Comments

  1. Patrick Hagerty says

    I love how EVERYONE is going after Stoli, Does anyone realize that Stoli is made in Latvia, NOT Russia? How about going after these companies…Dovgan, Gold Symphony Vodka, Hrenovuha, Kauffman Vodka, Kubanskaya, Moscow Distillery Crystal, Moskovskaya, Moskovskaya vodka, Narodnaya, Putinka, Pyatizvyozdnaya, Rodnik, Ruskova, Russian Standard (vodka), Shustov vodka, Smirnoff & Youri Dolgoruki Vodka.

    Did you notice Smirnoff is on that list?? No one is seen dumping that Vodka, yet they ARE made in Russia!

    How about do your research people before you go after a company like Soli. They, like Absolute, are HUGE supporters of the LGBT community. My god the letter that president of Stoli sent out slamming the Russian Government would be considered “Gay Propaganda” and could be jailed for what he wrote and yet he still wrote it.

    We as a community are too quick to jump on the “band wagon” of boycotting something before doing the research!!!

  2. Audi-owner says

    Glad to see this is going on! For a gay bar that is closing its doors for good after 22 years,Splash still managed to shoot themselves in the foot by having the Stoli event anyway. That sounds like a big “F*** YOU!” to the local gay community. I guess all they really care about is taking our money. Splash has been in the crapper for years anyway,they need to disappear from the gay nightlife landscape. Them hiring straight bartenders and door staff with s****y attitudes toward gay males just made that place feel unwelcoming to the very community in which they were designed to serve. Splash,you’re not leaving yourself any room to be remembered in a positive way. Shame on you!

  3. RJ says

    @Matt It’s “less than a dozen”, but “fewer than 12″. I appreciate and echo the sentiment, though, despite making the occasional typo thanks to being in such a perpetual rush.

  4. Audi-owner says

    @ Patrick Hagerty: It’s still *RUSSIAN VODKA* that is distilled in *MOSCOW RUSSIA*. You need to do more research before wagging your finger at the rest of us. Moron!

  5. QJ201 says

    The political apathy of our gay brethren on display yet again…if it’s not about marriage most queers won’t get off their asses.

    ACTUP needs to be called out too. Protesting Stoli and access to PrEP, but dead silence about crystal meth and barebacking…Don’t see ACTUP protesting bars that show bareback porn on their monitors or that host events for bareback porn companies.

  6. Adam says

    Any gay bar which hosts a Stoli event is aiding and abetting the enemy. Any drag queen who hosts a Stoli event should have his teeth pulled out.

  7. Biggun1971 says

    Wonder why everyone is simply referring to Bebe Zahara Benet, simply as “the Drag Queen Host?” Doesn’t she deserve to get the credit for her comments???

  8. Will says

    Andy –

    GayCities has a partnership with Stoli. And have been using their venues including Queerty and the SF Examiner to defend it. Using a GayCities article is hardly using a neutral source.

  9. says

    Yes Patrick. They should be protesting the next MOST ORIGINAL DOVGAN GUY or MOST ORIGINAL KUBANSKAYA GUY event!

    These events show why Stolichnaya IS an ideal target.

    All the other Russian vodkas are on Savage’s list, for those who can read.

  10. jamal49 says

    Welcome back, ACT-UP! Now, let’s all stir up some sh*t and make some noise. It’s been far, far too long. It is time to get righteously angry again!

  11. Ken says

    I’m going to express my preference for “Fewer than a dozen,” too.

    “Usage Note: The traditional rule holds that fewer is used with expressions denoting things that can be counted (fewer than four players), while less is used with mass terms denoting things of measurable extent ( less paper; less than a gallon of paint). However, less is idiomatic in certain constructions where fewer would occur according to the traditional rule. Less than is used before a plural noun that denotes a measure of time, amount, or distance: less than three weeks; less than $400; less than 50 miles. Less is sometimes used with plural nouns in the expressions no less than (as in No less than 30 of his colleagues signed the letter ) and or less (as in Give your reasons in 25 words or less).”

    The American Heritage Dictionary (CD-ROM, version 4.0, 1995

  12. Leo says

    Patrick you are an IDIOT. YOU haven’t done YOUR research. Stoli is made from MAJORITY RUSSIAN INGREDIENTS and is just bottled and packaged in Latvia. Yuri Scheffler is known for a FACT to be a big supporter of Putin’s government with his millions from STOLI at his disposal.

    The boycott (for almost SOLELY PR purposes) IS on other Russian vodka, not just Stoli you dolt.

    Actually it wouldn’t surprise me if you were a PR plant from their company tbh.

  13. Will says

    It’s not specific but symbolic pressure that gets action.

    Anything imported from Russia. Name brands first and the others to follow. It is about making an impact and announcing to the world that LBGT safety, respect, and equal protection is demanded and yes dollars will not continue without a change in this silly and and very loosely defined “law”.

    Olympics or not.

    For all of you who think it’s silly to boycott, continue with your posts about how this won’t work or that the company is the wrong company, but already it is national news and has provoked statements from both sides, so it is already working and making an impact.

    It’s starting conversations and awareness while demanding change and it is only just beginning. We need to keep up the pressure, both locally and internationally.

    Boycott all things Russian.

    The LBGT community is a strong and influential force that should not be taken lightly. Fight the fight with you dollars.

  14. MikeSin says

    I had a feeling Bebe is an ignorant shill. Maybe she should take a visit to Moscow and tell us about her experience. F*ck it! Go back to Cameroon and try to host a Stoli event there. For this mess to taunt the ACTUP activists is truly insulting. She isn’t prepared to kiss their feet.

  15. Matt says

    Thanks, @RJ — and thanks for the article. Not to detract from the important politics with grammar (not they’re always inseparable, of course) — but I’m still with @Ken on this: fewer than a countable number. Unless we’re considering ACT UP members as “things of measurable extent” — say, a gallon of [usefully colorful] paint. Since we can count people, I’d stick with “fewer” or avoid the problem.

  16. Matt says

    On the boycott itself: even if the boycott is not likely to be economically effective, it has brought publicity and theatricality to the issue, and has led IOC, USOC, NBC, and the company itself to come out on the side of non-discrimination (at least in statements) — so there’s been value in it, by changing the international discourse.

  17. Brian1 says

    Smirnoff has at best very distant connections to Russia. It’s now owned by a UK company and made all over the world. Some family member of the original Russian family started his own Smirnoff brand in Russia, and the owners of the “real” smirnoff sued them for many years. I believe they settled and have a joint venture now to supply the russian market. So you’d only boycott Smirnoff if you were going to boycott all western companies doing business with Russia, which is pretty much everyone.

    Stoli is the appropriate target for a boycott, although with this event at Splash it doesn’t sound like it’s getting much traction. I know splash is only one bar and it’s closing, but it doesn’t seem like anyone in the audience had any idea about this either.

  18. Robin Hierst says

    There is this myth that “drag queens” were the ones who started Stonewall. It is a complete fabrication. There were only a few drag queens there. And they were not motivated by some selfless act of revolution; they only cared about having a place to turn tricks.

    Drag is a minstrel act. It is inherently degrading of gay men. So it isn’t all that surprising that a drag queen would be front and center defending Stoli and the Russian government. When you degrade yourself for a living, it is easy to defend the institutional degradation going on in Russia.

  19. Buster says

    I was at an event at Rasputin in West Hollywood on Saturday, 27 July, sponsored (in part, at least) by Stoli. It was jam-packed as Cher was to make an appearance that night. There were large Russian flags hanging throughout the space. For 3 hours until Cher showed up, go-go dancers strutted their stuff, each waving a Russian flag. I never got the feeling that this was done in irony. If so, a stronger message would been delivered by defacing each flag with a large pink triangle. People around me were not unaware of the abhorrent situation in Russia– for the most part when I mentioned it they seemed to know the basics. The party went on, Russian flags and Stoli logos in place. There were plenty of opportunities for the host to address the situation but it never happened. Cher eventually arrived and spoke to the crowd and I almost expected her to say something as she is such a huge advocate. The place was bedlam by then, a million degrees and it wasn’t going to happen.

    I’d like to see something similar to what occurred during Prohibition when the Feds would stage photo-ops by smashing cases of contraband sprits. Take (beg/’borrow’/steal) cases of Stoli out on to the streets and smash them. Images like that posted on Youtube/Facebook/Twitter might resonate better with the bean counters at Stoli than a few lines about the (very admirable Act Up) efforts at Splash.

  20. says

    “Wonder why everyone is simply referring to Bebe Zahara Benet, simply as “the Drag Queen Host?” Doesn’t she deserve to get the credit for her comments???”

    I agree… except for the “credit” part. I think her comments were tacky and unnecessary. ACT UP is not the bad guy here, and I’m guessing Ms. Benet still got paid for her gig, despite the brief interruption.

    And why is the slant of this article that ACT UP did something WRONG? So, okay, we can be part of a boycott or we can hate Russia or we can have opinions on Facebook but we can’t ACTUALLY act out on it? Um, okay.

  21. says

    Work WITH Stoli, not against it. I do not understand the point of the hostility to this company. I agree it is great to see more attention brought forth concerning the horrible atrocities committed against LGBT Russian people, but I do not see how boycotting will actually help anything. There should be a huge movement of solidarity with pro-LGBT Russian companies so that real change can be made in their home land. A push to have companies do more in Russia for LGBT civil rights and protection is a must, but punishing the ones who have been on our side in the past does not make sense.

  22. MickeySedgwick says

    Bravo ACT-UP!

    And while we’re dumping our Stoli cocktails, let’s also take note that Donald Trump plans to bring his Miss Universe Pageant to Moscow this November. That extravaganza will include a large entourage of gay hairdressers, gown designers, stylists, consultants, etc. All of whom could, according to Putin’s law, be quite easily tossed into jail (or worse), as is happening to ordinary gay Russians every day.

    Trump is also counting on the huge number of gay pageant fans from all over the world to make the event a success. ( I believe the network sponsor is NBC — same as the Russian-hosted Olympics.) Let’s keep this event in our sights, and start the process of holding The Donald’s feet — or hair –to the fire.

  23. Jeton Ademaj says

    Posted by: QJ201 | Jul 31, 2013 8:39:39 AM

    what are you babbling about? ACT UP NY is perhaps the only direct-action group putting our weight behind PrEP, PEP, TAsP, Chemoprophylaxis in general, as well as the entire panoply of Prevention tools. Seropositioning, Serosorting, partner limitation, abstinence, non-penetrative sex, pulling out…all of these are valid techniques for REDUCING risk.

    i’m aware of no plans on protesting barebacking per se, but rather making it SAFER AND SMARTER. Consistent Undetectability YES, bugchasing and stealthing NO.

    as for Stoli, i was delighted to help disrupt their silly event yesterday. i’m in the grey shorts n striped blue/grey shirt. that drag queen was indeed a monster, but i take exception to slandering all drag…

    …and i would ask everyone to be careful presuming WHO that drag queen was, bcuz the name being thrown around is supposedly of a black person, and the 2 queens beside me as i climbed to the stage were definitely NOT to my eyes…tho heavy makeup was involved! 😉

  24. Jeton Ademaj says

    Posted by: QJ201 | Jul 31, 2013 8:39:39 AM

    what are you babbling about? ACT UP NY is perhaps the only direct-action group putting our weight behind PrEP, PEP, TAsP, Chemoprophylaxis in general, as well as the entire panoply of Prevention tools. Seropositioning, Serosorting, partner limitation, abstinence, non-penetrative sex, pulling out…all of these are valid techniques for REDUCING risk.

    i’m aware of no plans on protesting barebacking per se, but rather making it SAFER AND SMARTER. Consistent Undetectability YES, bugchasing and stealthing NO.

    as for Stoli, i was delighted to help disrupt their silly event yesterday. i’m in the grey shorts n striped blue/grey shirt. that drag queen was indeed a monster, but i take exception to slandering all drag…

    …and i would ask everyone to be careful presuming WHO that drag queen was, bcuz the name being thrown around is supposedly of a black person, and the 2 queens beside me as i climbed to the stage were definitely NOT to my eyes…tho heavy makeup was involved! 😉

  25. Daniel says

    Oooohhh, a vodka boycott. Try organizing a meaningful symbolic action. Boycott all petroleum products and natural gas, for example (Russia’s major economic driver and chief export). Urge the military to boycott importing Russian raw materials for military production. Put pressure on companies that do business in Russia. But maybe that would be, you know, too difficult. And it doesn’t matter if the ingredients for vodka are from Russia. It matters how much revenue flows to the government from a product. And vodka exports and production are very, very low on the list.

    You might also read statements from groups in Russia, instead of Dan Savage. Hurting the economy (even if it worked, which it won’t) only creates joblessness and poverty–exactly the environment for LGBT persecution and hate crimes. Why not send money to the groups in Russia doing actual work, or to groups here that can direct the funds as needed? But I guess I should have used my energy and time to dump liquor that was already produced and taxed and already contributed marginally to the government. Or make a sign to bring to the club/bar.

  26. Fred says

    Stoli isn’t even a Russian company.

    I’m a bit stunned at how remarkably ignorant people are.

    What a colossal waste of time and effort.

    And ACT-UP ? Really ? What have they accomplished, other than pushing to make experimental and poorly researched drugs available in the 80’s and 90’s, resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands ?

    Yeah, way to go ACT-UP, way to make big pharma filthy rich off our brothers dead bodies.

  27. Martijn says

    I don’t understand this boycott. I have started a letter writing campaign against the city council in West Hollywood for doing a Dump Stoli event this morning.

    We as a community our showing ourselves to be an ill-informed, uneducated and childishly reactionary bunch. Stoli is made in Latvia by a company which is incorporated in Luxembourg. It is all EU. It is only Russian as a symbol. This morning, Weho City Council member John Duran admitted to Frontiers LA : “[Stoli] will probably be in the hands of the Russian government by next year.” That is moronic. That is like boycotting the LA Times because the Koch brothers *might* buy it next year.

    Get educated, people. Know what you are talking about first. Let’s take REAL action. Like organizing an Olympic boycott ?!?!

  28. Jeton Ademaj says

    Fred, your analysis is disgracefully idiotic. ACT UP changed the face of healthcare for all…for the better. thanks for discrediting yourself so quickly, saves me the hassle.

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