Everyone's talking about Russia these days! But with all this cloak and dagger stuff in the news, there's one horrifying reality that has a tendency to get lost...
It really fucking sucks being gay there.
"Gay propaganda" is illegal there. A law passed in 2013 made distributing gay material or "equating gay and straight relationships" illegal.
That law has essentially silenced gay people in Russia.
Read this. Tanya Cooper from Human Rights Watch told Al Jazeera:
"Before the gay propaganda law, LGBT people would not have been openly attacked in broad daylight ... but now they don't feel safe on the streets or even talking to people online."
Groups of people lure gay men online into real-life situations just so they can humiliate and publicly shame them. Read this from Al Jazeera:
A vigilante group called Occupy Paedophilia has gained infamy for using Russian social media to connect with gay men and lure them into traps, attacking and humiliating them on camera then posting the videos online, where they are shared and "liked."
Those are the basics. Now let's look at some pictures because visuals are better.
This is a picture of a pride parade in St. Petersburg in 2013.
It was overrun by anti-gay protestors.
And things got bad.
Like real bad.
We're talking smoke bombs.
People being tackled.
People being punched.
And while these photos are from four years ago, things haven't really changed.
Now let's talk about modern day Chechnya. For those who don't know, Chechnya is a republic of Russia.
The Chechen government is being accused of rounding up gay people and killing them. It's being reported that 100 gay people have disappeared and another three have been killed.
The Chechen government has responded by saying that this can't possibly be true because there are no gay people in Chechnya...
A spokesman for the Chechen president reportedly said, "You cannot arrest or repress people who just don’t exist in the republic.”
Yes, that is a real quote.
And lastly, while this is obviously less awful, this week it's being reported that images of Vladimir Putin as a gay clown (lol) are banned in Russia. The image has been regarded as "extremism."
1. In Russia, it's illegal to have gay pride parades.
2. "Gay propaganda" (which, like, means what?) is also illegal there.
3. In the Russian republic of Chechnya, gay people are maybe being rounded up and killed.
4. It's seen as "extremism" to make Putin a gay clown.
5. They hate "Beauty & The Beast"!
While the FBI tries to figure out whatever sketchy secret stuff Russia is up to, here's some horrifying shit that's RIGHT OUT IN THE OPEN. It REALLY, really fucking sucks being gay there.