- December 2022
Image by Victoria Model from Pixabay
It seems unlikely to me that you needed another reason to hate Russian President Vladimir Putin.
But he provided one yesterday. Though his full-time occupation is attempting to cripple Ukraine, he managed to find a few moments to sign expanded anti-LGBTQ laws. He's a whiz at despotic time management.
A 2013 law had banned the dissemination of LGBTQ-related information to children. Now "LGBT propaganda" can't be disseminated to adults, which will effectively eradicate all public signs that queer people exist in Russia.
Any action or the spreading of any information that could be considered as promoting homosexuality in public, online, in movies, books or ads is viewed as "LGBT propaganda," and those found guilty will receive whopping fines.
It's all part of an effort by Putin's government to quash opposition, free speech and Western values. Between that and sanctions and all the battle casualties Russia is suffering thanks to Putin's fevered imperial dreams, Moscow these days must have all the charm of week-old borscht.
- October 2022
Image by Robin Higgins from Pixabay
As if the specter of nuclear Armageddon wasn't enough, CNN just ran a headline guaranteed to petrify many a lesbian: "High Levels of Toxic Chemical Found in Sports Bras."
- July 2022
Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay
The number one female tennis player in Russia, Daria Kasatkina, recently came out as gay. She also criticized Russia's war on Ukraine.
All Kasatkina has to do now is laugh at Vladimir Putin's topless photos and the man will open a gulag just for her.
- June 2022
Europe saw the very worst and the very best of the Pride experience yesterday.
In Norway, a gunman killed two people and wounded 21 at a gay bar in the capital city of Oslo. The alleged shooter was a 42-year-old Norwegian citizen of Iranian origin. He's believed to be a radicalized Islamist with a history of mental illness, and had been on authorities' radar since 2015.
Apparently he fell plum off.
On the advice of police, the Pride parade was cancelled. But several thousand people marched spontaneously, waving rainbow flags and chanting in English, "We're here, we're queer, we won't disappear."
Kudos to them for their defiance. As to chanting in English, perhaps the sentiment isn't as catchy in Norwegian.
The prime minister and members of the royal family laid roses near the bar. Crown Prince Haakon told reporters, "We must protect the right in Norway to love whomever we want."
I'm an anti-royalist, but I feel a sudden urge to curtsy.
Over in the Polish capital city of Warsaw, thousands marched in the Equality Parade, reportedly the largest queer event in central Europe. Joining the Polish paraders were hundreds of Ukrainians, representing LGBTQ organizations from around that besieged nation.
The joint Pride was a marvelous show of queer solidarity across borders—and a reminder of what will happen to the Ukrainian LGBTQ community if the Kremlin wins this war.
Pride was born of struggle years ago in New York City. In Europe in 2022, there's still plenty of struggle to be had. If you attended a Pride this month and your greatest difficulty was choosing an outfit, please keep a thought for our compatriots, abroad and here in the States. We all hope for the day when, in every part of the world, a Pride struggle means nothing more taxing than trying to avoid your ex.
- March 2022
Elvira Schemur, a Ukrainian LGBTQ activist, was "one of the first Pride volunteers to join the Kharkiv regional defense," a fellow Ukrainian queer activist tweeted yesterday.
Schemur was volunteering at a regional administration building in the city on March 1 when it was hit by a Russian missile. She died at the age of 21.
Is it wrong to dream of Vladimir Putin being pushed into a vat of boiling borscht?
The Girl Scouts in my neck of the woods have run out of a certain type of cookie they sell.
Given the war in Ukraine and the worldwide havoc caused by COVID, it'd be vastly inappropriate of me to call this cookie situation a crisis.
But I think it's fair to ask: How can I be expected to cope with the real crises without the aid of Thin Mints?
The Moscow Times, an English-language newspaper out of Russia, posted this startling headline yesterday: "Russian Church Leader Appears to Blame Gay Pride Parades for Ukraine War."
Uh huh. And COVID-19 is all Tinky Winky's fault.
Image by Rafael Javier from Pixabay
Thank God All Weeks Don't Start Like This
Warming up my car early this morning so I could drive to work, I turned on the radio in time to hear the last minutes of an NPR story about the possibility of nuclear war.
Multiple outlets are reporting that American basketball star Brittney Griner has been arrested in Russia on charges of illegally bringing drugs into the country. Apparently customs officers discovered hash oil in her luggage at the Moscow airport in February.
Now there are questions galore, most notably, has Griner been in jail all this time?
It could be that the African American lesbian is about to find herself a Russian bargaining chip. It feels strange to call someone who's 6-foot-9 an international "pawn."
Image by Mary Bettini Blank from Pixabay
You've heard how Russian invaders have been targeting the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. According to reports, that didn't go well for one group of Russian soldiers.
It's unclear whether these soldiers were AWOL or avoiding Ukrainian resistance or what, but they tried to hide in the basement of a building. It turned out their hiding place was the office of the local LGBTQ organization, some of whose members discovered, beat and captured the Russians.
I'd like to think that instead of beating them I'd have forced them to pay a month's rent and wear glitter, but who can say?
The source of this story is Viktor Pilipanko, a Ukrainian LGBTQ rights activist and veteran who just rejoined the army. "This is our war, the Ukrainians, but we have also been fighting as LGBTQ people, and I'm sure that the comrades in Kharkiv understood that," said Pilipanko. "We are confronting a tyrannical, homophobic enemy."
That's certainly true. While life for queers in Ukraine is no picnic, it's better than Russia, where a certain shirtless leader's toxic masculinity and political desires have led to queer repression. The U.S. revealed that Russia's "kill list" of Ukrainians includes a number of LGBTQ people.
LGBTQ Ukrainians are fighting for their country and their lives. They couldn't be more inspired if Cher promised to sing to them in the trenches.
- February 2022
Yet again, it's our fault. How do we live with ourselves?
According to Media Matters, right-wing media figures are having a fine old time pinning the Russian invasion of Ukraine on queers. If your head hurts trying to make the connection, I'll do it for you. Now that I've taken ibuprofen.
President Joe Biden's repeal of the ban on trans soldiers, along with the military's diversity training and general "wokeness," have all combined to weaken American forces to the point where Russian President Vladimir Putin saw his chance to invade Russia's neighbor.
On a Fox News show, Pete Hegseth claimed Americans have been "running around talking about genders and reparations," so "as a result, [Putin] thinks this is his moment to make an aggressive move."
Fox contributor Lisa Boothe tweeted, "America is weak. No one is afraid of us with dementia man in the White House and our focus is flying pride flags around the world."
Matt Walsh of the Daily Wire podcast said it was "not a coincidence that this has happened after Biden spent his first year in office focusing primarily on wokeness and intentionally making our military weaker and more feminine." He later added that Biden was attempting to “fill our military with lesbians who can’t do three pushups."
I wouldn't want to be Walsh when some lesbian sergeant challenges him to a pushup contest.
So thanks to integrating LGBTQ people into the military, American forces have been neutered, and Putin took advantage.
As these rightist talking heads blame us for the invasion, Christian fundamentalists, our usual accusers, haven't joined in.
Maybe they're just mad they didn't think of it first.
Yesterday, as Russian President Vladimir Putin unleashed his military on Ukraine, a man in Florida sang his praises.
"I mean, he's taking over a country for $2 worth of sanctions," said Donald Trump at a Mar-a-Lago fundraiser. "I'd say that's pretty smart. He's taking over a country—literally a vast, vast location, a great piece of land with a lot of people, and just walking right in."
Only Trump would describe an invasion as a real estate deal.
One presidential historian told The New York Times, "The idea that a former president would praise the man or leadership who U.S. troops are even now traveling to confront and contain is astounding."
The idea that the Republican Party would continue to let itself be led by a traitorous yam is astounding, but here we are.
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