Heroes of the Federation

It ain’t easy being gay (apologies for other members of the LGBT community for just using the term “gay” throughout this post. But listing all the groups each time wouldn’t scan well so I’m using as a catch-all term, apologies if this causes offence, it is not my attention and if there’s a better term that I can use in future let me know) over in Russia at the moment, with gay people being bullied, abused and Putin’s government cracking down on “promoting homosexuality”.

To see how bad it is, here’s an article on Buzzfeed from last year, be warned some of the images are pretty distressing.

They even had a problem with Austrian Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst.

Denmark Eurovison Song Contest

Anyway, with this level of oppression, persecution and violence it’d be understandable for the gay community and their supporters to just keep their head down and struggle through. But they haven’t and I’ve got immense respect for those who continue to campaign and protest for equality. I’ve written about my objections to persecution, but it’s one thing to sit at my keyboard banging away at bigotry and oppresion, would I be so brave if there was a chance of getting pepper sprayed or hit by a thug? I’d like to think I would, but I don’t know.

In Moscow on Saturday a small band of people held an unsanctioned gay pride parade. Shockingly, their requests for a proper parade are regularly turned down due to concerns over security, and that they lead to violence. Which is fair enough, but maybe the cops could just do their damn job and keep the anti-gay douches away from the protest?

russia gay

Whatever, the renegade parade went ahead and there was a bit of aggro from the anti-gay crowd, but they seem to have held their ground with signs and flags. They resisted the police presence who arrived to break it up, and two of them were arrested.

These included the woman below, rocking the Conchita look.

A protester with Conchita inspired facepaint is led away by two coppers, who don't look overly pleased with their lot (Photo by Evgeny Feldman)

A protester with Conchita inspired facepaint is led away by two coppers, who don’t look overly pleased with their lot (Photo by Evgeny Feldman)

As of the time of writing I hadn’t heard if the two people had been charged, but I hope they aren’t, and I salute their bravery in campaigning for equality and rights for all. They are true heroes.

Hopefully the tide will turn in Russia, and elsewhere, and gay people will achieve the freedoms and rights they’ve been denied.

Story here.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


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