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Documentary 'To Russia With Love' Looks at LGBT Rights In Russia In The Lead Up To Sochi Olympics: VIDEO

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To Russia With Love, a new documentary from EPIX narrated by Jane Lynch, takes a closer look at what life is like for LGBT people in Russia and at the convergence of sports, human rights and activism that took place during the Sochi Olympics earlier this year. As the film's synopsis notes, "LGBT athletes and activists [had to] choose whether to risk their own safety by speaking out against Russia's anti-gay laws." The doc follows out figure skater and commentator Johnny Weir and official US Olympic delegate Billie Jean King as they come to Sochi and meet a 17-year-old gay Russian named Vlad who details the tragic truths of the hardships faced by LGBT people in one of the world's most virulently anti-gay nations. The film also features Jason Collins, Stephen Fry, Greg Louganis, Blake Skjellerup and Mark Tewksbury.

Watch young Vlad talk about his experience of Russia's hatred for the LGBT community, along with his meeting Weir and King along with a trailer for the documentary, AFTER THE JUMP...

The documentary will debut on EPIX on October 29 at 8 PM. 

Bjk

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Guy Candy: 20 Famous Men Who Got Shirtless and Sexy on Instagram This Week — PHOTOS

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Out L.A. Galaxy player Robbie Rogers showed off his new backpack on Instagram in the best way possible this week.

Also, in this week's guy candy:

Russell Tovey, Ricky Martin, Alex Minsky, Brad Goreski, Scott Eastwood, Tom Daley, Flume and Chet Faker, Derrick Gordon, Harry Shum Jr., Tony Goldwyn, Dan Savage, Terry Miller, Darryl Stephens, Rory McIlroy, Jake Shears, Gilles Marini, Dan Osborne (below), Blake Skjellerup, and the Flaunt flavor of the week, Nick Jonas.

Enjoy, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Give a Medal to These 104 Winning Instagram Pics from 'Gay Games 9' in Cleveland: PHOTOS

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Gay Games 9 kicked off on Saturday in Cleveland, Ohio. The Games, conceived in 1980 by Dr. Tom Waddell and held every four years beginning in 1982, are open to all athletes regardless of sexual orientation and are expected to unite more than 9,000 mostly-LGBT participants and 30,000 spectators from around the world in competition and celebration, including a team from Russia:

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There are more than 35 sports and cultural events taking place and out Olympians Greg Louganis and (a newly engaged) Blake Skjellerup are in attendance. Lance Bass, who performed at the Opening Ceremony (which included a message from President Obama and another performance by The Pointer Sisters), has been busy about town.

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While competition has just begun to get fully underway and continues through the 16th we've collected 104 of our favorite Instagram photos and videos taken by athletes and spectators at the Opening Ceremony, parties, preparations and medal events that have already taken place.

And if you're at the Gay Games and have a great photo that you would like us to share, tag us @TLRD on Instagram or Twitter. Good luck to all the athletes who are competing!

Check out our big gay Gay Games gallery, and see if you can pick out some familiar faces, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Give a Medal to These 104 Winning Instagram Pics from 'Gay Games 9' in Cleveland: PHOTOS" »


Speed-Skater Blake Skjellerup Reveals Engagement to Boyfriend Saul Carrasco

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Speed skater Blake Skjellerup took some time out of his busy schedule at the Gay Games in Cleveland to show off his new fiancé - stylist Saul Carrasco.

Wrote Skjellerup:   

The Plain Dealer adds that the duo have have tentative plans to marry next year in Hawaii.

Skjellerup, who was a torch bearer at the Gay Games Opening Ceremony on Sunday, will be competing in the 23 mile cycling circuit road course tomorrow. 

Congrats boys and best of luck to Skjellerup in tomorrow's race!

[photo via Instagram]


Gay Speed Skater Blake Skjellerup Fails to Qualify for Sochi Olympics, is First Alternate for 500M

Skjellerup

Gay speed skater Blake Skjellerup, who had promised to wear a rainbow pin to the Sochi games and "be myself" in Russia, has failed to qualify, Outsports reports:

SkjellerupSkjellerup, who was poised to become the first publicly out gay male competitor in Winter Olympics history, competed in the 2010 Winter Olympics before coming out publicly. He finished 16th in the 1000-meter in Vancouver. As of now, there will be no publicly out male athletes competing in Sochi.

There is still a chance for Skjellerup to get to Sochi. Because he finished 33rd in the world rankings of the 500-meter, he is the first alternate for the Olympic Games. That means if any of the qualifying nations choose not to send a skater for their qualifying spot, Skjellerup would be the next in line. Officials at US Speed Skating said he has a long shot at the 1000-meter, but that is a distant long shot as he is the fifth or sixth alternate.

Skjellerup missed by one spot. More at Outsports...


American Apparel's New 'Principle 6' Protest Merchandise Targets Sochi Games, Russia's Anti-gay Laws

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LGBT organizations All Out and Athlete Ally have partnered with American Apparel in the creation of Principle 6, a new line of merchandise that aims to use the Olympic committee's very own charter language as a way for consumers to stand in solidarity with gay Russians, athletes, and visitors during the upcoming Sochi Games. The New York Times reports:

RoddickThe proponents of the Principle 6 campaign say it can be effective because it will avoid the Olympic commtitee's strictures against political statements or demonstrations by using the committee's own language as a rallying cry for nondiscrimination. The line of Principle 6 branded merchandise will bear a rewritten version of the principle's declaration: "Sport does not discriminate on the grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise." (The paraphrase also serves to avoid another sticky issue: The Olympic committee is zealous in its policing of the use of the words "Olympic" or "Olympics" by anyone other than its members and official sponsors.)

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Andre Banks, executive director of All Out, said the merchandise "allows us to deliver the Principle 6 message on a scale that would make the campaign incredibly powerful."

American Apparel is to sell the merchandise online, beginning early Monday morning, and in stores around the world, beginning on Jan. 1. The line will include T-shirts, hoodies, hats, bags and underwear. The proceeds from the sales of the merchandise, minus the costs, "will go to benefit Russian LGBT groups in St. Petersburg and Moscow," Mr. Banks said.

At least four dozen athletes have already committed to working with the campaign including out speed skater Blake Skjellerup, U.S. runner and ally Nick Symmonds, out former Olympic diver Greg Louganis, and tennis player Andy Roddick (above).


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