Gay athletes to proudly march at alternative Sochi Olympics opening ceremony

Gay athletes to proudly march at alternative Sochi Olympics opening ceremony

Openly gay athletes will parade proudly at a rival event to the Sochi Olympics opening ceremony to highlight LGBTI rights in Russia.


The alternative ceremony is being planned by Manchester’s world famous Gay Village in northwest England.


It will bring together performance artists, athletes, gay bars, activists and others to send a message of solidarity with LGBTI Russians.


Manchester, twinned with St Petersburg in Russia, has fought the Russian law banning gay propaganda from the start.


As the Sochi opening ceremony starts on 7 February, gay athletes will march through the Manchester Gay Village’s streets.


The event will end with an event at Taurus Bar on Canal Street with a medal presentation, speakers and performers.


All proceeds will go to Russian LGBTI charities.


The next day (8 February) Manchester’s Contact Theatre will perform To Russia With Love: Stage, an evening of new drama inspired by true stories of people living under Putin’s homophobic laws.


Adam Zane, one of the organizers, wrote today for GSN about the legacy of Section 28 – the previous law which prevented the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality in British schools and elsewhere.


He told GSN: ‘I look back on Section 28 and there were 20,000 people marching in the streets of Manchester and I think we need a powerful LGBT response to Russia around the world.

‘The whole community has got to take a stand and send a message of solidarity with LGBT Russians.

‘It is inspiring for me to see young people getting involved in this.

‘And I certainly wouldn’t want to be sat at home doing nothing.’


Iain Scott from Taurus Bar added: ‘Taurus has always been associated with a strong commitment to equality and human rights and so it was natural for us to get involved in this great event and to help support our LGBT friends in Russia.’


Source: gay star news