Showing posts with label Putin Anti LGBT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Putin Anti LGBT. Show all posts

July 11, 2018

The Message from Gay Fans Right in Moscow to Gay Russians "You Are Not Alone"

by Kit Ramgopal
Saying you are gay or anything about the gay community is considereed Gay “propaganda” and is banned in Russia, but that did not stop a group of soccer fans at the 2018 World Cup from promoting LGBTQ rights in Moscow with a subtle — yet colorful — protest.
Activists from Spain, the Netherlands, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia traveled to the Russian capital wearing their national jerseys, which conveniently create a rainbow pride flag when they line up side-by-side. The initiative, titled “The Hidden Flag,” was the brainchild of an ad agency from Spain called LOLA MullenLowe.
In a statement posted to, the agency said it was inspired to pursue the project to denounce Russia’s anti-gay policies — and it did so by using a decades-old symbol of LGBTQ pride.
“In the plain light of day, in front of the Russian authorities, Russian society and the whole world, we wave the flag with pride,” the group wrote.
“How?” the statement continued. “Using something that would never arouse anyone’s suspicions: football jerseys.”
The now-viral images show the group of six — who had never met before Moscow — chatting at a World War II memorial, listening to dimly lit live music next to a Lenin bust, relaxing by the subway under a mosaic of the Soviet writer Maxim Gorky and marching through security checkpoints in a rainbow line next to a policewoman clad in black.
Image: Gay rights activists, wearing soccer jerseys to form a rainbow flag, sit on a bench in the metro in Moscow
Gay rights activists, wearing soccer jerseys to form a rainbow flag, sit on a bench in Moscow's metro as they visit Russia during the World Cup.Javier Tles / Reuters

The motley crew of protesters included, from left to right, Marta Márquez (red jersey), president of an LGBTQ advocacy group in Spain; Eric Houter (orange), a straight man from the Netherlands participating in honor of his gay brother; Eloi Pierozan Junior (yellow), a marketing manager from a small town in Brazil; Guillermo León (green), a documentary filmmaker from Mexico; Vanesa Paola Ferrario (blue), an audiovisual editor from Argentina; and Mateo Fernández Gómez (purple), an advertising art director from Colombia.
Gómez said a friend called to tell him about the project, saying the organizers needed a gay Colombian to don the country’s purple jersey to complete the flag. Gómez said he agreed to participate because he thought it was “a really cool idea,” not because he had the urge to protest.
“I haven’t had to fight for my rights to be who I am,” he told NBC News, noting he has “grown up among accepting family and friends in Colombia.” 
When he arrived in Russia, however, he said everything changed.
“I experienced three days of anguish,” he said of the country’s lack of LGBTQ acceptance. “It was only three days for me, and I was freaking out.”
“You never see two girls holding hands or two guys having dinner together,” he added. “Even with the stupid amount of tourists in the city, you see nothing. You just walk around and get nervous, because you’re creating the gay flag, and gay propaganda is illegal in this country.”
Despite their colorful protest, Gómez said most of the passersby in Moscow didn’t even notice the rainbow jerseys’ LGBTQ significance. He said people took photos of them mainly because they were surprised to see competing fans hanging out.
Russia effectively silenced public displays of LGBTQ pride in 2013 by outlawing “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” to minors. Gay pride parade requests are repeatedly denied, and a number of LGBTQ activists have been convicted under the propaganda law.
Gómez, who has since left Moscow, said he had a message for LGBTQ Russians: “I want them to know they are not alone, and we will keep fighting from afar so that they will able to be free.”

May 12, 2018

Argentinian Sports Channel Makes Fun of Putin's Anti Gay Propaganda

As Russia gears up to host the World Cup this summer, an Argentine sports channel aired a TV commercial mocking President Vladimir Putin’s “gay propaganda” ban.
The ad TyC Sports launched Thursday addresses Putin’s draconian crackdown on gay “propaganda” with humor using double entendres, as the commercial shows soccer fans’ reactions over typical situations such as celebrating a goal or protesting a referee’s decision. “Mr. Putin, we found out that your country does not admit displays of love among men. So we are in trouble!” 
The commercial shows a man weeping over the farewell of a soccer player on TV, saying, “We come from a country where it’s normal to see a man cry over another man.”
The commercial adds that it’s normal to get the face of a soccer star like Diego Armando Maradona or Lionel Messi tattooed on a man’s chest. Referencing Putin again, the commercial underscores that, “Perhaps for tough men like you, it is hard to understand some love gestures … there’s nothing more exciting than to see a bunch of men jumping naked in the locker room,” as images simultaneously show a soccer team thunderously celebrating a match’s victory.
“Mr. Putin, if love among men is a disease for you, then we are very sick. And you know what? It’s contagious.” The commercial concludes by showing Messi scoring a goal during the 2014 World Cup.  
But hours after the release, controversy ensued. Several Argentines and pro-LGBT advocates have expressed their disgust on social media, calling the ad homophobic and insensitive. The TV commercial was taken down from the channel's Twitter and YouTube accounts.
"This is horrible and humilliating, and it's making fun of the persecution gays suffer in Russia. What's next, TyC Sports?," a Twitter user said.  
"Can you imagine the number of gay children and adolescents who are still in the closet and who will see how their family will laugh with the TyC Sports spot [which is] full of homophobic jokes? They don't have an idea how harmful these messages are on media, morons," another user wrote. 
TyC Sports is known for ads that contain political banter. As the channel announced the coverage of the continental soccer tournament Copa America Centenario in 2016—hosted by the United States at the time—the commercial showed tidbits of then-Republican candidate Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant comments during one of the GOP debates. In the ad, Trump was seen saying that the U.S. “is in serious trouble” because “we have people coming in through the border that are not people that we want [sic],” as footage of Argentine players descending from the plane appeared, in an apparent reference that the South American nation had a powerful team that could clinch the trophy.
As Trump said “these are total killers” and that are not the “sweet little people you think,” the commercial showed Argentine players scoring spectacular goals. In fact, Argentina defeated the U.S. in the tournament’s semifinals.
When Brazil hosted the World Cup in 2014, the channel released another TV ad using footage of Pope Francis, of Argentine origin himself, during his 2013 visit to Rio de Janeiro—where he was received euphorically. In the commercial, he could be seen saying, “Be the ones who lead! Go forward! Kick forward! The Pope is with you” as images of the Argentina national football team and overexcited fans emerged. The ad concluded, “If one Argentinean [in reference to Pope Francis] did this in Brazil, imagine 23 [in reference to the players].”
Moscow has faced protests over its anti-gay legislation, in the wake of popular sports events for which the country has served as hosts. During the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia passed legislation that prohibited gay pride parades or any demonstration of LGBT awareness, which prompted protests in the country and abroad.

The country’s anti-LGBT climate have prevented soccer fans from visiting the country this summer, according to SB Nation. Russian authorities are allowing people to bring rainbow flags during the tournament, adding that LGBT people won’t be targeted. However, advocacy groups are warning LGBT soccer fans about displaying love gestures such as holding hands, the website added. 


April 23, 2018

FIFA World Cup in Russia, in Defiance of Putin Will Set Up LGBT Safe House For The Games

 Arrested LGBT's Protesters are shoved into a police van for walking with the rainbow flag in a Moscow Street


An LGBT Pride House will open during this summer’s FIFA World Cup in Russia, in defiance of Vladimir Putin’s controversial anti-gay legislation.

According to Russian news service Fontanka, gay and lesbian visitors to soccer’s biggest tournament will be able to “find shelter” at the site, which will be set up in St. Petersburg, host city for both the first semifinal and the third-place playoff game.

In the summer of 2013, Russian president Putin pushed through a “gay propaganda” law that caused an international outcry and was criticized for severely affecting the rights of LGBT Russian citizens. Government officials, Putin himself, and – ahead of the World Cup – members of the Russian Football Union, have repeatedly stated that the law is merely intended to protect minors. 

However, violent attacks on members of the LGBT community continue in Russia. FARE, Europe’s leading anti-discrimination soccer network, will warn World Cup visitors of the dangers of publicly showing affection in Russian cities.

“(Our) guide will advise gay people to be cautious in any place which is not seen tobe welcoming to the LGBT community,” Piara Power, executive director of FARE, told the Guardian. 
In St. Petersburg, seen as the most European of Russian cities, there remains strong opposition to the local LGBT rights movement. One pro-LGBT rally was cancelled when a higher number of protestors than participants turned up.

Fans of Zenit St. Petersburg gained notoriety in 2012, issuing a decree demanding that the club’s hierarchy refrain from signing any gay or black players.

A recent survey commissioned by a betting website found that 39 per cent of Russians believe it is “likely or highly likely” that LGBT foreigners would be targeted for attacks during the tournament. Around 13 per cent of Russians are “irritated” by the presence of LGBT foreigners, per the survey.

Details for the Pride House, which will be run by prominent LGBT leaders from Russia, with international support, are still to be worked out, but the location will be organized without official government backing.

The tournament begins on June 14, with the final to be held in Moscow on July 15.

November 24, 2017

Why Men Like Trump and Putin Feel They Have to Oppress LGBT?

Masha Gessen explains why Trump, Putin target LGBT people

The Russian-American journalist and author draw parallels between attacks on minorities in Russia and the U.S.

Political leaders can employ a wide array of tactics for uniting people, including finding a common enemy. Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin are both prime examples of using the demonization approach to build up their domestic support, and Russian-American journalist and author Masha Gessen says their treatment of LGBT communities draws many parallels.

In an interview with "Salon Talks," Gessen said that Trump is “starting to target LGBT people because social change connected to LGBT rights is the most recent and most significant social change that we’ve seen in this country." As for Putin and the Russian public, she says “most Russians believe they’ve never met an LGBT person in their lives. Also, they immediately see LGBT people as 'other,' lending to the success of singling the group out as a 'problem.'" 

Gessen’s new book, “The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia,” explores the question of why, after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russians embraced a leader like Putin instead of going down a more Democratic path. There is no simple or singular answer, and Gessen weaves the lives of seven different people together to dive into the recent history and the lingering effects of the Soviet system.

One of the younger Russians she profiles is a gay man named Lyosha who headed a gender studies program at a university in Perm but eventually ran into the institutional suppression of this topic and is now one of many LGBT refugees living in New York. In recent years, Russia had passed legislation banning the spread of “propaganda for non-traditional sexual relations” to minors, and LGBT hates crimes have doubled. 

Gessen argues that both Putin and Trump hearken back to an imaginary past where people felt more comfortable without “irritants” like the issue of LGBT equality. To hear more on her comparisons of Trump and Putin, watch the video above.

“The Future is History” is a National Book Award winner and provides a depressing and eye-opening look at modern-day Russian society and how it’s been shaped by the intellectual vacuum left by the Soviet system. Gessen also documents recent political activism and how it’s been cracked down upon in Putin’s Russia.

To hear the full conversation and learn why Gessen has chosen the terms “Totalitarianism” and “mafia state” to describe Russia today, watch the interview here.

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