Hot tranny mess

OMG, what a FUN necklace!

As you may have heard, Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov lost his job yesterday in a rather humiliating way. (I was writing about it for Foreign Policy, thus the lack of gloating here.)

Today, the city feels not that different but there have already been a few wtf moments, like the halt of a Luzhkov-backed construction project on Borovitskaya Ploschad’. This was later overturned by the Kremlin, but the sense of the city’s cleansing of Luzhkov — or Baturin, as he’s jocularly known — was unmistakeable.

The biggest whaaaaaa moment, however, came this afternoon when the Moscow city government allowed the gays to protest this weekend. This would be the first time ever — the first time ever — that the city has granted such permission to a group of people whose gatherings have been violently broken up and which Luzhkov once labeled “satanic.”

The protest, which will take place this weekend, is a little strange: it will be in front of the offices of Swiss Air because it was a Swiss Air flight to Geneva from which gay rights leader Nikolai Alkseyev was removed on September 15, by people Alekseyev believes were Russian security forces. Alekseyev’s supporters then rallied in front of the mayor’s office on the mayor’s birthday, calling him “a homo.”

Here’s the real ice cube down the back of your shirt, though: asked about Alekseyev’s request for permission to hold the protest, a Moscow official said, “We don’t know what his orientation is,” adding, “everyone is equal before the Constitution.”

And then he laughed and laughed?

via Lenta.ru

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5 Responses to Hot tranny mess

  1. This is great news, but it does seem worth noting that they’re not being permitted to conduct a gay pride march. It’s a slightly less controversial rally against the alleged actions of an airline. I don’t think this erases the significance of the official permission, but it possibly diminishes the achievement. I’ll be interested to see if “gayer” public activism is sanctioned in the months to come.

    • I couldn’t agree more. But this is still unprecedented, as is the fact that Sledstvenny Kommitet is using Nemtsov and Zhirinovsky’s accusations against Luzhkov — which were found to be libelous in court — to launch an investigation into Luzhkov’s dealings. I mean, WTF? Land of extremes much?

  2. Timothy Post says:

    The strange thing about this whole gay parade issue is that I haven’t heard of one Russian who really objects to it. Nobody cares!!! Sure, Russian’s might be a bit shocked to see the transvestites riding pink bicycles in mankinis but hey, who wouldn’t? It’s not like rural America where the latent homophobia is never far from the surface. Turn on the TV on practically any Friday or Saturday night and you’ll see lots of gay Russian entertainers performing in those beloved, albeit super cheesy, “spektakles.”

    I would absolutely love it if Putin’s advisors were able to grasp that gay rights is an issue that could immediately and forever change people’s perceptions of Putin around the world. It’s soooo obvious. There is almost no downside except amongst those Russians who are homophobes (a tiny minority of Nationalists and knuckleheads who have no power and don’t vote). The upside is awesome. Rebranding Putin as someone with a modern sensibility and a degree of open mindedness.

    The one quality which so often gets lost in translation is Putin’s ability to poke fun at himself. Putin will never be questioned about his toughness or intelligence. Thus, the embrace of such an issue would throw everyone off balance and infuriate his critics.

    I’d love to see Putin, with a twinkle in his eye, say that “Russia is now a modern and open society where “innovation” is embraced not just in the economic sphere but also in the cultural.”

    Then Putin should invite the leading gays in Russia to a luncheon the day before the parade. The impact of such a bold and unprecedented move would do more to rebrand the “new” Russia then 20 Ketchum PR agencies could ever hope to do.

    • marknesop says:

      I wish his website had a contact address. There are lots of great ideas every day that would completely change international perception of Russia for very little investment, and this is one of them.

  3. Igor, AU says:

    q...I would absolutely love it if Putin’s advisors were able to grasp that gay rights is an issue that could immediately and forever change people’s perceptions of Putin around the world. .

    I am afraid that there is no sure way to irreversibly change people’s perception of whoever (VVP or M.) decides to follow your advice inside Russia. Perhaps, even destabilize the situation in the country. I can imagine jokes that it was not enough for the powers to screw the people in the usual way, so now they are starting doing it from behind too (in Russian it will be more straightforward and to the point.)

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