."

This is because he sees LGBTQ+ people and liberals as threatening. "There's a lot of left-wing ideology, LGBTQ, trans — just a lot of things that we don't agree with that they teach there now, and we wanted to get away from that for our children."


Arend is also sick and tired of "the woke movement" in Canada giving all the jobs to "colored" people and "minorities," he told pro-Russian YouTuber A Russian Opinion, who assured Feenstra that Russia would appreciate his "positivity" and desire to contribute to Russian society.

The Russian government has certainly been working to give that impression, positioning the country as a haven for conservatives like the Feenstras and even announcing plans to build a "migrant village" near Moscow for right-wingers sick and tired of Queer people having rights or whatever. 

The Feenstras answered that call, selling their sprawling farm and real estate business in Canada, along with everything they owned, and moving to the city of Nizhny Novgorod because "it looks a lot like where we're from."


RELATED: Mom Accused Of 'Outing' Her 15-Year-Old Son After She Saw Him 'Cuddling' With His Friend

They said they were assured by the government they'd be helped by Russian officials to find a plot of farmland and begin their new life. But that is not at all how things have actually gone.

Two weeks after arriving, the family had all of their assets frozen by Russian authorities and they're now unable to leave.

According to Russian state media, translated in the video below, the Feenstras' funds have been frozen because the large amount of money they brought to Russia, especially the massive donations they raised on their Countryside Acres YouTube channel, seemed suspicious to banking authorities.



This stands to reason since the vast majority of the people who are not part of President Vladimir Putin's oligarchy in Russia, which has a GDP smaller than the state of Texas, tend to live in extreme poverty


The Feenstras said the officials who promised to help the family find their farm have since disappeared, and since they speak no Russian and Russia does not require businesses to offer translation, they've had no luck getting information, let alone access to their money. 

In response to all this, the Feenstras took to their YouTube channel to vent their frustrations. "I'm very disappointed in this country at this point," Anneesa Feenstra said in a since-deleted video. "I'm ready to jump on a plane and get out of here. We've hit the first snag where you have to engage logic in this country and it's very, very frustrating."

That video clearly didn't go over well in Russia so the family replaced it with a groveling video entitled "WE ARE SORRY AND WILL DO BETTER!" in which the Feenstras apologize for their complaints and talk about how much they love Russia instead.

Even more revealing, the aforementioned Russian state media report seems at points to be openly mocking the family, implying that they will likely be deemed "foreign agents" and national security risks and hence unable to leave the country.


All those supposedly terrifying LGBTQ+ people being allowed to have rights and all the other supposedly awful parts of living in a "woke" Western liberal democracy are probably looking pretty darn good to the Feenstras about now.

Imagine being so homophobic, transphobic, and racist that you'd go to these lengths to get away from people whose existence ultimately has no impact on your life whatsoever. The grass is always greener, as the saying goes. And propaganda works.

RELATED: ChatGPT-Written Bible Verse On How Jesus Feels About Trans People Sparks Discussion About What The Bible Actually Says About Gender

John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.