Aaron R. Davis
The anti-gay situation in Russia hasn’t gotten any less repugnant, but it has somehow gotten dumber.
I read last week that Russia has denied Selena Gomez a visa. She won’t be able to perform a couple of shows she had scheduled there. Apparently, the bureaucrats in Russia are terrified of American performers coming to their country and selling out shows and then telling people that gay is okay. Or something. And Selena Gomez has to be kept out because of her vigorous stance on … wait, let me think … didn’t she once say something about … no, that was someone else … oh, but she once said … no, wait, she didn’t. Hm. Well. Shit.
I can’t think of a single vigorous stance Selena Gomez has taken on anything. And I sure as hell can’t think of anything controversial that she ever said about anything. Really, Selena Gomez has always come across as one of those “safe” celebrities: professional almost to a fault, not making any waves, not taking any positions that would cause her any embarrassment or embattlement from overprotective mothers. She’s cute and bland. The only thing I can remember her saying that pissed anyone off is when she joked about making Bieber cry, and then it was only the crybaby Bieber fans on Twitter, so who cares?
But, Russia argues, she might be okay with gay people getting married and buying land and driving cars and raising children and being able to walk down the street without getting their skulls bashed in while the cops turn a blind eye, like they’re people or something. And since they don’t know for sure that Selena’s music isn’t about happiness and acceptance and all of those subversions, they’ve decided they can’t take the chance that she might go to a show in Russia and someone might for a second feel enough comfort that they suddenly don’t think someone else not affecting their lives in any measurable way is a gigantic deal. If someone feels too good, they might not inform on their neighbors, and is that the kind of Russia we’re comfortable holding the Olympics in? Konechno, net!
No, no, better to take the safe route and not let Selena fucking Gomez enter the country. Next thing you know, she’ll be saying it’s wrong to bully people and then it’ll be total anarchy.
It would actually be hilarious if it weren’t so petty, small and in the service of evil.
Once again: this is where we’re holding the fucking Olympics. Right under the oh-so-pleased countenance of that sloe-eyed devil and his criminal gang, and his fucking anti-human rights laws.
And can we just get to the point on this, please? This “anti-gay propaganda” jive is a law against human rights and it should constantly be referred to as such. It is legislation against something that people cannot help being, based on the ancient, outdated fears that gay people are icky, that there’s something mentally wrong with them, that different people are inherently inferior and of course that insulting old chestnut that all gay people are child molesters. It’s the legislation of bigotry and superstition and stupidity.
The only reason — the only reason — that people are hemming and hawing at all is because it has to do with gay people, and apparently we’re not educated enough to see that as a civil rights cause. Because if Russia had similar laws based on race, we just wouldn’t go and we’d be open about it and I think most people would agree. “Oh, Russia is burning black people on sight? Well, we can’t be seen to support that in any way, so it’s time to take a stand.” Instead it’s the ineffectual shrug. “Oh, gay people are getting beaten in the street? Well … these people really have done a lot of training for this, and maybe we can just keep our opinions to ourselves for a while.” But that’s what happens when we live in a country that genuinely seems to think that being disagreed with is the same thing as being oppressed.
But I’ve relaxed my stance on a boycott of the Olympics because of something else I read about Russia denying Selena Gomez a visa: Russia wouldn’t let Selena Gomez in the country, but they’re letting in Elton John?
They … they do know he’s openly gay, right?
That’s the reliably stupid thing about legislation designed to oppress people: it’s never consistent. So it keeps Selena Gomez out of the country because nobody’s sure what her stance on gay rights is, but it lets in Sir Elton John, an openly gay icon, a gay man legally married to another man, a gay man raising an adopted child, a man whose stance on gay rights is pretty fucking obvious. That’s … that’s just wonderful.
Yeah, sure, I was a bit troubled when I heard that Sir Elton was going to play Russia with this fascist law in place. But on the other hand, one of the biggest gay icons in history is taking the stage to sold out crowds. Right out there in the open. His presence is just a gigantic “fuck you” to that wannabe Bond villain and his hate. He doesn’t even have to open his mouth, because his mere presence there says “Look at your leader. He’s a hypocrite. He’ll let a gay man perform for crowds if he’s popular enough, because it legitimizes his country as a venue and benefits its economy. When it comes to money and opportunity, he has no convictions. Fuck him.”
So let’s go to the Olympics. Let’s show him he doesn’t scare us. And let’s show the world what a petty little hypocrite he really is when the eyes of the entire world are on his country.
Aaron R. Davis lives in a cave at the bottom of the ocean with his eyes shut tight and his fingers in his ears. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.