So, it seems to me that some people and some countries are always out of step with the rest of the world and while that can be a good thing, sometimes it’s really not. Sometimes it just ends up make you look like a toddler throwing a tantrum.
Or in the case of Russia, like you are taking a giant step backwards in your evolutionary process.
The recently adopted draconian laws against the LGBTQ community harkens back to the days of iron-fisted Tsars and it terrifies me. Watching on the news as people are arrested and beaten for nothing more than declaring who they love makes me wonder what kind of Hitler-like aspirations Valdimir Putin has.
It seems kind of telling to me that these laws have been brought into action mere months before the opening of the Sochi Olympics. I’m hoping that if the laws had been in place earlier that the Olympic committee would not have decided to award them to Russia.
So now the countries and athletes who are supposed to be participating come February are left with a difficult choice…or at least I hope it’s difficult. Do they go to the Olympics or not?
And I get it, I really do. Years and years of training for the chance to show the rest of the world what you can do and make your country proud. It’s the ultimate aspiration for the best athletes in the world. But the 2010 Winter Olympics will forever be tainted because of the country they are being held in and the man who decided to put these laws into place.
For the members of the LGBTQ community the choice is doubly hard. Do they go and spend the whole time in fear of discovery and prosecution? Putin has assured the world that the laws will not be enforced against athletes and others connected to the Olympics but other members of his own government have stated that the laws will indeed be in effect.
So, what to do? Do you go and participate and use the fact that the eyes of the world will be on Sochi to make a statement? Or do you boycott the Olympics and make the statement the kind of persecution going on in Russia is unacceptable?
I am torn on this subject. On one hand, I like the idea of making a statement. I’d love to see someone unfurl a rainbow flag during a medal ceremony! But on the other hand I’m terrified that in their zeal to make a point, someone might end up hurt or imprisoned and I don’t think that Russia cares enough about world opinion to be counted upon for leniency.
I don’t know what the solution is. Part of me want’s to say “Stand proud and let your rainbow flag fly high!” but another, more cautious part of me wants to tell all the people associated with the LGBTQ community to stay home and stay safe because sometimes when you walk into the lion’s den you slay the beast, but sometimes you get mauled to death.
Then there is this whole business of the dumping of the Russian vodka in the streets. While I understand the need to make some kind of protest, I’m not sure that there is anything that the makers of Stolichnaya Vodka can do anything to change government policies they have publicly stated they despise. From what I can see, Stoli has long been associated with the LGBTQ community and they seem to be very proud of it. And the fact that they have made a statement against their government at all is something I consider to be very brave, all things being considered.
So, what can we do, those of us who support equality for everyone? Make your feelings known in the way you feel is right for you and show your support the best way you know how. Contact your government or the Olympic committee and tell them how you feel. Use social media to your advantage as I am. It’s a great way for the average person to get their message out there.
A little personal story for you. I had to go to the chiropractor last week and we were half-way through my treatment when he suddenly asks me “what’s with all the rainbows?” I regularly wear a Pride bracelet and a little rainbow pin that a friend in England sent me and I love when they make people ask questions.
So, I told him that I was a big supporter of equal rights and that I wrote gay romance novels. He looked at me for a second and said “but you’re not gay, are you?” He knows my husband. I told him no and that the books I wrote were actually m/m not f/f. He stopped and looked at me in shock and says “Really….REALLY? Wow, how does that work?” I burst out laughing and we spent the next 20 minutes in a discussion about equal rights and my association with the LGBTQ community. He told me that he never would have guessed that I was so “badassed” His words, not mine, but it did make me giggle.
I do so love an opportunity to have a spirited discussion on a subject that is so dear to me and if I get the chance to educate someone while doing it? All the better.
Okay, the fic rec. Love, Like Water by Rowan Speedwell is a wonderful story about a man who is so broken by his circumstances that he is certain that he can’t ever be fixed. When Joshua Chastain’s mom suggests spending some time at his Uncle’s farm where he loved to be as a child, he goes just to make things easier for her. There he meets Eli Kelly, a man who just might be up to the task of helping Joshua heal his broken spirit. This story made me cry and broke my heart as I watched Joshua’s spiral into hopelessness before he finally finds his way to break free of it with Eli’s help.
Here’s the Dreamspinner link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3970
And here is the Amazon link. http://www.amazon.com/Love-Like-Water-ebook/dp/B00DUQ5ABK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1375797059&sr=1-1&keywords=love+like+water
And as always, here’s me! http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=454 and at Amazon! http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=Cindy%20Sutherland&search-alias=digital-text&sort=relevancerank