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

Russ

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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'Our Gay Wedding: The Musical' to Hit British TV Tonight: VIDEO

Gayweddingmusical

In early March we reported that Stephen Fry was set to narrate a television special called Our Gay Wedding: The Musical on the UK's Channel 4 shortly after marriage equality went into effect in Britain.

The show is airing tonight, with mysic and lyrics written by the couple being wed, composer Benjamin Till and actor Nathan Taylor, and group numbers to be performed by the couples' guests (and with several special appearances).

Watch the trailer and a couple sneak peeks, AFTER THE JUMP...

GaymuseThe wedding took place on Saturday at London's Alexandra Palace, Metro reports:

They tied the knot on Saturday with The Feeling singing The Beach Boys’ God Only Knows as they walked up the aisle. Then Erasure’s Andy Bell sang Respect. And Stephen Fry introduced the proceedings.

They add:

The mothers, meanwhile, sing a beautiful duet about their emotions as their sons came out. It’s enough to melt the iciest of hearts. The songs are ridiculously catchy, too. The show’s commissioning editor, John Hay, said he just can’t get the tunes out of his head. ‘They’re real earworms,’ he told Metro.co.uk.

The only part of the ceremony that had to be spoken were the declarations.

The law simply doesn’t allow these to be sung. So, had the grooms said something wrong, or even just mumbled slightly, the registrar (who also sang, of course), would have had to put them right.

Afterwards Mr Till described the experience as ‘beautiful and surreal’ while Mr Taylor, who met his other half 12 years ago, told Metro.co.uk it was ‘the most magical, intense, enjoyable, moving, emotional event anyone could ever wish for’.

Watch the trailer and a couple sneak peeks, AFTER THE JUMP...

Mother

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Stephen Fry Set To Narrate Gay Musical TV Wedding For Channel 4

Gayweddingmusical

Stephen Fry is set to narrate a special for the UK's Channel 4 called, "Our Gay Wedding: The Musical." With music and lyrics written by the couple, composer Benjamin Till and actor Nathan Taylor, and group numbers to be performed by the couples' guests (and a couple of special appearances, yet to be announced), the special is looking to be a hit and to bring awareness to the issue of gay rights around the world.

The Independent reports:

“We’ve been together for nearly 12 years and never thought we’d get the chance to get married, for real,” the couple said. “Doing what we both do for a living has meant that we’ve spent our entire lives expressing emotion through song, so getting married in a musical, particularly one that we’re writing ourselves, felt like the most natural thing in the world.”

In a nod to the struggle for gay rights, there will be tributes to other gay and lesbian couples getting married and reminders of the hardships faced by gay people in countries where homosexuality is still a crime. 

“We are proud to be marking a huge milestone for gay rights - a cause that has long been close to Channel 4’s heart,” said John Hay, Channel 4’s commissioning editor for arts.

Fry, who is openly gay, has been an outspoken advocate for LGBT rights in Britain and globally. He was particularly vehement in his attacks on Russia and urged Britain to boycott the Sochi Olympics.

Fry likened the Sochi Games to those hold in Berlin under Nazi Germany. "I am gay. I am a Jew. My mother lost over a dozen of her family to Hitler's anti-Semitism. I for one, weep at seeing history repeat itself," he wrote in a letter to Downing Street.

Channel 4 has not yet set a date for the musical wedding extravaganza. England and Wales' same-sex marriage legislation will go into effect on March 29th, though, so expect to see Benjamin and Nathan tie the knot soon after. 

Photo via The Independent.


Towleroad Guide to the Tube #1519

KE$HA VS ADELE: An earworm from Meghan Tonjes.

BEAR GRYLLS AND STEPHEN FRY: Discuss their beliefs.

THIS WEEK: In unnecessary censorship.

AVICII: "Addicted to You".

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.


Elton John, Stephen Fry, George Michael, Graham Norton, and Tom Daley Get Together: PHOTO

Nesting

The Kaleidoscope Trust, a UK based international LGBT rights charity, is auctioning off seven sets of these Russian nesting dolls in a #ToRussiaWithLove campaign.

The auction will be held today through December 22  to raise money for The Kaleidoscope Trust and their counterparts in the Russian LGBT community, says the group.

They add: "Over Christmas, Mother will deliver a set of dolls to the Russian Embassy in London and The Kremlin as an act of solidarity with the LGBT community in Russia."


Stephen Colbert Spars with Stephen Fry: VIDEO

Fry

Actor and activist Stephen Fry stopped by the Colbert Report late last week to talk about his Broadway debut in Twelfth Night, his suspicious intelligence, his atheism, the Lord of the Rings, bipolar disorder.

Fry also praises New Jersey for getting marriage equality, and the 'It Gets Better' campaign.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

If you missed Fry's documentary about confronting homophobia, check it out HERE.

Fry_colbert

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