There is great concern about the draconian anti-gay and lesbian laws that have recently become law in Russia. With the upcoming Olympic games scheduled to be held there much of the focus is on how to use that occasion to register a protest. I don't mean to distract in any way from the efforts of the people focusing on that. However, I am dubious about the impact of any action coming from the west to change things in Russia.
I'd like to call attention to an article in The Guardian by a Russian lesbian writer.
In June, the "homosexual propaganda" bill became federal law. The Duma passed a ban on adoptions by same-sex couples and by single people living in countries where same-sex marriage is legal. The head of the parliamentary committee on the family pledged to create a mechanism for removing children from same-sex families.I think that a practical measure in which we gays and lesbians in the US and Western Europe can participate is a campaign to provide asylum and refuge to people such as Ms. Gessen. She clearly has the resources to make it happen for her family. Many others do not.
Two things happened to me the same month: I was beaten up in front of parliament for the first time and I realised that in all my interactions, including professional ones, I no longer felt I was perceived as a journalist first: I am now a person with a pink triangle.
My family is moving to New York. We have the money and documents needed to do that with relative ease – unlike thousands of other LGBT families and individuals in Russia.