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Former Italian MP Vladimir Luxuria Arrested in Sochi for Holding 'Gay is OK' Banner

Luxuria V_luxuria

Vladimir Luxuria, the former Italian MP and the first transgender person to hold that office, has been arrested in Sochi after displaying a banner reading 'Gay is OK', according to Italian media reports.

Luxuria was taken into custody, according to Italian LGBT activist Irma Battaglia of the 'Gay Project', and the attitude of the agents has been "brutal and aggressive".

Luxuria tweeted a photo earlier in the day as she held a rainbow fan. She wrote: "I'm in Sochi! Greetings with the colors of the rainbow, in the face of Putin!"

UPDATE: Luxuria was released in the early hours of Monday, Reuters reports:

Luxuria said she had been protesting against a law signed by President Vladimir Putin last year banning the spread of "gay propaganda" among minors. Critics say it discriminates against gays and that it has fuelled violence against homosexuals.

"I think it is important ...(to have) the opportunity to talk internationally about these things because otherwise these things happen in Russia and nobody knows, nobody cares," Luxuria said after stepping off the stage at a gay cabaret bar in Sochi.

"They think: 'Well, it's not in our country, it's far away, it's in Russia, who cares?'"

She said she had been treated with respect while in detention but was told by the police that she could not promote pro-gay slogans in public.

The police declined immediate comment and the Russian organizers of the Games said the police had no formal record of her detention. International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams said: "We hope that the Games will not be used as a platform for demonstrations."

Note: Reports use differing pronouns when referring to Luxuria, who has stated in the past that she does not consider herself male nor female. The Italian foreign minister uses the pronoun 'she' which we will use here as it appears to be the predominant mode of identification in varying reports.

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  1. Brave act, let's hope that others follow!

    Posted by: dumbnhung | Feb 16, 2014 5:15:21 PM

  2. Brave act, let's hope that others follow!

    Posted by: dumbnhung | Feb 16, 2014 5:15:21 PM

  3. Brave act, let's hope that others follow!

    Posted by: dumbnhung | Feb 16, 2014 5:15:21 PM

  4. Why not use "they?"

    Posted by: Amy | Feb 16, 2014 5:18:29 PM

  5. Braver than Andy Cohen.....

    Posted by: Ankerich | Feb 16, 2014 5:19:10 PM

  6. Braver than Andy Cohen.....

    Posted by: Ankerich | Feb 16, 2014 5:19:10 PM

  7. This "law" is insane! It is really unbelievable that in this day and age that anyone could be arrested because they held up a banner. I'm sure this isn't something you'll hear about on NBC's silly coverage.

    Good for her and I hope she will be alright.

    Posted by: Will G. | Feb 16, 2014 5:19:26 PM

  8. Oh my gosh. A quandary. He or she does not self-identify as male or female. I must NOT use him or her because that is not how this person self-identifies. This site has taught me it is all about self-identification, that's the only criterion that matters. What are my options now? We must not be disrespectful of this persons gender personhood, but this person self-identifies without a gender.

    Posted by: will | Feb 16, 2014 5:24:23 PM

  9. And so the fascist Russian regime cannot tolerate any kind of dissent by the gays.
    Putin is the New Fuhrer.

    To paraphrase :
    "So let there be nothing on earth but rainbows."
    Everyone should come out, everyone should have a rainbow flag. Defiance is our currency; it has always been so since Stonewall and later ACT UP.
    It's the only way we have ever made progress.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Feb 16, 2014 5:26:57 PM

  10. She's a fellow communist. Putin will release her soon.

    Posted by: Joe in Ct | Feb 16, 2014 5:43:52 PM

  11. Brave soul. Bravo!

    Posted by: SpaceCadet | Feb 16, 2014 5:54:00 PM

  12. Protest is a right. Well except for people in Russia and in several parts of America as of late. I'm glad she stood up and made a statement. Silver spoon trannies (yes, I used THAT word) who have grant writing fronts, claim leadership, and line their pockets with blood money should have half that guts it took to protest the Olympics.

    They will put a scare into her and deport her though, that's all. Nothing to worry about.


    Posted by: Jennifer Daniels | Feb 16, 2014 6:38:20 PM

  13. braver than many other people

    Posted by: Moz's | Feb 16, 2014 6:52:53 PM

  14. Joe u fool

    putin is not a communist, he is a theocratic fascist

    huge difference

    Posted by: Moz's | Feb 16, 2014 6:53:39 PM

  15. Thank you Vladimir Luxuria for your courage in the face of oppression. You are an out and proud Transgendered member of our inclusive LGBT Community.

    Posted by: andrew | Feb 16, 2014 6:54:44 PM

  16. Why isn't Rick here to decry how Luxuria is damaging the cause of the rights of gay people and how, unlike Rick, Luxuria is a sick damaged person who should be condemning effeminate blah blah blah....?

    Posted by: DannyEastVillage | Feb 16, 2014 7:29:11 PM

  17. Bravo, Vladimir! You have spoken for millions who have been silenced by homophobic dictators!
    "I am What I am!" This song by Gloria Gaynor, applies to all humans. We do not need labels. Vladimir, you are an inspiration.

    Posted by: paulakey | Feb 16, 2014 7:59:01 PM

  18. Danny:
    To answer your question. My mom is on vacation. She locked her room with her computer in it.

    Posted by: Rick | Feb 16, 2014 7:59:23 PM

  19. @Ankerich Braver than King, Boitano and Cahow as well as Adviser Nabors put together. BTW, your "url" doesn't work ( doesn't exist) and you might want to check that.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Feb 16, 2014 8:11:50 PM

  20. Does that mean Russian children can read English? The law will be more effective if they ban all foreign languages or even foreigners.

    Posted by: Rick | Feb 16, 2014 8:32:52 PM

  21. Thank you, Vladimir Luxuria.

    Posted by: Randy | Feb 16, 2014 9:16:34 PM

  22. The other question is why Johny Weir wasn't arrested for merely being himself!

    On a serious note, everyone should offer Ms Luxuria sympathy and castigate the Russian government for stupidity. Arresting her is up there with the idiots on the House Committee on Un-American Activities many decades ago when they were voicing suspicions that Shirley Temple was a communist - at the age of 10. (It seems someone started a rumor as a joke, the Roosevelt administration treated it as a joke, but this congressional committee made a fool of itself by taking it seriously and was widely ridiculed in the press as a result.)

    Posted by: Bill | Feb 16, 2014 10:24:40 PM

  23. Putin should arrest the person who erected those rainbow colored rings behind her.

    Posted by: trees | Feb 16, 2014 10:38:59 PM

  24. "The Italian foreign minister uses the pronoun 'she' which we will use here as it appears to be the predominant mode of identification in varying reports."

    Towleroad should use preferred pronouns, not pronouns of predominant usage.

    Posted by: Joe | Feb 16, 2014 10:46:59 PM

  25. Actually, the correct pronoun in this case would be "he." Luxuria is legally male and has a penis. Whether Luxuria "feels" like a male or a female or a turnip or a cactus is irrelevant. The only reason most of the mainstream reports are using "she" is because they think that is what will keep trans activists from jumping down their throat, which is what happens every time they goof up and go with the science and common sense instead of pandering to transgender people's neurotic sensitivities.

    Posted by: Shannon | Feb 16, 2014 11:30:45 PM

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