Sunday, August 11, 2013

Gay Parents Flee Russia; Gay Russian Teens; Growing up Gay in Russia

Gay Parents Flee Russia

The things that are happening right now in Russia to LGBT people aren't getting any better. The article to which I'm linking puts many things into perspective with LGBT people who have children. We're fighting for marriage and that hasn't been simple, but they're fighting for their lives.

Two things happened to me the same month: I was beaten up in front of parliament for the first time and I realised that in all my interactions, including professional ones, I no longer felt I was perceived as a journalist first: I am now a person with a pink triangle.

My family is moving to New York. We have the money and documents needed to do that with relative ease – unlike thousands of other LGBT families and individuals in Russia.

But what is happening to all gays in Russia is just as bad, and we all need to pay more attention to this and start talking about it.

Gay Russian Teens

This is even worse. And it shows the magnitude of how gays in Russia can't be open about themselves and why they have to remain in the closet. 

Only one person knew that Svetlana was gay when she wrote to Deti-404, a Russian support group for lesbian teenagers. In her letter, the 16-year-old described a life of hiding her sexuality in a small town in central Russia where a man had been killed for being a homosexual. "I am scared that they will find out about me and lynch me. Sometimes I want to cry out: 'Accept me for who I am! Or at least be tolerant of me'," she wrote.

It's an emotional article that reads a lot like a WWII history book about Nazi Germany.

Born Gay in Russia

According to this article dated 8/9/13, President Obama doesn't think we should call for a boycott with the Olympics in Russia just because of the anti-gay laws. I wonder how he would react if they began to enforce anti-African descent laws just like the anti-gay laws in Russia. It shouldn't really make a difference and I'm just throwing out that analogy for the sake of argument. All discrimination of any kind is despicable, especially when it involves the kind of suppression going on in Russia right now with gays. But this is basically what the President said:

US President Barack Obama said on Friday he did not consider it "appropriate" to boycott the Winter Olympics over the gay rights issue.

Instead he hoped gay and lesbian athletes would do well at the games.

"One of the things I'm really looking forward to is maybe some gay and lesbian athletes bringing home the gold or silver or bronze, which would, I think, go a long way in rejecting the kind of attitudes that we're seeing there," he said.

This article goes into more detail about Obama's stand on this issue...if you could actually call it a stand.

This doesn't surprise me. Most world leaders ignored what happened in Nazi Germany before WWII, and they waited until it was far too late. What does surprise me is that Obama would be so cautious about this issue when so many LGBT American helped get him into office. In other words, if every single gay American had supported Hillary Clinton for President in 2008, like I did, we would have had the first woman President in the history of the US. Of course I don't know how Hillary would have reacted to what's happening in Russia right now. But it's pointless to speculate on that because Obama is the President and she's not.

This is what it's like to be born gay in Russia,and grow up gay there:

It's hard to pinpoint an exact day when I felt a shift in my consciousness, the realization that I did not want to spend the rest of my life in that country, in that culture. The closest to such an event was a history lesson on the Holocaust. When my teacher brought up Nazi camps, students started to heckle her, saying things like, "Hitler should have finished the job." Before I knew it, the entire class was chanting, "Kill kikes!" and pounding their fists on their desks. I stared at them, terrified. Adidas track suits, leather jackets, and gold crosses had replaced the Communist uniforms, but the other kids still had the same glassy look in their eyes, the same frenzied anger, and the same impulse to be a monolithic, unquestioning lynch mob.

I mentioned Nazi Germany earlier in this post. I had not read this particular article yet.















2 comments:

Remembering Grace said...

Thank you so much for all the links...especially the article by Wes Hurley.

I published a link on my own blog a few days ago which led back to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and explained the the Responsibility To Protect (R2P) Program. The UN came up with the idea in 2005 and just released a new report this year. The idea is to stop genocides before they occur.

I don't understand why the President isn't taking a harder look at this.

http://www.ushmm.org/genocide/r2p/2013/

ryan field said...

Unfortunately, politics plays a huge part on these things, and the President is doing what all politicians before him have done in situations like this: he's playing it safe. I expected more from him, but it is what it is.