US Stammers Regarding Chechnya While Lithuania Slays

The gay and bisexual men that are seeking refuge from the atrocities of the Chechen gay purge are finally starting to see some support from the world.

The US had the chance to be the hero and grant visas to the fleeing men, but left them in the cold like that one munchkin in the Wizard of Oz that wouldn’t let Dorothy in to see the wizard, because nobody gets into the US, not nobody not no how.

The nation of Lithuania granted visas to two of the refugees, on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia no less.  Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius, winner of the Most Awesome Name contest that I just made up, made the announcement himself and called on other European nations to do the same.

Linkevicious tweeted:

Today is zero-tolerance day against hatred, fear, discrimination of all forms of sexuality. Denying reality is not an option |

After which, at least in my mind, he punctuated his tweet with a fab Tongue Pop.

Camps in Chechnya

Concentration camps are real.  Like, REAL real.  And happening right now.  Like, RIGHT NOW right now.

Normally I would try to throw in some jokes to gussy up a story involving members of the LGBT community losing their rights or being threatened.  There’s no joke in this.  There is no way I can use humor to ease the situation.

If you haven’t heard the latest on Chechynya’s gay concentration camp, know that the stories are pretty horrific.  100 gay men were rounded up purge style and held prisoner in camps.

Razman Kadyrov, Head of the Chechen Republic, is thought to have given the order to have these men carted off, although he denies the accusation, claiming that he’d never give an order to purge gays from Chechnya because Chechnya doesn’t have any gays.

Alvi Karimov, Kadyrov’s spokesperson, also denied the camps, saying,  “You cannot arrest or repress people who just don’t exist in the republic.  If such people existed in Chechnya, law enforcement would not have to worry about them, as their own relatives would have sent them to where they could never return.”

Fucking bone-chilling, man.

The men face various forms of torture.  Accounts say they are detained in the same crowded room.  They are beaten.  Their hands are electrocuted.  One account even mentioned being forced to sit on bottles.  Some of the men are confirmed dead, or feared to be.

Earlier today a protest was organized at the Russian Embassy in London to combat the existence of the camps and to call on it’s leaders to do something.

Tanya Lokshina from Human Right Watch in Moscow posted an in depth article about the horrific events.

‘It is difficult to overstate just how vulnerable LGBT people are in Chechnya,” She says, “Where homophobia is intense and rampant. LGBT people are in danger not only of persecution by the authorities but also of falling victim to “honour killings” by their own relatives for tarnishing family honour.’

Happy Trans Day of Visibility

The transgender community has made some progress in recent years, but there is still a long way to go.  As wonderful as it is to have a day of visibility, knowing that there is a day of the year where all the trans community is asking for is to be seen should be a sign of how much further we all have to go.

Visibility is indeed growing, but the danger of simply existing and being trans at the same time is still very real.  The data might have updated recently, but as of ten years ago the average time between a trans murder was three days.

Laverne Cox, arguably the most visible trans person that isn’t related to a certain “E!” family, has done many interviews and appearances as she’s become more successful.  And as trans rights and visibility grows she makes more appearances in support of her brothers and sisters.  But more than once during an interview she’s basically had to ask either her interviewer or a rival interviewee to stop talking about trans sexy bits.

We’re not there yet, but there is some progress in visibility.  Alex Newell was Unique on Glee.  The aforementioned Cox is both Sophia Burset  on Orange is the New Black and Cameron Wirth in Doubt.  Jamie Clayton is Nomi Marks on Sense8.  There are also a handful of films that have a trans character, some even played by trans actors, so the progress is happening.

To close on an optimistic note I’d like to share a video that GLAAD put together over on their instragram.  “Visibility is a collective thing,” Says Jacob Tobia.  “We’ve gotta support each other.”

Queercore: Movement of the Soul or Movement of the Sole?

Recently, Gucci released a cool new line of shoe wear.  The line is called “Queercore“, borrowing the name from the queer-focused movement that emerged from the punk scene in the early 1980s.  The main theme is totally hot, consisting of a smattering of buckles, chunky charms, lace, and black.  Like a ton of black.

One would assume that Gucci was paying tribute to the movement that inspired the name, and if that was the case then Gucci might deserve a little praise.  The problem with the name is that Gucci’s new shoewear line, while fabulous, used the name without asking anybody.

The name Queercore was first penned by G.B. Jones and Bruce LaBruce and can be traced back to their zine, J.D’s.  According to Jones, the term Queercore was taken without being asked.  “They stole it, plain and simple,” Says Jones.  “It’s theft.”  Shady, Gucci.  Shady indeed.

Gays & Satan

It’s probably not news to anyone anywhere ever, but some groups just don’t like the gays, you guys.  Because I care about truth and wisdom, and also because I love hearing my own voice in my head I’m going to share and comment on a lovely video from the Wisconsin Christian News Ministry Expo that occurred last weekend.

In it Peter LaBarbera attempts to expose the powerful sin movement currently being carried out by the LGBT community.  He claims our “closet” references are really made in poor taste, and that we keep piping up about how important equality is.  Also, we’re just like those guys that killed people for wearing glasses.

There are many wonderful branches of faith in our great country, but this Regina and her plastics make it damn hard to hear the good message behind all that croaking.  With this recent angry mention of homosexuality, I’m reminded of what Jesus had to say about gays and coming out of the closet in Mark 12:31.  Oh, wait.  I must be thinking of another quote.  Or no quote.  Yeah, literally no quote.

Fun fact: At this time, my inner voice is a sassy effeminate British super villain with a lisp.