As can be imagined, this has caused quite an uproar in the global LGBTQIA communities. Queer identifying individuals and their straight allies have held vigils, protests, and rallies, they've called for boycotts of the 2014 Olympic Games (to be held in Sochi, Russia), and they've been abuzz on social media sites to show their support for the Russian LGBT community. As with many such events, drag queens have paved the way in a lot of these cases, inspiring others to stand up and speak out against the oppression in Russia.
Here are 5 of the boldest moves that we've noticed queens making in response to Russia's anti-gay laws.
#5: Drag queens "drag" putin around in an anti-putin rally (london, england)
[More pictures from the Anti-Putin demonstration]
#4: Ukranian drag superstar Verka Serduchka announces loss of contract with Russian television program Fueling Both Protests and Boycotts (Ukraine)
Verka Serduchka's 2007 Eurovision performance:
#3: Russian Drag Queens Appear on "voice of Russia," the Russian government's international radio program (San Francisco, California - usa)
We applaud these two queens for speaking out about homophobia in Russia, but we give them a standing ovation for directly addressing the citizens of their own country with their plea for acceptance.
Note: To adjust settings for translated subtitles: 1) Turn on Subtitles [they'll come up in Russian at first] 2) Select Translate Captions [found under Closed Caption menu] 3) Select language for translation
#2: German Drag Queen Sews Her Lips shut in protest of anti-gay laws (Berlin, Germany)
Disclaimer: this video is quite graphic!
#1: Russian Film featuring drag performers becomes first gay themed film ever to be produced and aired in the country (moscow, russia)
Despite the overt homophobia in Russia, it may still come as a shock that the first mainstream film ever produced and aired within the country did not get made until 2009. This film was entitled Veselchaki (or "Jolly Fellows," as it translates to in English) and featured prominent actors portraying drag queens who embark on a trip across the country to perform as their drag alter egos. The film is full of campy fun and lots of humor, but ultimately leaves the audience with a dark reminder of the potential results of homophobic tendencies, as the queens are met in the final moments of the movie with violence from a group of homophobic thugs. It is implied that the queens do not survive the fight.
Right: Promotional poster used by cinemas around the world which showed the film with English subtitles.