Russia has become recently the focus of much deserved attention for its change in policy regarding US adoptions of Russian children, granting asylum to Edward Snowden, and the Russian government’s recent gay “propaganda” law and surging homophobia in the new Putin and Medeved era. At the New Republic, senior editor Julia Ioffe, who reported out of Moscow for three years, brings to light eight unsettling accounts of life for LGBT people in the new Russia. Read Ioffe’s accounts at the New Republic.
In 1988 Great Britain enacted section 28 that stated any local authority “shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality” or “promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptabilty of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship”. This legislation enraged well known comics author Alan Moore, himself in a non-traditional relationship with his wife and their girlfriend. Their response was to solicit writers and artists for stories responding to Section 28 which were published by Moore’s Mad Love in the AARGH anthology (Artists Against Rampant Government Homophobia). Moore also incorporated persecution of LGBT people as a theme in V For Vendetta.
Bars pouring out Russian vodka is a start. An out athlete winning gold or silver medals at the Winter Olympics in Sochi would be sweet irony, but would it change either attitudes or law in Russia? Will writers and artists have a similar creative response to rampant goverment endorsed homphobia in Russia as they did in Great Britain?