Saturday, February 8, 2014

Real Gay Hate Russia; President's Message to Russia; Stephen Amell on Olympics

Real Gay Hate Russia

It gets harder to post these things each day, but they can't be ignored either. There is a British documentary out that allegedly tells the truth about what's really happening in Russia to LGBTI people. And it's not pretty. The article to which I'm linking mentions the Russian publicity machine in progress with the Olympic games and how they are toning things down for the sake of appearance, but let's not forget about the US publicity machine either. As it stands, the Olympics and money seem to be more important than human rights. Even more amazing, is how many don't know what's really happening.

Filmmakers aired Hunted on Channel 4 in Britain this week, just before the start of the Olympics in Russia, showing how they went inside the gangs that entrap LGBT people and then subject them to violent abuse. In one scene early in the film, attackers head to an LGBT film festival and cameras are along to record their particular brand of intimidation. It gets worse from there. Despite numerous stories out of Russia about intimidation, little has captured what it's like to live through it.

You can read more here about the documentary.

You can also watch a clip.

President's Message to Russia

At least President Obama has issued a statement about gays and Russia, and taken what some think is a strong stand.

The White House would not initially confirm nor deny that sending a delegation with openly gay athletes and policymakers was a direct message to Russia's government regarding the country's antigay laws. Now, however, President Obama says everyone's suspicions were spot-on.

“There is no doubt we wanted to make it very clear that we do not abide by discrimination in anything, including discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation,” Obama said Thursday to NBC News. “One of the wonderful things about the Olympics is that you are judged by your merit, how good you are regardless of where you come from, what you look like, who you love, and that I think is consistent with the spirit of the Olympics."

I'm not going to scream boycott with regard to the President. World leaders have to think clearly and rationally, and if emotions run too strong it's just not good for foreign policy. I get this, and I don't mind it in the least. So I think it's wonderful we have a President who will speak out this way, and make statements like this. We've had other Presidents who wouldn't comment at all.

What I don't get are the LGBTI people who didn't agree with a full boycott.

Read more here.

Stephen Amell on Olympics

Some TV stars are gaining respect and attention by vocally discussing the Russian Olympics on social media. Star of "Arrow," Stephen Amell, did this recently and gained 14,000 likes on a FB status update.

In a Facebook post discussing the popular CW superhero show Arrow going on break, leading man Stephen Amell announced that the program would take a "mini hiatus so people can grit their teeth and suffer through an Olympic games marred by homophobia and mediocre levels of public interest."

Even more interesting than his comment about homophobia is the one about mediocre levels of public interest. Could it be that we are not watching because of the homophobia in Russia? Or are the Olympics in general about as relevant as the old beauty pageants of the previous century? I'm not so sure there's a clear answer. But time will tell.

You can read more here, where you can follow Stephen Amell on FB.



2 comments:

Remembering Grace said...

I'm a huge fan of the Olympics, and I'm not watching this year. I sometimes feel like I'm talking to a wall, though...my posts on both Blogger and Tumblr on this issue are my least popular. On Twitter, I actually had someone ask me what I was talking about.

All I can do is keep talking about it. Staying silent is not an option.

ryan field said...

I agree. My own mother didn't know until I mentioned it to her today.