An Italian LGBT activist and former member of parliament who was arrested in Sochi while protesting Russia's anti-gay propaganda law has been freed, activists said.
Vladimir Luxuria, a transgender who served as lawmaker with Italy's Communist Party was held by police in the southern Russian city hosting the Winter Olympics as she was waving a rainbow flag saying "Gay is OK" in Russian. She was released after a few hours.
"I've been freed and tomorrow I'll watch the Games," Luxuria, 48, wrote in a SMS message to the Gay Centre, Fabrizio Marrazzo a spokesman for the LGBT community told ANSA news agency.
While we celebrate her freedom from a Russian jail, let us remember that for LGBT Russians the battle over Putin's anti-gay propaganda law and confronting the widespread social and religious hatred goes on.
Here's a photo of Luxuria at Euro Pride 2011 which was held in Rome that year, looking rather fabulous in an eye-catching rainbow tiara during the parade and celebration. We can expect much more media-savvy activism from her, thank goodness!