Sunday, 28 July 2013

Helping GBLT People in Russia

A series of homophobic laws in Russia – which I’ve mentioned in my Bad News Lists – have predictably lead to a rise in homophobic hatred in the country, which already had pretty high levels.

There are currently many protest methods going on – including boycotting Russian vodka (which I approve of, especially since the CEOs of these companies can’t seem to tell the difference between “support” and “marketing to”) and boycotting the Winter Olympics which I will definitely be doing. The point of a boycott is not just about the money, it’s about sending a message of fury, of refusing to be associated with anything so vile.

Of course, we know the Olympics Committee don’t give a damn – and they seem quite satisfied with Russia’s delay on their persecution while the athletes are present – because that’s totally ok, right!? I don’t expect better- we’ve seen the same response from Fifa over Qatar and Russia. International sporting bodies barely give lip service to being against bigotry – and both Fifa and the IOC has made it clear that they’re happy to support bigotry and the torture and murder of gay people. Professional sports remain a font of homophobic bigotry.

But while I support the boycotts I would also urge people to do something concrete to help the beleaguered GBLT people of Russia, especially since we know straight people have a track record of making excuses for why they’re allies but their need for sports/chicken/film/football/whatever is just TOO MUCH.

A Russian GBLT organisation, Coming Out St. Petersburg, has being legally attacked by the Russia government, declaring them to be foreign agents to try and shut them down. They need help. They need money.

Another GBLT org: Lesbiru, is also desperate for donations.

I encourage people to boycott – but if you have the resources, these people need your donations more. We need to put our money behind them.