Gay rights activists holding a banner saying “Homophobia – the religion of bullies”
When I started this blog, I planned to discuss only certain topics: video games, RPG’s, boardgames and geeky health. Until now, I was able to restrict myself to these subjects, but recent events have made it impossible for me to hold back my opinion about a topic entirely not related to this blog. However, since I’m the Chindividual and this blog is called The Chindividual, I’m gonna write what the hell I wanna write. Today, that would be about equality.
If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past few months, you will be aware of Russia’s anti-homosexual laws. You will also be aware of the fact that Russia will host the 2014 Winter Olympics. Finally, you will also be aware that Russia will enfore its anti-homosexual laws during those Olympics.
That’s what’s been going on in a nutshell. Many celebrities have taken a stance of on the subject, with the most powerful and clearly worded opinion coming from writer and actor Stephen Fry. All these high-profile people have said what must be said, so I won’t repeat anything that has already left their mouth or pen. Still, I feel I can add something to the discussion.
First of all, let me make clear that I am a firm supporter of LGBT rights. While I do not always agree with their methods of raising awareness (I could devote an entire article to that), I am convinced that no one should be judged because of their attraction to the same gender. I believe that love between two adults is just love, no matter if the relationship coming forth from it is traditional or non-traditional. In the eyes of the law, it should not matter.
With that being said, I feel like the enforcement of anti-homosexual laws by the Russian government is not entirely a matter of adhering to religious and traditional convictions. Sure, the Orthodox church has much power in both the government and the general population, and the popular opinion about the LGBT community is not positive, but closer examination shows something else. It shows that the fall of the Berlin Wall did not end the Cold War. It shows that even twenty years after the fall of the Soviet Union, the struggle between West and East continues. In our times it is no longer a war fought through proxies, a conflict about the placement of nuclear warheads on island states. For us, it will be a war about morals, a battle between tradition and social revolution. However, like the Cold War, it will not be fought out in the open between the giants. It will be fought in bloody demonstrations and political talks, but it will still affect the lives of thousands.
Putin and his government are using the Olympics to show the West the middle finger once again. It’s a power play they know they can afford. The IOC is too afraid to do anything, and foreign politicians will never talk reason into the power-hungry mind of the autocrat Putin. If the Russian president has shown one thing during his career, it is his fortitude and resilience against the powers of the West. No matter the cost, Putin will enforce his cruel laws during an event that is suppossed to be about equality through sports. The five rings of the Olympics will be stained by the blood of those who dare to love.
I know that we simple bloggers can’t do much against it. If powerful politicians can’t stop Putin, we don’t stand a chance. But what we can do is to be open and tolerant, and to show the world how our society embraces the true spirit of the Olympics. I hereby call upon you, dear blogosphere, to remind yourself and the people around you about the fact that there are still people out there who hold on to medieval ideals and backwater morals. This is not just about fighting for the rights of the LGBT community, but also about equality in general. If we want to advance as a global society, we must do everything we can to move past the idea that some are born better than others, bending the power of law to their will. To Lady Justice, the greatest crime should be intolerance, not loving the man or woman of your dreams.
We can’t stop the Winter Olympics in Russia, but we can stop inequality in the eyes of the law. The only way to do that, is to stand together.
For equality. For love.