Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Gay Mountain or My Big Fat Gay Winter Olympics
(Sorry, this is a bit of a rant)

I've been wanting to write something addressing the whole issue of LGBT rights in Russia for a while now, especially after watching the Channel 4 Dispatches documentary Hunted, which followed the plight of gay Russians being hunted down, beaten and humiliated by anti-gay militia groups. It was horrendous to watch, made me feel seriously uncomfortable and made me realise just how lucky we are in the UK to have such freedom to live our lives the way we want to without fear of persecution. Okay, there are always going to be those small groups of closed minded individuals who are out to hurt minority groups but for the main part, the LGBT community in the UK have it good. 

But that's not what I want to write about. I want to write about Russia. I think that what's happening in Russia probably wouldn't have garnered such huge attention if it weren't for the Sochi Winter Olympics. I'm unsure of my opinion on whether a country with such dangerous attitudes towards homosexuality should be allowed to host such an important international event and I can certainly understand why certain gay athletes have decided to boycott the event. I think I probably would if I was a gay athlete. I think my main issue is that the Winter Olympics is providing such a corrupt government with a huge amount of money right now. And there's the concern that once the Winter Olympics are over and the world's attention is no longer fixated on Putin's law which prohibits the "propaganda of non traditional sexual relationships to minors", that Russia's gay community will slip out of public consciousness and things could potentially get much, much worse.

But then again, with America refusing to send the current President, his First Lady or even a past President to the Winter games for the first time in well forever, as well as many European countries failing to send their President or Prime Minister, could the world manage to make a stand strong enough to get through to Putin? And let's not forget the power of advertising.

In America, several of the Olympic sponsors have put out ads featuring gay couples. Chevrolet, for example, featured a gay couple with a son and daughter in an ad titled "The New Us"
And of course, our very own Channel 4 has released the "Gay Mountain" advert which had me staring at the screen in open-mouthed wonder when I first saw it. And is it just coincidence or did they purposely have the DJ resemble Putin??

Anyway, I apologise for this somewhat rambling, disjointed rant of a post but there were just a few thoughts I wanted to get out into the blogosphere. If any of you have anything to add don't hesitate to leave a comment :)


  1. I think it's absolutely ridiculous that Russia are so against people being gay. I'm actually disgusted at some of the things I've read/seen about the situation. I'd definitely be boycotting as well in the hope that they might start rethinking things... doubtful though xx

    D Is For...

  2. Sadly Russia isn't the only country that have laws against homosexuality - (you might find this BBC map useful bbc.co.uk/news/world-25927595) and people seem to be missing that alot. I mean - you can get imprisoned for it in Egypt but people still go on holiday there. Also there is wide support in Russia for their anti gay laws - while i'm not saying this is right - it is the will of the people not just Putin if we go by statistics.

    As for boycotting the games - I don't think that is the way to go, the athletes don't have a say where the games are held and they still are worthy of support.

    And to be honest, a Chevy advertisement isn't going to be effecting or changing the mind of Putin or anyone who is anti-gay.

  3. You make some good points. A couple of years ago, while deciding on a destination for our holiday, my girlfriend and I had to rule out so many countries because it would just be too plain difficult for us. Egypt was one of them.


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