One of the good things—if that can be said—about Russia’s new, ridiculous, violent, anti-gay laws is that it spurs people to speak out against them, to speak up. And while it may be easy for an American runner to vocalize his views on Russia’s new law, and it might be simple for a Swedish athlete to paint her nails an LGBT-friendly rainbow, it’s harder for those who live in Russia to speak up, to say something.
But it’s happening.
Anton Krasovsky, a Russian TV host, decided to come out on live television, and he was almost immediately fired for doing so.
“I’m gay, and I’m just the same person as you, my dear audience, as President Putin, as Prime Minister Medvedev and the deputies of our Duma.”— Anton Krasovsky
Krasovsky aired his admission on the Kremlin-backed KontrTV back in January, and though his announcement initially brought a “storm of applause” by the audience and the show’s staff, Krasovsky was fired that very night.
The next day, his presence, name photos, programming notes, had been completely erased from the network’s website, and all of his corporate accounts and his email were blocked. He kind of joked about the swiftness with which he was erased, saying, “[It] takes them half a day to put up a banner when I ask them to, and here we had such efficiency.”
And the video of his coming out has also completely disappeared from the internet—an almost impossible task in this day and age—but one can never underestimate the power of the Kremlin, I guess.
But, for me, and I’m sure for a lot of Russians, both LGBT and LGBT-friendly, Krasovsky's coming out was an amazing and brave decision for one living in homophobic Russia. While being gay is not against the law in Russia, there have been attacks on openly gay Russians, arrests, kidnapping, and a slew of propaganda from the government that homosexuals seek to indoctrinate children; it’s so bad that just the mention of the word gay can get a man, or woman, arrested.
In Krasovsky’s case, it has made him a bit of a hero and a beam of light for those LGBT Russians in hiding. When he appeared on CNN to discuss why he would risk everything, including his life, by coming out, he simply said:
“Because somebody should do it. I decided it was time to be open. It was time to be open, for me.”
It’s that simple, and that difficult.
So, welcome out Anton, and thanks for taking a brave and public stance, which could have been dangerously, and even deadly.
Of course, we'll be sending you a copy of The Gay Agenda and the Coming Out Toaster Oven.