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04/19/2007


17-Year-Old Japanese Student Comes Out In Inspiring 'I Have a Dream, Too' Speech: VIDEO

Japan

This past December, a seventeen-year-old Japanese student entered the Hokkaido Prefectural English Speech Contest, held in Sapporo, Japan and gave a rousing speech on LGBT rights. Little is known at this time about the young man who gave the oration which began with an examination of Russia’s recently enacted anti-gay laws and the controversy over the then-upcoming Sochi Olympics. The student asked, 

Why do gay people have to face discrimination? Is it because they are not heterosexual? Is it a sin to love somebody of the same gender? The law cannot control love or people's feelings.

However, what began as a more academic examination of persecutions LGBT people face quickly became personal:

I have faced discrimination too. I am gay. I realized this when I was a junior high-school student, although I never told anybody somehow my classmates guessed that I was. They rejected me and treated me like I was not a human being; one girl said to me "I can't believe someone like you exists". It made me feel like I was completely alone. In high school I decided to keep my secret safe and never tell anyone about who I really am on the inside. But this year I wanted to stop hiding that part of myself.

The student went on point out the differences between attitudes towards LGBT person in the United States and Europe and the rest of the world, particularly Japan:

In Japan, we are afraid of being different, but we don't show our hate so openly. It is silent discrimination. If nobody talks about the problem then it doesn't exist. Many gay people in Japan hide who they really are because they are afraid of being rejected, not with angry words or threats of violence, but with isolation. Being gay in Japan is a very lonely existence.

Maybe it will be difficult for me to live my life just like other people. But this is my life. I'm going to live it no matter what people say. Martin Luther King once said "Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step." When I feel scared I often think of this quote. Making this speech was my first step, I never thought that I could tell people that I am gay.

 I too have a dream. One day down in the meadows of Hokkaido, gay people and straight people are chatting together and eating BBQ in the sunshine. I have a dream of a world without any prejudice, hate or ignorance which causes blind discrimination against what we can't understand. I can see the road ahead will be difficult, but I must be brave. Not just for myself, but for other young people like me.

You can read the full transcript of the speech and watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP…

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Author of Russia's Anti-Gay Law Among Those Sanctioned by U.S. Over Ukraine

President Obama today announced sanctions on certain Russian officials over its action in Ukraine. Among them is Yelena Mizulina, author of the ban on 'gay propaganda'.

The NYT reports:

MizulinaPresident Obama signed an executive order freezing the assets and banning visas for a number of Russians deemed to be responsible for the seizing of Crimea or otherwise interfering in Ukrainian sovereignty. Among those targeted were several officials in President Vladimir V. Putin’s inner circle, and the White House threatened to go after more if Russia did not back down....

...Among those targeted were Vladislav Surkov, one of Mr. Putin’s most influential advisers, known as the Kremlin’s “gray cardinal”; Sergei Glazyev, an economist who has been advising Mr. Putin on Ukraine; Valentina Matviyenko, chairman of the Federation Council, the upper house of Parliament; and Dmitry Rogozin, a deputy prime minister. No sanctions were placed on Mr. Putin.

Others named by the White House were Leonid Slutsky and Yelena Mizulina, members of the State Duma, the lower house of Parliament; and Andrey Klishas, a member of the Federation Council who wrote a bill to seize assets of Western individuals and assets in retaliation for any sanctions imposed on Russia.

Mizulina, as you may recall, authored Russia's ban on 'gay propaganda'.

Watch Obama announce the Ukriane sanctions, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Stephen Colbert Interviews Former 'RT' Anchor Liz Wahl About Putin's Propaganda Machine: VIDEO

Wahl_colbert

Stephen Colbert sat down last night with Liz Wahl, who made headlines last week after she resigned from Kremlin-funded news network RT on-air, saying she could no longer be "part of a network that whitewashes" Putin's actions.

Colbert asks Wahl if she received her marching orders directly from Putin while she was working there, and if she's now officially a member of Pussy Riot.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Scott Lively Blames Gays For Ukraine Crisis

Criminal against humanity Scott Lively has taken to World Net Daily to write about the crisis in Ukraine and how, somehow, it's the fault of gays and the gay rights movement. He wrote, in part,

Scott_livelyAnd this is why the greatest point of conflict between the U.S. and Russia is the question of homosexuality. (I believe even the conflict in Ukraine is being driven to a large extent by this issue, at least on the part of the Obama State Department and the homosexualist leaders of the EU.)

[...]

I ask you, which is the greater threat to human rights: Russia’s law preventing homosexual activists from disseminating their propaganda to children, or the lawless decrees of these American federal judges? I submit that the former is not a threat at all, but a reaffirmation of true human rights (in that case the right of parents to raise their children according to their own values), while the latter is an egregious affront to liberty and an undermining of respect for the rule of law, which endangers all human rights.

Such are the informed words of the man who says that gays were Nazis and the ones really behind the Holocaust.


Tilda Swinton: To Call Putin Russia's 'Gayest President Ever' is Offensive to the Gay Community

Swinton

Tilda Swinton, who showed solidarity with the gay community last July by standing in Red Square with a rainbow flag, is asked about that moment in a SXSW interview with The Daily Beast.

Says Swinton:

"Well, Russia has the gayest president ever. No, that’s an offensive thing to say—not to him, but to the gay community."

Swinton has some additional insights about gay people:

"Well, I think there’s something that gay people have. It is true that to pass through the transitions that gay people have to in order to come out to themselves, to their families when they’re quite young, it’s a grow-bag, isn’t it? And I think that very often, heterosexual people miss out on that. There’s a feeling of development and sometimes, heterosexual people have never had to go through that self-examination and just knowing themselves, and that sense of coming out, coming to your own defense, and being your own best advocate, and going, “No! I’m going to stand by myself and say this is who I am and you can all fuck off.” That is a wonderful transition to go through, and I suppose a lot of straight people miss out on that, and then maybe their relationship choices are potentially less examined. They could be lazier or less thoroughly thought-through."


Gay Rights Activists Attacked at Feminist-Led Rally in Moscow: VIDEO

Attack_moscow

Police in Moscow detained approximately 12 men, including one with a machete hidden under his clothes, after they attacked a group of gay activists taking part in a feminist rights rally on Saturday.

QrQueer Russia reports:

LGBT activists Igor Iasine, Nikolay Bayev, Evgeniy Pisemsky, several members of the Moscow Rainbow Association and other participants of the sanctioned rally held rainbow flags and placards against homophobia and sexism.

Police detained armed thugs who made several attacks on the rally participants with rainbow flags. Attackers has knifes, a crowbar and a machete, they threw addle eggs at protesters and tried to burn a placard saying “No church, no kitchen, no state!”.

The rally was held in Moscow from Samotechnaya Square to Suvorov Square and drew about a hundred participants. The rally was held under slogans for women’s rights, anti-discrimination, against domestic violence, for reproductive freedom.

However, shortly after the rally started, the police demanded participants to take the rainbow flags away. But placards with slogans against homophobia were allowed to remain, Grani.ru reports.

Watch video of the attacks, AFTER THE JUMP...

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