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Patron In Critical Condition Following Attack On Gay Nightclub In Russia

Fantom in Tolyatti, Russia

At least four people were injured in an attack last weekend on gay nightclub Fantom in Tolyatti, Russia, reports Buzzfeed.

Tolyatti RussiaAccording to activists, the attack left one person in a critical condition.

Anti-LGBT violence and harassment has increased dramatically in Russia since the country passed an anti-gay "propaganda" law in June 2013, and President Vladimir Putin's government isn't doing anything to stop it, according to a new report from Human Rights Watch

The club’s management has reportedly tried to downplay the incident as a run-of-the-mill bar fight with no connection to the LGBT community.

However, Gay Liberation Front Konstantin Golava said the attack may have been premeditated and has urged gay people to file police reports when they experience anti-LGBT violence:

“Gay people create a comfortable ghetto for themselves in clubs, one that seems safe to them. There’s nothing wrong with going out and having fun, but it’s also necessary to defend oneself and other LGBTQ people, defend your rights, and not grumble that activists are ‘embracing and provoking’ and that ‘our rights are not being violated.’”

Last month, a gay teacher in St. Petersburg lost her job after being outed to her superiors by homophobic activist Timur Isaev. Kharma beeing a bitch, Isaev has since been charged with a fine of 100,000 rubles (about $1,800) along with a two year stint in jail for embezzling money from a previous employer.


From Will and Grace to Modern Family: The Global Effect of Gay Characters on American TV - VIDEO

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In a new video for BBC News, Tom Brook reports on the ubiquity of gay characters in American TV shows and the effect these characters have worldwide.

The short video segment profiles two men: one with a more optimistic outlook on the issue, and one who is more pessimistic.

WillandgraceThe former is activist Omar Sharif Jr.,  who spent his youth in Egypt. He didn't know any gay people growing up, but he was familiar with characters like Jack from "Will and Grace." Said Sharif:

By seeing these characters on TV, youth across the world — myself included — learned that we weren't alone, that different isn't bad. That there's a community out there (even if it's across vast oceans sometimes) that supports them and loves them for who they are.

Russian-born pianist and journalist Oleg Dusaev has a different take. He now lives in New York, but he has experienced homophobia in Russia. Dusaev says he once "had hope these shows and films could change society in a more tolerant way."

Unfortunately, he worries that shows like "Modern Family" could make people "resistant" to new attitudes; he believes homophobic people "hate gays" point blank, and that these shows "could increase the hatred." 

Sharif makes a similar point, noting that gay characters are sometimes used "as a tool to propagate hate," but that in terms of net effect, these shows are doing much more good than bad to change the cultural tenor.

Head to BBC, or check the video out embedded AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "From Will and Grace to Modern Family: The Global Effect of Gay Characters on American TV - VIDEO" »


Homophobic Activist Gets His Comeuppance After Outing Slew of Russian Teachers

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Timur Isayev, an anti-gay Russian activist, is claiming responsibility for the public outing and subsequent firing of a lesbian teacher. The outed woman was a well liked special education educator who worked with children dealing with mental and physical disabilities. Isayev took to VK, one of Russia’s most popular social networks to publish in full the letter that he wrote to St. Petersburg Primary School No. 565, where the outed woman taught:

“It’s a crime to allow such teachers as [redacted] around children because communication with such teachers won’t teach children good behavior,” he wrote. “It won’t give them a well-rounded view of the world, and it won’t give them the ability to respect the family and Russian tradition.”

“A teacher who isn’t afraid to make faces at the camera and put the pictures up on the Internet already ruins the ethics and kind reputation of a teacher and dishonors the school where she teaches music.

And this teacher, [redacted], doesn’t only demonstrate her personal life, but she also puts up photos of sodomy on the internet, for everyone to see. [Redacted] shows up at school with lesbian attributes: rings on her big fingers and pinky fingers, other specific jewelry, dressed like a man, cutting her hair short, which can be a bad example for the behavior of children.”

Isayev boasts that he’s outed 29 other teachers in the past for their lifestyles all under the pretense of enforcing president Vladimir Putin’s draconian “gay propaganda” law. In an interesting twist of fate, however, Isayev’s homophobic zealotry seems to have come back to haunt him. In a number of the letters he sent outing people, he made the mistake of including his actual last name, Bulatov.

Bulatov, it turns out was under investigation for having embezzled money from a previous employer. Bulatov was initially charged with a fine of 100,000 rubles (about $1,800) along with a two year stint in jail. Previously he’d managed to avoid Russian authorities, though he was picked up and detained last week for some 18 hours.


Outsports names Tony Dungy 'A--hole Of The Year': VIDEO

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It takes a pretty big a--hole to beat out Russian President Vladimir Putin, but that's precisely what NFL-coach-turned-NBC-analyst Tony Dungy has done. 

In a year when Michael Sam was by far the No. 1 gay sports story, it's no surprise that the LGBT site Outsports has chosen as its "A--hole of the Year" one of Sam's biggest detractors. 

Outsports named Dungy (above left) "A--hole Of The Year" for his statement in July that he would not have drafted Sam, the NFL's first openly gay player — and for a subsequent attempt to cover up his homophobia by saying the statement was based on the fact that Sam's presence would be a distraction, not his sexual orientation. 

The deeply religious Dungy's attempted cover-up was pretty obvious given his record — which includes support for an anti-gay hate group in Indiana in 2007 and a tweet last year saying he didn't agree with openly gay NBA player Jason Collins' "lifestyle."

And Dungy's argument that Sam's presence would be a distraction seems awfully hypocritical — and that much more homophobic — in light of his previous support for other NFL players including dog-killer Michael Vick and wife-beater Ray Rice. 

All of which has continued to fuel speculation that Dungy's son, who committed suicide in 2005, was gay, according to Outsports' Cyd Ziegler: 

It's shameful that NBC continues to give this man a platform from which he can push LGBT athletes and youth deeper into the closet. ... 

People like Dungy are the worst part of sports: heralded for their "fatherly" position to some players and given a pass for creating a dynamic in sports where gay athletes are driven by fear. He needlessly gives Christians in sport a very bad name, and his designation of "father figure" in the NFL gives validity to the anti-gay beliefs of others.

Watch a video in which Ziegler plays Dungy's alter ego, AFTER THE JUMP ... 

Continue reading "Outsports names Tony Dungy 'A--hole Of The Year': VIDEO" »


Conchita Wurst Says She Wants to Spend a Week With Putin to Better 'Understand' Him

Wurst

In an interview with Austria's Kurier newspaper, Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst explained her desire to visit Russia and spend a week with Vladimir Putin in order to better "understand" him.

The Local Austria reports:

“What does it mean to be Vladimir Putin? What pressure is he under?” she wondered. “At the end of the day, Putin just wants to be respected. This desire for respect unites Putin with minorities.”

PutinWurst added, however, that whatever pressure Putin is under does not excuse his country's discriminatory laws and that she has many fans in Russia which to her is "incredibly beautiful because it shows that many Russians do not agree with the decisions of their government."

RT notes Putin's press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, "reportedly laughed off the possibility of a meeting between Wurst and the Russian president".

Check out Wurst's full (German language) interview with Kurier here.

Earlier this month, we reported Wurst would be returning to Eurovision Song Contest next year as a presenter and host. 


Robbie Rogers Blasts FIFA for 'Insane' Decision to Host World Cup in Anti-gay Countries Like Russia, Qatar

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Speaking with Sky Sports on Thursday, LA Galaxy star Robbie Rogers came out strongly against FIFA's decision to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in Russia and Qatar respectively - two countries with very poor records on LGBT rights.

Said Rogers:

“I would never pressure anyone into speaking about the issue but it is absolutely insane. If you look at the next few World Cups, they are in places where, if I were to go, I could possibly be imprisoned or beat up or stoned to death. It is pretty ridiculous. There is going to be number of gay fans that will go to watch the sport. Of course there is going to be another gay footballer there. So I think it is an issue that needs to be spoken about and discussed with FIFA because every player should feel safe when they go to a World Cup.”

Rogers, who played with Leeds United between 2012 and 2013, also talked about how his coming out led to his early retirement from the sport and eventually brought him to LA Galaxy.

Watch the interview here.

Back in July, FIFA announced that a special task force will be needed to deal with homophobia at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. 


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