Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Brave Russian Man Arrested As He Holds Up A Rainbow Pride Flag As The Olympic Torch Goes Through His Hometown of Voronezh, Russia

Pavel Lebedev being detained by an Olympic security person (this photo ran with the AP/USA Today story, with the byline: Andrei Nasonov)

The Associated Press and USA Today are reporting that:

MOSCOW (AP) — A gay Russian protester was detained on Saturday [Jan 18, 2014] for unfurling a rainbow flag during the Olympic torch relay as it passed through his hometown of Voronezh, 560 miles north of Sochi, where the games will begin Feb. 7.

This story makes me think so much about how we all need to stand up when injustices happen - like Russia's new law where Gay people can't be openly themselves and where Russian youth aren't supposed to know LGBTQ people exist.

There are petitions you can sign to protest Russia's laws and actions, like this one to the International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, and this one to Coca-Cola and all Olympic Sponsors.

You can also check out the Uprising of Love project (partnered with the It Gets Better Project and Google+) for discussions of what's going on in Russia, Athletes and LGBT Equality, LGBT youth and more!

I think the photo, of the security guy in his Olympic hat, holding Pavel who's clutching the Rainbow flag is powerful. Not a good publicity moment for Russia or the Olympics.

And I think each of us need to ask ourselves: In the same position, would I be as brave as Pavel?

I hope I would.


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