Is this even an Olympics or is it just the whole world passive aggressively protesting Russia’s Anti-LGBT+ laws
except nobody is fucking protesting at all? what has anyone actually done to signify a protest? germany wearing colorful outfits (that were denied to have any lgbtq connections)? google changing their logo in a way that may or may not support gay people (there’s not confirmation that it does, after all)? a group in canada (read: not the entire country of canada) making a video? one of the six (only six) openly queer athletes at the games wearing rainbow gloves and showing them to the camera?
no one’s done anything, not even passive aggressively. i mean, good for cheryl maas, but she didn’t really do anything, mostly because she doesn’t have the power to. you know what would have signified actual protest? countries refusing to go to the games specifically because of the laws in russia, for starters. world leaders standing up and saying they cannot send their athletes to a country where people are being discriminated against so openly. (i mean, really, come on russia, just do what america does, keep your discrimination subtle and people won’t even notice it’s happening!) that would have been a big deal, that would have shown actual support.
and, let’s be honest, in the discussions of russia’s laws and what they meant for the olympics, hardly anyone mentioned queer identities being persecuted besides those who identify solely as gay. and if that isn’t being discussed you bet your fucking ass it’s not being protested on a large scale. the very light amount of activism that has been put forth by people and corporations who actually are in a place to do something has all been directed towards the g in lgbtq and nowhere else. not that that’s anything new, but don’t you dare tell me anything that’s been done has been done with, say, trans people in mind. because it hasn’t.
so, no, it’s an olympics. there is no protesting. what there is are 88 countries supporting russia’s anti-lgbtq laws by doing absolutely nothing. it’s like your friend who claims to “love the gays” but is best friends with someone who throws around homophobic slurs and mocks trans people openly, but on a global scale. it’s allies silently supporting an oppressor. it’s the worst kind of activism.
and it doesn’t mean shit.
- The German uniforms’ designer said they had no ties to the pride flag, because if they had said that, then it would make the uniforms a political statement, and those are specifically forbidden from use by the IOC. Less “no, you’re wrong”, more “I can’t say this out loud”.
- Boycotting the Games would accomplish nothing, because everyone’s always boycotting the Games for a myriad of reasons. And none of those boycotts have ever led to anything. Seriously. Look it up.
- If we had boycotted the Games this year, what would that have changed? Would Russia stop being the way it is? Would the laws get repealed? No, because they’d see it as their age-old enemy America repeating their performance from 1980, and keep on keeping on. What will change it? How about the fact that Sochi is shaping up to be the most corrupt Games of all time, and their facilities for athletes and media are laughably shoddy, and the entire world is watching?
- Nobody’s really protesting? President Obama handpicked the American delegation that’s going to Sochi in his place. All three of them are openly gay athletes who are former Olympians. Gay athletes want to compete in Sochi’s Games, and for good reason - being out and proud and kicking Russia’s ass sends more messages then a boycott. It’s like when Jesse Owens went to Berlin in 1936 - nothing was a bigger “Fuck you!” to Nazism than a black man beating a German athlete in a race. If Russia comes away from this reeling, then we’ll have made an impact that won’t be soon forgotten.
Ah, here it is. The “backlash against Russia is bad because it only covers ‘privileged’ gay men and excludes the rest of the acronym” post. You guys do know that the word “gay” includes gay women too, right? And you do know that countries that outlaw homosexuality don’t recognize the difference between gay people and bisexual people in same-sex relationships, because they’re using the old model that homosexuality is a behavior and not an immutable personal characteristic, right? So yeah, when people say “gay” in this context, they’re talking about gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals, who are all oppressed under homophobic laws. There really isn’t some conspiracy to exclude the rest of the acronym.
And let’s talk about how US-centric/Western-centric that acronym even is. The fact that gay men, lesbians, bisexual people and transgender people are lumped together has everything to do with specific moments in US history - e.g. the Stonewall riots, the AIDS crisis - and it’s completely ludicrous to use it as a checklist for gauging oppression in other countries that don’t even see LG, B, and T as separate categories.
Furthermore, it’s also US-centric as fuck to assume that because gay men (at least white, cis gay men) in the US do have some privileges over other sexual minorities, that they’re also the most ~privileged~ sexual minority in other countries and cultures. They’re not even universally the most privileged minority HERE. Go ask a scary redneck in a red state if he’d rather share a beer with a gay man or a lesbian. Go on, I’ll wait. And yeah, some of the lack of violent lesbophobia among straight men is replaced by fetishization, which is awful too, but straight men as a whole are less scared of gay women because they’re not perceived as a threat. And you better believe gay oppression in macho countries like Russia is operating on those dynamics. Gay men are targeted MORE than other sexual minorities (insomuch as other sexual minorities are even acknowledged to exist; see paragraph #2) in countries where homosexuality is illegal because they’re perceived as a threat to straight masculinity and the sort of macho nationalism that operates as a direct manifestation of straight masculinity. They’re definitely NOT benefiting from some kind of ~gay privilege~.
tl;dr: cut this shit out.