There is a book ot called Gay Propaganda and it is a collection of original stories, interviews and testimonies in English and Russian. It is an anthology designed to capture the lives of the GLBT in Russia both at home and indeed in exile. It is a provacative look into the life and the love of of the GLBT and it is set to be released prior to the Sochi Olympics in 2014.
All “good” people need a bogeyman to fight against. Someone who you can unite behind unquestionable hate. Sure you may disagree with your neighbour over taxation bands and how that money is spent on healthcare but both of you can agree that those homosexuals are evil and have it coming to them.
This was the case for Indians, Blacks and Jews too at one point.
At the cost of the GLBT, Putin’s ruling party declaring a ban on any and all “gay propaganda”. I myself am unaware of the value of gay propaganda. I assume it’s shirtless guys in speedos and the physique to go with it but so far such has not tempted me to Gay Side. Maybe I was tempted to the Lesbian side? Clearly my sexual attraction to women was caused by lesbian propaganda.
But this in effect made it illegal to protect the GLBT and allowed free reign for those who hated the GLBT to run riot. Unopposed attacks on the GLBT increased even resulting in shootings and murder. The GLBT cannot demonstrate solidarity as it would be considered as an excuse to arrest them or even attack them. The Russian Duma is as we speak considering taking the children away from GLBT parents.
I like Stephen Fry and other various British people am appalled by the lack of progressive values being demonstrated by Russia and think that the Olympic ideal is tarnished by letting Russian hold an Olympic event in the modern era. I think unlike Stephen Fry that we should go to the Olympics and march under the GLBT flag and those athletes willing to make their stance clear should clearly and openly support the GLBT. For many a young athlete the Olympics represents the highlight of a career and to miss it is just too hard.
However we must have principles as must our young men and women who compete. Why? You say. What is it to you? We have to make a living too.
Would you make your living at the cost of your fellow man? Be he black or white? Be he male or female? No.
Then why must we lack said principles when it comes to the GLBT? And for those who say that such actions would bring the Olympics into disrepute then I am afraid they haven’t noticed that the Olympics are already in disrepute when we ignore the Russian stance on the GLBT. The Sochi Olympics are already a travesty, fighting against it sticks to the original spirit of the Olympics.
At a time of great racism the Olympics let Jesse Owens run. I heard he was quite “pleased” to meet Hitler. Why for that short time Nazi Germany treated a black man better than the Free USA. Jesse probably didn’t think much of the Nazis but here for that one small period he was treated better than he would have been at home. The term freedom used by the USA at that point meant nothing. Jesse Owens could party with other athletes in Germany but in the USA? He was not allowed despite being the “star”. The Olympics let him stand tall and helped create a generation of young black sportsmen who followed in his footsteps. The Olympics claimed that it had grown from that tragic era into one of progressive values.
This is a jump backwards and a slap in the face of all the values that the Olympics claims to have been champions of.
Today the Olympics committee should have been a more enlightened “mob”. Instead it kowtowed before profit rather than principle. Then why have the 5 rings? Why have the olympic ideal? Why have any of that? Why not call it “World Games”. Why not do away with such ideals. Why not make a stand?
So we have an exerpt from the book. For those who want to purchase the book? Link’s here.
Elvina Yuvakaeva is co-president of the Russian LGBT Sport Federation, a volunteer position she dedicates ample time to when not working full-time as a marketing manager at a small engineering firm in Moscow. In the fall of 2013, Elvina toured the US to promote the upcoming inaugural ‘Open Games’ in Moscow, an LGBT sports competition scheduled for the week after the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Interestingly, Elvina traveled with an official delegation from the Sochi organizing committee, meeting with people in Atlanta and Salt Lake City, former Olympic cities, to discuss sponsorships, licensing, and the nitty gritty of pulling together a major global sporting event. “In our first dinner here, these official Russian government guys asked me who I was and what I was doing here. Obviously I surprised them a little bit, but by the end of the trip, some them actually told me I’d opened their eyes. It was unexpected.” —Joseph Huff-Hannon
On the one hand it’s bad, this new law. On the other hand the government has started to talk about us, and they’ve pushed our activists to go out and do something. I know a lot of people, they never really thought about gay rights, some of them were homophobic. But I’ve seen them change their minds, say it’s no business of the government to tell people how to live their lives. I think we’re exactly in one of those moments, where when you look back at it 25 or 30 years from now, you see it’s when the fight really began.
Being a lesbian in Russia is easier than being gay, people are less bothered. I have a good example: In the Federation of Gay Games, the international organization we’re affiliated with, the board members are mostly men. But in Russia our board is mostly women. Women are more ready to be open than men.
My girlfriend Yelena and I are both from St. Petersburg, but we never met there. We both moved to Moscow, had some friends in common. This December is our five year anniversary. We live together as a family, we live in one home, we have one budget, like a family.
To be honest she’s not my type. But when we first met there was some kind of electricity between us; after our third or fourth date, we were already in a relationship. I knew I had fallen in love with her in the first few weeks we met. We didn’t explain it to each other, we just recognized it, and we moved in with each other in three months.
How to say this, she knows what’s true and what’s false. She sees in black and white, she doesn’t have grey colors. I really like this, even though it’s hard. We’re totally opposite people. She’s a very organized person, prepares her schedule weeks in advance. If something happens on our way to the airport, for example, it’s not a big deal to me, I’ll figure something out, but she gets stressed out. The main thing is I can rely on her. I feel her support. I miss her, a lot.
When we first started talking about having kids, this new law to take kids away from gay couples hadn’t been discussed yet. Yelena was actually in the process, and we have friends who are expecting at this moment. But now… well, we’ll see.