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Stephen Fry's 'Out There' Explores Attitudes Towards Gay People: Watch 2 Episodes - VIDEO

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Stephen Fry, the British actor, writer, director and activist, has released a new two part documentary entitled, Stephen Fry: Out There, "a series about gay people and the trouble people have accepting them." The first episode sees Fry, a long-time foe of anti-gay bias, interviewing Elton John and David Furnish, discussing how John's coming out was a "game-changer," and later psychologist Joseph Nicolosi, a major proponent behind the "reparative therapy" movement. The second episode follows Fry as he travels around the world, examining a broad range of oppressive attitudes towards homosexuality, as The New Statesman points out:

in Brazil, a gay person is murdered every 36 hours; in Russia, it is illegal to “promote” homosexuality, a law that has far-reaching and monstrous consequences for the parents and children of gay people (who are “promoting” homosexuality by being alive); in India, the hijras (men who, broadly speaking, identify as women) are forced to live on the outer margins of society.

Fry's own introduction to the series sums up his point of view very succinctly:

There are people who are so rabidly homophobic and I just find that fascinating. It’s as if you met someone who absolutely spent all their life trying to get rid of red telephones. You’d go, what? You just would not understand it. Why would someone bother to attack a group of people who mean to do them no harm?

You can watch both episodes AFTER THE JUMP...

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Stephen Fry Tells Author of Russian Ban on 'Gay Propaganda' He's Making Big Fool of Himself: VIDEO

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Earlier this week we posted a clip from Out There, Stephen Fry's docu-series about homophobia for BBC2, which featured Fry interviewing the founder of 'ex-gay' group NARTH. In this new clip, Fry confronts Vitaly Milonov, the author of St. Petersburg, Russia's ban on 'gay propaganda', and tells him how ridiculous he sounds.

Says Fry:

"You really ought to stop because you're making a great fool of yourself on camera. This is going to be shown around the world and if people hear you speaking like this they're going to think so little of Russia. They're going to think, 'Is this man actually allowed to use the street and the telephone, let alone be a politician?'"

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...


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Stephen Fry Meets the 'Ex-Gay' Therapist Founder of NARTH: VIDEO

Nicolosi

As part of a two-part BBC2 series hosted by actor, comedian, and activist Stephen Fry, Fry heads to L.A. to visit "ex-gay" therapist and NARTH founder Joseph Nicolosi, as well as a former patient. Other segments in Out There deal with Uganda, Russia, Brazil, and India.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Russian Gay Ban Author: 'Stephen Fry is a Bringer of Evil'

Milonov

Not surprisingly, Vitaly Milonov, the author of the St. Petersburg, Russia law banning gay propaganda, on which the federal law is based, dislikes outspoken British actor Stephen Fry.

AAP reports: Fry

"For me Stephen Fry is a bringer of evil, as he expresses ideas which are evil," Milonov told AFP in an interview in Saint Petersburg.

Milonov and Fry became arch enemies after the two men held a face-to-face meeting in Saint Petersburg in March and have traded insults through the media ever since. Fry is an implacable critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who he once memorably said looked like the Dobby the House Elf from the Harry Potter books.

Despite the outcry sparked by the adoption of the law both in Saint Petersburg and nationwide, Milonov sees no harm in what he describes as "preventative" legislation.

"It's a declaration of our values, our response to the challenges of the present time....Thank God that we have Putin, who defends the basic interests of Russia, for defending its values...[Russia] needs to resist the wave of degradation that has seized the Western world."

"I do not know why we have to apologise in front of Westerners. The preaching tone that they adopted in this area does not suit us."

Milonov has urged Putin to enforce the gay ban during the upcoming Sochi Olympic Games. He is also the lawmaker who targeted Lady Gaga and Madonna with visa investigations.


Stephen Fry And David Cameron Meet To Discuss The Problem With Russia

The Grapes
Not unlike Harvey Fierstein, actor Stephen Fry has been very vocal about the gay rights abuses happening in Russia as the Sochi Olympics draw nearer. Fry challenged Prime Minister David Cameron's assertion that Britain's presence in the games is vital to the case for gay rights in Russia. Fry wrote,

At all costs Putin cannot be seen to have the approval of the civilised world. The Summer Olympics of 2012 were one of the most glorious moments of my life and the life of my country. 

For  there to be a Russian Winter Olympics would stain the movement for ever and wipe away any of that glory.

The Prime Minister replied via Twitter with,

Thank you for your note @stephenfry. I share your deep concern about the abuse of gay people in Russia.

‘However, I believe we can better challenge prejudice as we attend, rather than boycotting the Winter Olympics. DC.

At this point newspaper publisher Evgeny Lebedev invited the two men to The Grapes, a pub he co-owns with Sir Ian McKellen in Limehouse, to discuss their differences over drinks in a private room. When the meeting ended, sources say that Fry was pleased at Cameron's explanations on how Britain would use its attendance to make the case for gay rights, though no specifics were revealed.


Former NBA Player John Amaechi Calls On Sochi Olympians To 'Use Podium As A Soap Box'

6a00d8341c730253ef0133f257b78c970b-300wiAmidst calls for boycotts, bans and a relocation of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, out former NBA player John Amaechi has written an open letter to Olympic athletes and National Olympic Committees urging them not to boycott and not to stand as silent witnesses to the atrocities being committed against LGBT Russians. Amaechi, who in 2012 criticized the IOC's "cowardice" for not standing up for LGBT rights, writes:

Reasonable people can argue whether your ‘job’ is to win medals, to ski, skate, shoot and whatever else you do better than anyone else in the world. But as a former athlete myself, I know that what we do in practice and competition is only one small part of of our job.  Many of you are icons in your respective sports, inspirational to a generation of young people who hang on your every tweet, ape your every action and follow your every suggestion.  As such, it is your responsibility - as much as the quest for gold - to show the world that you understand that sport, especially Olympic sport, IS intrinsically political.  It is your responsibility as you prepare to go to Sochi to publicly acknowledge that your games happen on the backs of the abuse of migrant workers, the threatening of environmental activists and journalists, the ‘disappearance’ of €25 billion and indeed, in the context of a country that is facilitating and then ignoring the torture of young gay boys and girls.


I’m not here to distract you from your previously singular purpose of representing yourself and your country in Sochi.  Rather, I want you to fulfil that obligation to it’s fullest.  I want you to embrace the supposed ‘Fundamental Principles of Olympism’ and in the IOC’s own words “...place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.”

Amaechi also comments on Stephen Fry's recent remarks comparing Russia's persecution of gays to Nazi Germany's persecution of Jews:

You have may have heard Russian, British and other Olympic and public officials balk at Stephen Fry’s analogy of Russia’s anti-propaganda laws with Nazi Germany’s.  Normally, the internet revels in Godwin’s law where any argument ends up with one side calling the other a Nazi, but in this case, take a look for yourself at the 1935 Nuremberg laws and the eerie similarity with these laws designed to create an official smokescreen for the crude, stereotyping and scientifically disproven marginalization of certain minorities. Please do not be fooled by superficially charming men who defend the atrocities of regimes that have elevated them positions of power.  History is littered with such men and their obfuscation should not be compounded by our silent collaboration.

6a00d8341c730253ef019104a08a0a970c-250wiDespite the ambiguity as to whether displays of support for LGBT rights will be tolerated by the Russian Federation to say nothing of the IOC itself, Amaechi underscores his belief in the importance of standing up and speaking out against the persecution of gays in Russia, stating,

Just as history is littered with the powerful men I described earlier, it is equally strewn with other figures who could have made a stand and taken action to highlight and embolden the oppressed but instead chose not to... and to my mind, no amount of gold hung around a neck can outshine the shame of such a stain."

I understand the logical, principled stand behind a call for a boycott, but I see it as impractical, politically untenable and if attempted, at best, piecemeal.  I have also spoken to several key Russian activists who want the games to go ahead so that the athletes can compete, win and most importantly when they take those podiums - stand for something more than their personal and national glory.

Like Tommie Smith and John Carlos before you, you do not change the world by winning alone, but by using that podium as a soap box and in the 21st century the ways you can do that are wonderfully creative and varied, but don’t fool yourself into thinking, as one athlete I spoke to today, that winning in silence will show your support, that act is an abdication of the most important role any athlete can aspire to have - that of multidimensional exemplar to the world of sport and beyond [...]

Maybe you wish sports wasn’t political, maybe you think misguidedly that it isn’t, but whatever your thoughts, understand that the young people being tortured in Russia today will not know by telepathy that you abhor their treatment, the families of slain journalists will not not understand by looking into your tearful eyes on the podium that you support them and the world will not recognise that you stand for more than yourself unless you say or do something to make that clear at a time when the world is watching you.

You can read the letter in full HERE.


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