Russian situation in schools and for LGBT youth deteriorates
So-called immoral behavior
The Russian situation of LGBT teenagers and of LGBT teachers has further been threatened in recent months. In December, a lesbian teacher was fired after accusations of so-called immoral action by a homophobic activist. In January, the founder of the LGBT youth website Children 404 was convicted of propaganda for non-traditional relations.
On January 23, journalist Elena Klimova, the founder of the online LGBT youth support group Chrildren 404 (http://deti-404.com/) was convicted of propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations among minors. In 2013, Vitaly Milonov (the main author of the anti-LGBT law in St. Petersburg that became the basis for the national legislation) filed an official complaint against Children 404. However, that case was dismissed in February 2014. Despite this, Roskomnadzor (Russias state agency for media oversight) opened a new case against Klimova in November. Roskomnadzor charged that Children 404 could cause children to think that to be gay means to be a person who is brave, strong, confident, persistent, who has a sense of dignity and self-respect. Obviously the media institute meant that LGBT children are cowards, weak, insecure, lacks and without dignity but did not want to appear to be so abusive of children. Last month, Judge Lyudmila Pedan refused to postpone the January 23 hearing, even though Klimovas lawyer could not attend the hearing for medical reasons. The magistrates decision violated the Russian Constitution, which guarantees the basic right to qualified legal assistance. The judge declared Elena Klimova guilty of propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations among minors, and fined her 50,000 rubles (approximately $750 US). Klimova plans to appeal the sentence.
Campaign against dissenters labelled as foreign agents
The conviction of Children 404 and the hunt for LGBT teachers are part of the accelerating campaign by bot the government and fascist gangs against independent voices in Russia, in including nongovernmental organizations, journalists, social media, and teachers that do not fit the ultra/orthodox view. In 2012 the Duma adopted a law requiring NGOs that accept funding from abroad to register as foreign agents. In January the Duma approved the first reading of new legislation banning undesirable foreign organizations altogether.
Email address for Russian Consulate: firstname.lastname@example.org
Shades of Mary Whitehouse and her moral indignation come to mind when I read this article.
Constance Mary Whitehouse, CBE (née Hutcheson, 13 June 1910 – 23 November 2001) was an English social activist known for her strong opposition to social liberalism and the mainstream British media, both of which she accused of encouraging a more permissive society. She was the founder and first president of the National Viewers’ and Listeners’ Association, through which she led a longstanding campaign against the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). A staunch social conservative, she was disparagingly termed a reactionary by her socially liberal opponents. Her motivation derived from her traditional Christian beliefs, her aversion to the rapid social and political changes in British society of the 1960s and her work as a teacher of sex education.
Now ‘Meet the Russian who has had over 30 teachers fired for being gay’
A music teacher who worked with disabled children in St Petersburg was fired for being gay this month, the latest in a long line of educators who have become victims of Russia’s ‘gay propaganda’ law.
Anastasia (not her real name) was called into the principal’s office on 8 December. She was told that pictures of her hugging her girlfriend had been forwarded to the school and a demand she be fired for ‘immoral behavior’.
The pictures and demand was also sent to local government officials.
‘You belong with gay people,’ the teacher was told. ‘You are not allowed to work with children.’
This was another ‘win’ for Timur Isaev, a man who boasts he has had over 30 teachers fired for being gay.
Among his other victims include Ilya Kolmanovsky, an award-winning biology teacher at a top public school, who was fired in January.
‘I have been fired from the school where I worked for seven years,’ he wrote on Facebook.
‘My opponents found about me and my school and sent complaints to the administration, and on Monday the principal told me he is firing me to save the school.’
‘I don’t blame the principal,’ he added. ‘He knows better who is dealing with.’
Isaev does not hide the fact he is helping teachers get fired. On his VK page, it reads: ‘Russia – It’s hell for gays, let them get used to it!’
‘If people are unhealthy and have psychiatric abnormalities such as being a lesbian, then it is clear the law states they are unacceptable for doing this type of work,’ he says.
‘Homosexuality is not normal,’ he told Meduza. ‘It is a disease that is treated with hormone therapy.’
He is now working to fire other teachers, making sure no other LGBTI person ‘influences’ a child.
The nationwide ‘gay propaganda’ law was enforced in Russia in June 2013.
– See more at: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/meet-russian-who-has-had-over-30-teachers-fired-being-gay261214#sthash.9eithlYN.dpuf
With a small amount of research I have discovered that since 1900, one hundred and fourteen years in total, there have only been 24 (twenty-four) sports people in the British Isles who have been our or come out as gay.
So why don’t sportsmen and sportswomen ‘come out’ if they are gay? Of course there is no reason why someone has to announce they are gay, there is no law, no contract (indeed there may even be contracts preventing it); but, with so few sportsmen and sportswomen visible who are gay, then those growing up don’t have positive role models to aspire to. It also enables the continuing stigmatisation of the LGBT community.
John Amaechi, the British basketballer said ‘…people have a misconception that time will automatically bring progress and that homophobia is in the decline … if you’re associated with a word that has so many pejorative connotations – ‘gay’ regularly used to mean bad, weak, wrong, sinful – it’s going to affect you’
History has shown that gay women in sports are more routinely accepted than men; but even they have been the target of bullying on and off the field, in society and in the media.
Gay men in sports are stigmatised more because being a sportsman means you are rough, tough and a ladiesman. If you are gay you can’t be a great sportsman.
Secondly, all spo0rtsmen and sportswomen depend on sponsorship, and the sponsors have not necessarily bee supportive of equality and freedom for LGBT athletes.
As I referred to at the start of this article, there are 24 noted sportsmen and sportswomen:
- 4 in the 1990s
- 5 in the 2000s
- 6 so far in the 2010s
Hopefully the tide is turning and society is more accepting, also the establishment which controls the laws and the purse strings of so much sponsorship.
What will be even more interesting is to watch and review the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia during and after the event in relationship to both the athletes who are LGBT and who go there and perform, and also for the local LGBT groups and individuals who are suffering persecution through the new laws and trumped charges and arrests.
Premier Putin’s homophobia has been shown up repeatedly, and the Mayor of Sochi (Anatoly Pakhomov) would seem to be equally homophobic ( or is he just securing his political position?) – his latest speech stating that there are no gays living in Sochi only further highlight’s Russia’s perilous states for LGBT people.
Boys Town Studios, Gay Porn Company, To Donate Profits To LGBT Charities
First published in the The Huffington Post | By James Nichols Posted: 08/16/2013 12:05 pm EDT | Updated: 08/16/2013 12:10 pm EDT
Boys Town Studios, an all-male porn company with a charity-based philosophy, will launch this fall as a branch of Monarchy Distribution. All of the profits made from projects by this studio will go to support the advancement of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights.
“100 percent of the profits from all these movies, including DVD sales, video-on-demand, cable and broadcast will be donated to our newly-created non-profit,” said Mike Kulich, owner of Monarchy Distribution, in a statement sent to the Huffington Post.
“Anyone will be able to write Boys Town Studios and tell their stories about how bigotry and homophobia has affected their lives, and we will step into help those victims as much as we can.”
Kulich also highlighted that the profits from the studio’s first film will go towards helping gay Russian refugees, in an effort to subsidize the cost of their relocation as they seek asylum in other countries in the wake of the country’s extreme anti-LGBT violence and legislation.
The studio plans to release two films per month, with the first film, titled “Deep In The Dark,” slated to premiere this October.
([Edited] out-take from upstart Vol 3, No. 1., March ’91)
(Whether this demonstrated arrogance or naivety – or is just journalism of interest to our readership (all three of them) – in a sub-provincial publication is up to the reader…)
Over the years from Gorbachev’s taking office in the USSR the official policy of glasnost or ‘openness’ has led to a situation where Gay people have come out in a quite unprecedented way. Even in the 1920s and ’30s Gay people were fairly cautious about proclaiming their sexuality in the Soviet Republic.
Today the situation is different, there are open groups in Leningrad [(now St. Petersburg – though the authorities hedged their bets by allowing the surrounding area, (it’s the size of Ireland), to remain ‘Leningrad’). The citizens of ‘St Petersburg’ want it to return to the name Leningrad. A demonstration by elders in the early 1990s, objecting to the name change, carried banners pointing out that they had defended ‘Leningrad’ during one of world-history’s greatest sieges. Citizens of Tsaritsyn, (formerly the drearily named ‘Volgograd’), have taken much the same line – they fought, starved and died defending ‘Stalingrad’. – upstart 2013] and Moscow. Moscow has a magazine called Tema. There was conference on homosexuality in Tallin, Estonia during summer 1990. There are probably other manifestations of “out” behaviour of which we are not aware.
Tema‘s editor Roman Kalinin who is also the founder of the Moscow Gay and Lesbian Union, and ten other people were summoned to a police barracks on December 17. They were accused of engaging in anal sex, which means a five year sentence in a prison camp. They were also accused of using — gasp — drugs.
The dear old RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary [now PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) – upstart 2013]) used this excuse to arrest Gay people in 1977. The police-crater’s mind is a wonderful thing to behold. These charges have been dropped because Kalinin demanded to know how the police were going to prove them. Roman Kalinin was interviewed in a big circulation magazine about AIDS and HIV, apparently an “unbelievable” number of letters came in after this. Ordinary Soviet citizens are very worried about The Plague. Kalinin is now homeless because his landlord found out he was Gay and an activist – no doubt the KGB noised the latter fact abroad.
In Leningrad things are somewhat worse. Olga Zhuk, founded the Tchaikovsky Foundation for Cultural Initiatives and Defence of Sexual Minorities. Named after the composer, it thereby, in itself, exposes some myth making by the Russian Soviet Establishment. The Foundation and Olga have been harassed over the past few months, the KGB have now arrested Olga.
She has been arrested under Article 121.1 of the criminal law Code. This Article deals only with sexual acts between men.
Olga Zhuk was also accused of “gathering groups of criminals”. This harass-ment and arrest were the result of a meeting with the City Council, which refused to recognise the Foundation.
A Moscovite activist, Alexander Lukeshev, editor of the independent journal New Life, has been murdered. Possibly the KGB, but the racist group Pamyat, one of whose intellectuals Valentin Rasputin was seen on C4’s The Media Show last month (February 1991 – upstart 2013) describing Gays as “less that vermin”, would seem to be likely candidates too. Anyone who has been a guest of Her Majesty, or of The Nation must realise that keeping contacts with the outside world is very important. Isolated prisoners can be harassed and even killed in large prisons. So far as Gay women and men are concerned the USSR is a giant prison. That society appears to be falling apart means that isolated communities like the Gay community, which is only just emerging, are in danger of their liberties and even their lives.
[There followed a number of names and addresses of Soviet nomenclatura, which is no longer relevant. No doubt many of them found cosy billets in the States which seceded from the Union – all 16 of them – the largest being Russia – the ‘Russian Federation’. The RF is what was the RSFSR (Russian Soviet Federal Socialist Republic). The ‘Federation’ is due to the fact that a number of ‘ethnic’ Republics operate within the territory. Some Republics are more independent than others, the Buddhist Komi Republic, has embraced capitalism with eye-watering vigour, while Tataristan hasn’t given up on Soviet values. Tataristan is Muslim in culture. The most famous citizen of Tataristan (the erstwhile Tatar Autonomous Soviet Republic) is [was – upstart 2013] Rudolf (his Mam was a fan of Valentino) Nurey[ev]. He was a great ballet performer. Whether he was as unambiguously a boon to ballet in ‘the West’ is despite excitable (non-dance) journalists’ scribblings a matter for debate. (This is not to say that he wasn’t a great performer, who excited audiences, even ones anæsthetised by the effect of television in telly’s ‘goldfish bowl’ days).]