Being Gay Is Okay

Ian Proegler

Deeply sarcastic, mildly nosy, and all around lover of all things ironic. I craze all things that are vastly opinionated, and woefully frowned upon. Writer and self-proclaimed hater. @ianproegler

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There was an article online I read recently that made an attempt to assert gay people weren’t being mistreated around the world. At first, I was angry. Had he not seen the headlines for places like Uganda and Nigeria? Had he really been so blind as to not know what was happening to people in Russia?  Then I arrived at a somewhat appropriate response: heartbreak. Either people don’t know what’s happening to LGBT people in Russia, or they just don’t care. Both scenarios are equally tragic.

The situation in Russia is a wound much deeper and harsh than the recent spotlight provided by the Olympics. LGBT people in Russia aren’t just being beaten, there have been instances where they have been tortured and killed. Last year, in May, a man was killed after he came out to his friends, who therein shattered his skull with a rock after violating him with a beer bottle. Another man died after a group attacked him and then burned his body. Gay men on the streets are being chased down and beaten within an inch of their lives. Social terrorist groups like “Occupy Pedophilia” kidnap gay people off of the street, or entrap them in apartments, tehn take them to a secluded area, and torture them, humiliate them, and them post it on YouTube. These videos are quite popular in Russia.

How could this person think that LGBT weren’t being mistreated?

The propaganda law, signed into effect last June, thrives on its vague nature. You could be arrested in Russia for wearing a rainbow flag, or holding hands with someone of the same sex. The bill is all about protecting the children in the country from thinking that gay is strictly not okay. But let’s face a reality: a lot of the gay youth— teens under the age of eighteen— have to live in fear of being dragged off the streets to be tortured. They’re children. Who’s protecting them? What protection does anyone have from these deranged people who are taking it upon themselves to enact violence and brutality on others? The goal of the bill, as said by the author of the bill, Yelena Mizulina, is to raise a “pure generation.” Does a child’s, let alone anyone’s purity, stay in tact when they watch a gang of people torture another person? Probably not.

The violence wages on, the world’s gaze temporarily stolen by the sporting arena, and the only thing that continues to march forward is the justification the people are getting for hunting down gays. A new law will allow police (and apparently whoever else wants to feel righteous and take it upon themselves) to take children away from LGBT parents. They will be allowed to yank the children from these homes and find “suitable” homes for them, as if LGBT were ill-suited to be parents. LGBT blood has lined the streets, and yet only 7% of the country are against the LGBT laws that have been set into place. For a people so wired into the need of the country, what about their country’s people? Oppressors are persecuting Russian citizens, so couldn’t it be that their unwavering commitment to their country is actually a lack thereof?

How could anyone think that this is fair treatment of people? How could anyone see these headlines and see the injustice and think anything besides LGBT people are getting heinously mistreated? While visibility of the laws and treatment of LGBT people in Russia only grows, it still grows bleaker for those in the country. These people have to fear for their lives every time they leave their houses. These people, some of them the children the country is fighting so hard to “protect”, have the danger of being kidnapped from the streets and tortured, the world seeing their mistreatment and brutality enacted onto them on YouTube. Brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, spouses. Citizens of Russia. They’re anything but safe.

So when I hear people saying that LGBT people aren’t being mistreated, aren’t being killed or threatened, I can’t help but remember the people who have already lost their lives for just being who they are. And my heart breaks for them, people whose names are lost to the aggression and used as a demonstration of humiliation and brutality.

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