LGBT is RIP back in the USSR
One of the most telling features of the recent U.S. presidential elections was that gay marriage was banned by voters in referendums in several states by the same margin that Barack Obama was elected — in other words, these socially conservative measures were enacted by Obama voters. If you add on top of that how surprisingly well John McCain did, and the extent to which Obama voters were motivated by frenzied hatred of George Bush rather than rationally-based respect for their own candidate and his qualifications, you begin to see that Obama’s support isn’t really as wide and deep as some might like to imagine.
But if LGBT partisans think they have it bad in the United States, they should cast their glance across the Atlantic (or, for that matter, the Pacific) and take a look at Russia. It will make them feel much better, as virtually any comparison to Russia almost always has that effect on those lucky enough to be living someplace else. And maybe, must maybe, it will make them want to start acting in political solidarity with their oppressed brothers and sisters behind the new Iron Curtain.
In a feature entitled “Closeted Russia,” the In These Times website tells the tale. It quotes Kevin Moss, editor of the anthology Out of the Blue: Russia’s Hidden Gay Literature: “It’s strange. Before, you could almost understand the secrecy, and yet now, even with all the contact Russia has with the West, gay people just aren’t out.” That’s because, in fact, Russia has far less “contact” with the West and its values than most people know, or care to admit.
ITT offers a telling anecdote on Russia’s neo-Soviet barbarism:
When Irina Sergeeva first ventured outside her native Russia, she was struck by the contrast between gay culture at home and in Western cities like New York. There aren’t a lot of places for gays in Russia beyond bars and clubs that dot its big cities, she says: “If you don’t want to drink beer or alcohol, there’s nowhere to go.” For years, Sergeeva, along with Ksenia Zemskaya and Manny de Guerre, tried to think of ways to enrich the lives of gay people in Russia. Finally, in 2007, they decided to organize a film festival — though they had no experience with organizing. Bok o Bok (or “Side by Side”), Russia’s first international lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) film festival, was scheduled for Oct. 2 to 5 in St. Petersburg. Organizers anticipated 3,000 to 4,000 attendees. But on the morning of Oct. 2, the St. Petersburg fire department — citing code violations — closed the venues where the event was to take place. “We have partners, we pay taxes, we are whole people,” says Zemskaya. “But most gay Russians don’t have a vision of themselves in the future.”
That makes them just like most other Russians, heterosexual nor not. What does it say about Russians’ “vision of themeslves in the future” that they choose to be governed by a proud KGB spy, who’s even now as we speak preparing to return to power as “president” for life. Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, supposedly the elected representative of all the people, openly calls homsexual gatherings “satantic” and Putin does nothing about it, nor does he do anything about rampant racism and race-based killings.
Russians have never given any other way of life anything like a fair chance. They’ve never once replaced one party of power with another in a national election, as America has just done again this year for the umpteenth time, nor have they ever been governed by a person not steeped in the traditions of the USSR. Russians have chosen instead to embrace their failed past with all its xenophobia, hatred, bigotry and arrogance. They have chosen to reject Western values before even properly understanding them, and they’ve chosen to ignore the litany of failed policies enacted by their KGB regime.
They will suffer the consequences, just as Russians did in Soviet times.