A Russian drag queen that goes by the name Madame Zhu-Zha said that there is in fact a gay community in Sochi and throughout Russia. "There are very many clubs for gay people in Moscow, in Sochi we have two gay clubs as well. In some places there's serious prejudice against gay people."
How is it possible that the two alleged gay clubs in Sochi stay in business when the city's Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov claims that there are no gay people in his city? "It's not accepted here in the Caucasus where we live. We do not have them in our city."
One thing that the Olympics is sure to do is shine a light on a locale's ideology. Since the cold war ended, we haven't had the same eye on Russia that we did thirty years ago. It looks like, from a tolerance standpoint, that very little has changed.
Just last June, the Russian Government passed a law banning the distribution of information about homosexuality to children. In fact, if a person gives any information to anyone under the age of 18 about homosexuality, they will be fined.
If you're gay and are participating or planning to attend the Olympics next month in Sochi, you shouldn't have to worry as long as you keep your lifestyle on the down low. The Russian President himself wants to assure the LBGT community that the red welcome mat will be rolled out for them. However, Vladimir Putin does want to make sure that you leave the children alone. "Our hospitality will be extended to everyone who respects the laws of the Russian Federation and doesn't impose their habits on others." He added, "We don't have a ban on non-traditional sexual relations. We have a ban on the propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia."
The 2014 Winter Olympics will commence on February 7th. The Games have already had their fair share of controversy. Of course, there's this whole gay propaganda warning which has led to possible boycotts and fears among the LBGT community. In addition, there have been numerous concerns over security.
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