Monday, August 19, 2013

Rainbow Fingernails And More Pro-Gay Stances In Russia

Emma Green Tregaro, Yelena Isinbayeva, and Mao Hjelmer
Last week at the World Track & Field Championships in Moscow, two Swedish athletes, Emma Green Tregaro and Mao Hjelmer, painted their fingernails the colors of the Rainbow Flag in support of gays and lesbians. That simple, non-vocal, non-violent, gesture raised the dander of one Yelena Isinbayeva, pole vault gold medalist who, while speaking at the games, criticized the Swedes for their silent protest of Russia’s new anti-gay legislation.
Isinbayeva, who’d just won her third world title before the home crowd, spoke about her upcoming term as a “mayor” of one of the Sochi Olympic villages and praised the anti-gay stance:
“If we allow to promote and do all this stuff on the street, we are very afraid about our nation because we consider ourselves like normal, standard people. We just live with boys with woman, woman with boys. Everything must be fine. It comes from history. We never had any problems, these problems in Russia, and we don’t want to have any in the future.”
For her part, Emma Green Tregaro said she was inspired to paint her nails like the Rainbow Flag when she arrived in Moscow for the meet: 
“The first thing that happened when I came to Moscow and pulled my curtains aside was that I saw the rainbow and that felt a little ironic. Then I had a suggestion from a friend on Instagram that maybe I could paint my nails in the colors of the rainbow and that felt like a simple, small thing that maybe could trigger some thoughts.”
Isinbayeva’s thoughts were triggered:
“It’s unrespectful to our country. It’s unrespectful to our citizens because we are Russians. Maybe we are different from European people and other people from different lands. We have our home and everyone has to respect (it). When we arrive to different countries, we try to follow their rules.”
A couple of things Miss Isinbayeva needs to know: gays are everywhere, even in Russia; they’ve been in Russia since the beginning, and will be in Russia forever. So, she needs to know that. She also needs to know that respect goes both ways, and if she wants people in the rest of the word to respect Russia, then Russia needs to respect all people, and until that happens, she’ll be seeing more Rainbow fingernails and hand-holding and flag-waving and LGBT support. And, most of all, she needs to understand that being gay is normal … for gay people; just like being straight is normal … for straight people.

And maybe she is taking a moment to rethink, because this week she released another statement:
"English is not my first language and I think I may have been misunderstood when I spoke yesterday. What I wanted to say was that people should respect the laws of other countries particularly when they are guests. But let me make it clear I respect the views of my fellow athletes, and let me state in the strongest terms that I am opposed to any discrimination against gay people on the grounds of their sexuality."
Hopefully she means this and isn’t being used as part of some propaganda machine trying to salvage the reputation of the Russian people and the upcoming games.

UPDATE: Swedish officials have told high jumper Emma Green Tregaro that her fingernails could be a violation of the competition's code of conduct. Tregaro said the Swedish track and field federation asked her to "please respect the rules" and change the color of her nails.

She painted them red: “For love … It was harder to not paint them in the rainbow than it was to choose to paint them," she said.

Meanwhile, at the same games, there were more signs of LGBT support, from Finland, when Finnish Minister of Culture & Sports Paavo Arhinmäki waved a rainbow flag from the stands.

Arhinmäki is considered somewhat of a radical politician in Finland, who actually stands up for what he believes in, no matter the consequences.

And then we had some Russian support, too, when the Russian team’s 4x400 relay won the gold at the games, and when they were presented with their medals, Kseniya Ryzhova and her teammate Tatyana Firova kissed in protest of Russia’s new anti-gay laws.

Or, did they? perhaps it was just a kiss in celebration of their victory, but, whatever the reason, it was a same-sex kiss in a country that deems that kind of behavior illegal.

If this is happening now, at these track and field events, I can only imagine what the Winter Olympics will look like.

Rainbows and flags and same-sex kisses. That would be worth watching.


Painted nails, political flash point

Russian athletes defy anti-gay law and kiss on the podium

5 comments:

mistress maddie said...

Excuse my language, but Russia needs to get a fucking grip on themselves over painted nails and silent protest. It not a contiguous disease for gods sake!!!!!!!!!!!!! Pisses me off they're collecting a boat load of tourism dollars with the games.

mistress maddie said...

And furthermore to what's her name....Were here, were queer ,were everywhere, get over it!

Huntress aka R.J. said...

The kiss on the podium was just that, a kiss. All four relay participants gave each other a peck on the lips.

I'm sure the straight males loved it, though.

the dogs' mother said...

Fingernails...omg!

Biki Honko said...

Sigh..... I think things are going to get ugly at the winter games.