To My Blog's Russian Readers
I am moved to tears by the fact that my blog's third largest group of readers are in Russia.
As I ponder the impossible situation you face with respect to the criminalization of LGBT persons, where you are not even allowed to gather for mutual support, it fills me with rage.
It is true that many people were outraged when Russian officials announced that all forms of public display in support of gay rights, whether it be something as simple as wearing a rainbow lapel pin or even same sex public displays of affection, would be enough to incriminate you and get you arrested.
Mr. Putin's denial of basic human rights for LGBT people and your law maker's willingness to pass laws that target sexual minorities is a travesty.
What can I possibly do to make a difference, I ask myself. It isn't enough to sit comfortably in the safety of my home and simply shake my head in disgust. I have signed several petitions in these last few days that have gone to places like the International Olympic Committee. But is that enough?
The 2014 Winter Games in Sochi have become a rallying point for us in the West and we will not let this opportunity pass to draw attention to your untenable situation. You deserve our support.
To that end, I pray that we will have the courage of our conviction and do everything we can to affect a change. Boycotting the games is one option. Another, and perhaps more effective might be to boycott Olympic Sponsors, such as Coca Cola and VISA. The least we can do is write letters to these and local sponsors calling for them to stop supporting the games or suffer the consequences of lost sales and reduced revenues.
We should not wait for others to organize these strategies, we can use our search engines to get the names of the sponsors and invest a little time to write letters. Our individual efforts may seem like a drop in the bucket, but if we can get others to do it, and they in turn get their friends involved, we may be able to douse this fire before it spreads further. In the meantime, if you live in Russia and it is safe for you to write me, please use this contact link.
And thank you for reading my blog, it means the world to me.