I’ve never been the kind of person to pursue actors and performers to come out at any cost in order to win more support for the LGBT community. I believe as much good as it would do to have known faces of television, music and sports come out, so am I a strong believer of individual rights of each and every one of said people to decide when and how they will take such a step. I know that even though much has changed in these industries, there’s still a lot of stigma when it comes to someone coming out. What I’ve noticed before is that when an actor comes out he almost immediately ends up playing “gay roles” or just vanishes for a long-long time.
Now turning back to my main topic which Russia and of course my absolutely favorite character of Russian politics Vladimir Putin. I have been troubled by what has been going on in Russia ever since a law was passed which made it illegal to even say the word gay, that incriminates parents or even school teachers to teach about homosexuality, which leaves the door opened for the atrocities that have captured the medias’ attention perpetrated against the LGBT community in Russia. One such abhorring horror story that totally shook me was that of a young man Vladislav Tornovoi (23) who was with a group of friends drinking and celebrating Victoria Day (the end of WWII) was asked by one of his friends if he were gay to which he admitted he was. Subsequently he was attacked, beaten, raped by having his anus cut and beer bottles stuffed in his rectum and to finish him off they bashed his head by hitting him on the head with a 20 kg (44 pound) and than tried to set him on fire. There’s also the video of the 15 year old boy, who after going to a park thinking he was going to meet a man, is approached by a group of teenagers and harassed and pissed on. I watched the entire video and was in such a state of shock because I had flashbacks of what I had to endure while growing up. I couldn’t help but cry and felt a deep sense of rage. Homophobia is nothing new to me or countless others all around the world, but when the state, when parliament passes laws to help such hatred and make it legal to allow anyone-anyone to harass and even go so far as to kill another individual for being gay, lesbian or transgender, I cannot in good conscience keep quiet. When the president is more than eager to put his signature and let things “roll”.
My rage is not against one man [Putin], but it against an entire country, and though it may seem I’m generalizing let me remind you that the voices of supporters are so few and far in between that all you see is either silence or compliance in order and because of fear that you, yourself might be seen as gay and go through the same horrors. I’ve been through this countless times myself. My classmates would see me being harassed and cornered by bullies during reassess and they would do nothing about it. This is not about me though, this about a country which in just a few short months will host the Winter Olympics and has made it very difficult for anyone to visit the country. The law declares that it will not allow entry to the country to any individual that the border police deem/suspects they are gay. To this day there are mixed messages as how gay athletes, who will be competing from all around the world, will be treated and the Olympic Committee has yet to address the issue even after meeting with a substantial number of AllOut.org members.
As always, there are promises, there are words of reassurance by such committee they will take a very close look at the situation and take the appropriate measures to ensure everything is in order.
Everything is NOT in order, far from it and if the Olympics go as planned with all sponsors turning a blind eye it will validate a state which has turned into a police and oppressive regime. Berlin 1936 anyone???
The thing which enrages me the most is that during conversations or writings such as this one I mentioned Nazi Germany and the Olympics of 1939, people always go on the defense and offense by saying I cannot compare the two. HELL TO THE YEAH I can. There is no need for a podium where a little mustached man who killed millions upon millions of innocent people during his reign of terror, because that podium now will see the likes of an ex KGB, turned president, turned prime minister, turned president again who has Russia under his tight grip of endless thirst for power and the latest scapegoat is the LGBT community. It is such a criminal who must be sent to justice for crimes against humanity just as much as so many other leaders of the world, leaving or deceased.
I always wanted to visit Russia and now I cannot. I cannot see a wonderful country which has turned into a wide concentration camp of fear under the “law”. Which has seen its citizens put under such a burden where what you are can get you imprisoned and even killed. I cannot see a country ruled by Putin the Terrible. It is impossible for me to visit a country because I wouldn’t be allowed in to begin with.
In conclusion I salute Wentworth for coming out and speaking out as he did by refusing to travel to St. Petersburg, a city which not long ago made it illegal to even say the word “GAY” in public, yet wants international recognition for its International Film Festival and arts. How Wentworth would have been treated there? Would they have even mentioned he was gay? That remains a mystery we will never know.