Comments

  1. e.c. says

    For the sake of the athletes that have worked hard to get there I hope the events themselves go relatively smoothly. But anything else that can possibly diminish the success of the games and embarrass Putin I’m all for.

    Yes, I’m a terrible person.

  2. Eugene says

    What does it have to do with gay people? Out of all the things that happened during the ceremony, you decided to post this? Are you going to jump with joy every time something bad happens in Russia? It’s not just you, of course. Other sites seem to agree that a minor, split-second mishap is headline-worthy. Honestly, the tone of coverage is beginning to resemble the way American homophobes were (and still are) talking about AIDS and other problems of the gay community.

  3. Sergio says

    Look at Eugene, pitying the poor homophobic Russian government. They are the true victims here. We must stand silently and respectfully while they beat us.

  4. Eugene says

    @Sergio
    There’s more to the Russian government than the anti-gay laws. And there’s more to Russia than the government. I certainly deplore the anti-gay laws and the homophobia in general, but people are covering the whole country with a blanket of hate – and it’s wrong. Gay Russians are Russians too.

  5. Mayte says

    This is what Spanish tv showed before the ceremony

    But we should remember that Russia is not the first country hosting the Olimpics. All in all I think it was a beautiful gala

  6. ExcuseMe says

    @ Eugene “There’s more to the Russian government than the anti-gay laws.” – No, there isn’t. Anti-gay government (head), anti-gay Church (heart), and anti-gay population (hands). Russia’s culture is all about oppressing and abusing gays; they’ll happily tell you themselves! ‘It’s OUR CULTURE, leave us alone’ when we point out the baiting+stalking+kidnapping+humiliating+torturing+mutilating+murdering+police laughing and letting it happen etc.

    Polling, interviews, video footage shows, this is russia’s legacy for the world…

    Don’t get so defensive when we give credit where it is due…

  7. Randy says

    The IOC has been filing false takedown requests with YouTube accounts that have hosted this video.

    This video is legitimate news reporting, and MAY NOT be taken down for reasons of copyright.

    In any case, nothing is ever really gone from the internet.

  8. JJ says

    @Eugene: “Honestly, the tone of coverage is beginning to resemble the way American homophobes were (and still are) talking about AIDS and other problems of the gay community.”

    You’re equating contempt that is well-earned with that which is not earned. Just because some contempt is unfair, doesn’t mean all contempt is unfair. It’s also pretty offensive that you’d equate the kind of mild ridicule that causes embarrassment with the vicious hatred that intentionally destroys lives.

  9. Eugene says

    @ExcuseMe
    Your post neatly demonstrates what I was talking about. You take genuinely bad things and blow them out of proportion. Yes, the laws are anti-gay – but only as anti-gay as in at least 8 US states (or in the UK 15 years ago). More importantly, not everything the government does is anti-gay. For example, the Olympic games certainly aren’t an expression of homophobia.

    The church is anti-gay – but only as anti-gay as other major churches. Why aren’t you arguing that Christianity is all about homophobia?

    And, yes, the population is anti-gay – but not all people are. A few people get violent – like in other countries, and quite a few are simply homophobic and don’t want gays to “flaunt it”. Quite a few people still feel this way in the West, and many more felt only a decade or two ago.

    When gay people were saying “That’s who I am as a person”, the bigots were interpreting it as “That’s everything I am as a person” (i.e. gays can’t think about anything else but their gayness). You hear some Russians saying “It’s our culture” and interpret it as “That’s all our culture is”. Quite telling.

  10. Eugene says

    @JJ
    I was drawing parallels, not equating one thing with another. I also think I can reuse your phrasing to get the point across. Just because some contempt is fair, doesn’t mean all contempt is fair. Russia’s anti-gay laws certainly deserve contempt. But it doesn’t mean that everything about Russia deserves contempt. Some Russians are violent anti-gay monsters. But it doesn’t mean that you can paint all Russians with a broad brush.

  11. ExcuseMe says

    @ Eugene,
    It appears your arguments all come from a vacuum:
    “You take genuinely bad things and blow them out of proportion” – No I didn’t. If you choose not to look or pay attention, that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. And it IS happening, just as ugly as I say.

    “the Olympic games certainly aren’t an expression of homophobia.” – Anti-discrimination protocols do NOT include sexual orientation, and LGBTs are completely censored and prevented from free assembly or free association.

    “Why aren’t you arguing that Christianity is all about homophobia?” – I am an anonymous commenter; how do you know what I do with my 24hrs a day?! Another argument from a vacuum. Also, to address something doesn’t mean I have to address every other thing related to it in detail. Also, I kind of DID imply that. Also, for what it may be worth to you, I have argued that the only relevant text to Christianity now is one passage from Leviticus; I believe 20:13. Something about gays being worthy of death and their blood being on their own hands… Everything Christianity does now is shaped and informed by that; ‘family’, ‘love’, etc…

    “And, yes, the population is anti-gay – but not all people are.” – I’m not interested in the 2-3% that aren’t anti-gay but are keeping their heads down…

    “A few people get violent” – Don’t down-play. You’re embarrassing yourself. The information if FLOWING IN. You don’t have a leg to stand on in defending russia.

    “When gay people were saying ‘That’s who I am as a person’, the bigots were interpreting it as ‘That’s everything I am as a person'” – Umm how about no? Maybe you’re speaking for yourself right now? Homophobes speak for themselves all the time; they’re actually quite outspoken. You don’t need to put words in their mouths as they don’t need you.

    “You hear some Russians saying ‘It’s our culture’ and interpret it as ‘That’s all our culture is’. Quite telling.” – Enlighten me. When one points to baiting+stalking+kidnapping+humiliating+torturing+mutilating+murdering+police laughing and letting it happen etc and the response is “that’s our culture”, russian nesting dolls, russian cuisine, ballet, etc isn’t relevant anymore.

  12. AG says

    @Eugene

    I don’t know how frequently you visit this site, but the commenters here are very hateful. Usually they spew hate on Republicans or Christians, and if you happen to dislike those groups the hatred may not be that obvious. But hate is the innate quality of the towleroad residents.

    Russia is the object of hate du jour, so the folks here hate it with the same lack of nuance and subtlety that you might have missed earlier.

    All of the above should not be construed as any endorsement of Russia or the Russian society. My contempt for Russians is deep precisely because I’m gay and Russian myself. But I have better ways to express my strong dislike of Russia: by not living there or even visiting the country. The folks here cannot do it, so they obsess about things (Olympics, vodka made outside of Russia) that have nothing to do with the Russian homophobia.

  13. ExcuseMe says

    “the commenters here are very hateful” – Hateful commenters here have EVERY REASON to be hateful.

    “Usually they spew hate on Republicans or Christians” – Some of our heartiest enemies. So serious, so relentless, so resistent to remedy. Can you comfortably put blame on victims for being hateful, especially when we can’t even vent without apologists and trolls to rebuttal EVERYTHING?!

    “But hate is the innate quality of the towleroad residents.” – Playing with attribution errors? That’ll help your case…

    “Russia is the object of hate du jour” – du jour – du jour… Yes LGBT advocacy is a seasonal fashion! Troll style…

    “I’m gay and Russian myself” – Why do commenters insist on talking abou things that aren’t falsifiable? Talk about your ideas, talk about the topic; no one will ever know if you’re telling the truth about yourself. “I’m an out and proud gay! Therefore you should listen to me!” Please, just say what you have to say and be done with it. Nobody knows if you’re gay or an impostor.

  14. Eugene says

    @AG
    The difference is that Republicans deserve the hate. A political party is all about its political goals, and membership is voluntary. When the goals are anti-gay, the party deserves the hate. And no one singles them out – when Barack Obama was against marriage equality, there was quite a lot of hate in his direction.

  15. AG says

    @Eugene

    You’re making my point. Since Russia seems closer to you than the Republicans you’re upset when it’s criticized unfairly. The Republicans on the other hand are the Other. So, no need for subtlety and nuance.

    While the Republicans in general are much worse than the Democrats with respect to gay rights, there are many exceptions. In Massachusetts, where I live, many Republicans are just as good on gay issues as the Democrats.

    Also, the Russian society is much more uniformly anti-gay than the Republicans. Russia becomes more and more homophobic by the day, the Republicans are moving in the opposite direction.

    Before Barack Obama announced his support for gay marriage, which happened less than two years ago, many posters here didn’t mind his position. They felt it was an advantage for his re-election campaign against the evil Republican Mitt Romney.

    Look, this is a partisan site. The faults of the other team are incessantly attacked. The faults of “our” team are ignored or forgiven. Russia is now firmly in the Other territory. Don’t expect thoughtful, unbiased critique here.

  16. Eugene says

    @ExcuseMe
    “…LGBTs are completely censored and prevented from free assembly or free association.”
    Russia’s anti-gay laws affect the athletes only as much as they affect the rest of the population. While deplorable, it’s not at all about the Olympics.

    “I’m not interested in the 2-3% that aren’t anti-gay but are keeping their heads down…”
    Where are you getting the figure? In the same place where anti-gay bigots are getting the percentage of gays and lesbians? Sure, the actual percentage isn’t large either, but if you aren’t interested in them, what exactly is the point of your outrage? Russia sucks, nuke it from orbit?

    “Don’t down-play.”
    I don’t. The crimes are horrible, but they’re obviously against the law. The homophobic murder that got a lot of coverage got prosecuted, the leader of the baiting and torturing group is under arrest. As for your claim that some Russians said that it’s “our culture” – well, it’s obviously just an opinion of a few violent bigots. Many Russians may believe that homophobia, not violence, is part of Russian culture – but it’s only a part, and Russia isn’t unique in this regard.

  17. John says

    I can’t believe the many comments from people here who seem to have watched the opening ceremonies. What’s up people?! Why are you not boycotting these games of hate?!!

    As a group, the GLBT community should refuse to watch these – and all future – Olympic games as the IOC completely failed us and has, essentially, given the thumbs up to Putin’s anti LGBT-law.

    The same goes for all of the global sponsors – e.g. Cocoa-Cola, McDonald’s Visa, Procter & Gamble – they should be boycotted for life. They will, no doubt, all come out and roundly denounce the Russian law once the games are over, but that will be too little and too late. Collectively, they have said NOTHING to denounce Putin and these laws as they are concerned about profits over people. We should be fighting against that! (And shame on those among us who don’t!)

    Please … boycott Sochi!

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