Saturday, January 26, 2013

U.S. Gays Join Russian 'I Am Not Propaganda' Photo Campaign

(A straight ally holds a sign reading, "I am Catholic and a mother, this is why I am against homophobia".)

The discriminatory and idiotic no-promo-homo legislation that received its first reading in Russia's State Duma, the lower chamber of parliament, was approved yesterday in Moscow. This is terrible step back for the LGBT community and advocates of democracy in Russia. More info on yesterday's approval of the bill and attacks on gay people protesting the bill, can be found here.

As part of a national effort to oppose the federal "Homosexual Propaganda" bill that makes it a crime to say anything positive about gay, the LGBT organizations Coming Out and earlier this week proudly announced a photo project on the web.

Photos featuring dozens of ordinary straight Russian allies of LGBT people, holding signs saying "I am a _______ and I oppose homophobia", are on display here. An explanation in English about the campaign, where the following photos are from, is located here.

(This straight man's sign reads, "I am Christian and I am against homophobia".)

(An ally who can't show his face holds a sign that says, "I am a policeman and I am against homophobia, but in our country I can't say it openly".)

(This supporter's poster says, "I am a teacher and I am against homophobia.)

To show strong and deep solidarity with the LGBT community of Russia and their straight allies, my longtime partner and boyfriend Mike and I decided to join this online photo campaign. We called our good young lesbian friend Nadia, to come over to our apartment and snap our photo and then I took one of her.

(Your humble blogger holds a sign in Russian saying "I am a human being and not propaganda," which is the message of the sign held by my partner Mike Merrigan.)

(Here's our friend Nadia Winsted sending a solidarity message to gay Russians.)

Please participate in this very worthwhile photo campaign. It's very easy to do. 

Simply cut-and-paste this Russian phrase, "Я человек а не пропаганд", and print it in big letters. You can also use the English translation " I am a human being and not propaganda". Take a photo of yourself and your friends holding the sign.

Then send your photo to this email address:

In this desperate hour of need for our LGBT brothers and sisters in Russia, you can do a lot with a single photo to help them fight homophobia in their country. Don't delay and send your photo today!

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