Earlier this year, Russia created a new law that will allow them to arrest people who are gay and people who are friends of gays. If you are visiting Russia and you’ve been to a few gay pride parades in Canada, that could land you in jail for 15 days. Even Mr Baird is upset about this. The Olympics are being held in Russian in a few short months, just as professional athletes start to come out as gay more and more frequently in North America. Russia has said the law will be in effect during the Olympics. This has so many repercussions that I can’t even list them.
Unfortunately, once of the repercussions is an apologetic attitude. I’m talking about June Thomas‘ article in Slate, titled “Why Gay People Should Be Grateful the 2014 Olympics Are in Russia” Fuck everything about that title. Don’t you dare, for one second, be grateful that a power sees fit to oppress you and jail you for something as trivial as liking the way your beard feels against another dude’s beard. Or grateful that you know it’s going on elsewhere in the world. The text of the article isn’t as banal as the title would have you believe.
Panicking about the Olympics six months before the games begin is a biannual tradition. […] We’re not seeing that kind of concern-trolling in the run-up to Sochi. Western outrage at Russia’s virulently homophobic law is more on par with the long international sports boycott of apartheid South Africa. This is one of those rare cases where outraged individuals and uncomfortable corporations have a shared incentive to raise a stink about something offensive and hateful that’s happening elsewhere in the world.
While she raises many a good point, it’s centered around the idea that we should be grateful there is attention being paid to this hate-law. In some round about masochistic way there is a singular, shiny glitter spec of truth to that. We should be enraged that hate-laws are put into effect at anytime, anywhere. We should be protesting in the streets in anger, not grateful that we know about it.