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Stephen Fry: Olympic Athletes should perform a gesture to oppose Putin treating gays as sub-humans

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    I posted this earlier but in case you didn’t see it here’s Fry’s brilliant response to the Mail’s criticism of his campaigning. He sums up the bigoted and small-minded crypto-fascists at the Mail perfectly. Excellent stuff Stephen and keep fighting for what’s right.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 10 Aug 2013, 5:18pm

      Fabulous article. Thanks for posting the link, Chris. The DM is NO match for Stephen’s wit, intelligence and integrity. It’s arguably the worst yellow journalistic rag in existence and I use the word ‘journalistic’ sparingly since most of their articles aren’t exactly factually correct and completely ignore the truth in just about everything that it doesn’t like, especially LGBT people.

    2. David Cameron has not answered the correct question.
      Stephen Fry was not suggesting a boycott of the games but for the games to be moved elsewhere.

    3. Mumbo Jumbo 10 Aug 2013, 7:19pm

      For anyone who can bear it, the article by the odious Uncle Tom Pierce is here:

  2. LGBT’s and Allies of Russia, here is what you can do to show solidarity:

    Wear a rainbow pin or fly a rainbow flag, remind people we exist. If enough people do this, there is no way they will lock them all up.

    Refuse to be invisible. Do NOT squeeze yourself into the straight jar, stand up for yourself. Do not be afraid, but be careful.

    Refuse to play the victim or the bystander, if you experience hate, take it upon yourself to stand up and say NO! Mob mentality means the crowd will go with whoever is the strongest. If you stand up and say NO, other’s will follow. You will not be left alone.

    Spray-paint the words GAY POWER or GAY PRIDE on brick walls throughout your town or city. Print off stickers and stick them everywhere. Inspire the minds of the people. Spark change through words and psychology. The anonymous message will hold a lot of power in any and every person that sees it, regardless of their stance.

    Conceptualize inventive empowerment initiatives of your own, inspire.

    1. Also, organize and moblize a team of volunteers who’s job it is to be on the lookout for hate crime or entrapment and act as protectors. Dress them in all black riot gear, use individual and crowd psychology to intimidate and deter people with clothing and body language. Use social networking sites to locate violent groups looking for victims, and take action to intervene. Conceptualize inventive activism, protests and marches designed to highlight how absurd and crazy the laws are. HUMOUR is the best weapon – try to highlight the ridiculousness, reduce their views to a laughable travesty, a stain of human thinking. Highlight their ignorance, embarass them on the world stage.

      1. GulliverUK 10 Aug 2013, 6:11pm

        Outstanding. :)

        1. The state use psychology and propaganda to ruthlessly silence the undesirables, to reduce them to worms to be ridiculed or eradicated and it’s very hard to break through when your voice is barely a whimper !

          So, we must also learn this vile trade our owners have mastered yet most of us are so blind to; master it ourselves; exceed their lame skills of persuasion; and use it to our own ends. We must educate the people, inspire understanding and empathy, dazzle them with our brilliance, make them see how wrong they’ve got it with facts, reason, humour and wit.

          The tides are so easy to sway, if you’ve got the lungs. The sheep follow the shepherd with the clearest voice.

          Crowd psychology, propaganda and persuasion; study and utilize it for your activism, if you take action.

          We must be vigilant, and if we decide to take action or suffer humiliation, we must remain dignified and respectful at all times. Quentin Crisp had the right approach!

    2. Vandalising towns and cities by spraying graffiti or covering private or public property with stickers will achieve the exact opposite of increasing public support for this noble cause. Most people hate seeing walls disfigured by graffiti or stickers covering signs or bus stops and this will make them far less sympathetic to this important cause. Encouraging people to deface and damage property which then have to be cleaned up at great cost to either individuals or council budgets that would otherwise be spent on education, social services and housing, is wholly counter-productive.

      1. Vandalism for the sake of it is of course ugly, but when an attempt is made by authorities to silence a harmless minority, one way for that minority to make themselves heard is through graffiti, disfiguring monuments, etc. It isn’t pretty but then it isn’t meant to be. If that type of protest is described as ‘vandalism’ it is still a much lesser evil than the vandalism of persecution. What greater vandalism is there than torturing and killing a section of society simply because of their natural characteristics? Walls can be repainted, stickers can be removed and monuments cleaned. When people are tortured, their physical and mental scars may be permanent. If they are killed, that’s definitely permanent!

      2. What do you suppose someone would feel if they saw the words “GAY POWER” spray painted in a dark alley?

        If they are gay, they will feel empowered. They will know they are not alone, someone on this spot is the same as them and is proud of it, and who knows how many more of them there are out there.

        A straight person will be shocked. Gay people aren’t even allowed to about it in Russia, the idea of PRIDE is shocking to them, but what about POWER? It will shock them because ‘the gay’s aren’t meant to be powerful. They are not meant to be feared. BY DEFINITION they are weak, they are the opposite of power. If a straight person saw this, they might think twice. They might think maybe ‘the gays’ aren’t all weak easy targets. Maybe they’re angry, maybe they’re rich and powerful, maybe they’re violent, maybe there is something to be cautious off after all. Again, they will wonder how many out there share these views, can it just be this one person? Or are there whole armies of people?

        1. Additionally, consider this;

          “Homosexual propaganda” has been banned meaning even talking about homosexuality can land you in prison or put you in danger. LGBT people have been officially and completley silenced, they have no voice, they cannot stick up for themselves. They are being cleansed from the street, cleansed from view, cleansed from existance.

          The social climate is a scary and hostile one. Should the social climate suddenly be over-run with “homosexual propaganda” posters, stickers, informative leaflets and ugly spray painted graffiti all over the city DEMANDING respect, they climate will be one of courage. The climate will provide a grass-roots support system, a wide-spread wave of empowerment and pride. The rebellion will inspire, the information will enlighten, the people will awaken, and heads will be held high. The refusal to be silenced will resonate in every person, and in doing so they will find their voice, and find the courage to speak. They will not be silent

  3. The protest received quite a lot of TV coverage, mainly by Sky News but later on by BBC News channel. Both Sky & BBC interviewed Stephen Fry at length.

    Seb Coe gives the impression that he is not sympathetic with the plight of LGBT people in Russia.

    1. Todays protest in London did get coverage on both Sky and BBC. The coverage overall however, has been abysmal. When reporting Stephen Fry’s letter there was no mention of the actual persecution occurring in Russia – the beatings, torture and murder of LGBT Russians by Putin’s bully boys. Mentioning those actual cases is the key to correctly reporting the protests over the Sochi Games. What the media is doing is misreporting in a way that doesn’t properly inform the general UK public, who will then think that these protests are an over-reaction, a paranoia or even hysteria by the LGBT community. The coverage so far has been a misrepresentation of LGBTs – the intention (if any) would be to stifle public interest, thus provoking a general consensus amongst the public that we are being a ‘nuisance’ in protesting before or during the Games. Protests, in whatever form they take, may be seen by broadcasters as a possible hindrance to their coverage of the Games.

    2. I saw the BBC report about this story several times yesterday. The reports were unbiased, laid out the facts, “Mr. Fry believes this”, “this was Mr. Cameron’s reply”. It was very good – informative, but let you come to your own conclusions. Well done BBC! I think they hear us !

  4. Use BBC Radio 4’s “Listen Again” to hear Stephen Fry urging the world’s athletes to adopt a specific gesture (arms crossed over the chest) when in front of the world’s cameras to show their solidarity with Russian LGBTs.

    The interview is between 5.05 and 5.15pm. (Saturday 10 August.)

    1. Stephen also demonstrated this to Sky News viewers. This, and some other TV coverage of the protest (Sky & BBC) will be on YouTube in a few minutes

      1. Some straight athletes, though not personally supportive of homophobia, already expressed that they are not going to do anything of the sort while in Russia:

        1. That’s 1 athlete. And he’s obviously weak, prefers silence when people suffer, and therefore is not willing to make a stand for human rights. What a pathetic individual.

  5. To read a first-hand account of what it’s like to be born and raised in today’s Russia, Wes Hurley’s first-hand personal experience as a young gay man is eye-opening and frightening:

    1. Good article. Sounds familiar to my own growing up in homophobic Serbia. Russians use the word “pedik”, Serbs use “peder”. Both words mean “faggot” and “paedophile” simultaneously.

  6. Here’s what we can do:


    The Olympics is a televisual event, plain and simple. And, TV firms live and breathe by viewer numbers (even non-commercial ones)

    Rather than plead with spineless politicians to agree to a boycott, let us, the viewer, boycott it. And ask others to agree to do likewise.

  7. Godric Godricson 10 Aug 2013, 5:34pm

    Stephen, you have galvanised LGBT people, given leadership and framed the debate. Congratulations. Once again, where is Stonewall as a national organisation speaking with and for LGBT people on wider issues. Stonewall has abandoned any idea of ‘leadership’.

    1. duke of stonewall ben summerskill usually sides with the establishment, so dont expect him to rock the boat

  8. I don’t understand why it can’t just be moved to a country less homophobic – one which has held it before and so already has all the facilities. The athletes would still compete – just not in a disgustingly vile sh*t hole like Russia.

  9. The only appropriate “gesture”, would be for the athletes and their national committees to refuse to attend.

    For all the Olympics since 1988, the host countries took pride that there was no boycott. The Russians will be patting themselves on the back each time a foreign team steps off the plane.

  10. Brilliant idea Mr Fry.

    Let’s hope that the athletes aren’t as homophobic as the russians and we see a lot/all of them doing this – and lets hope the press report it, including the BBC.

    I also hope that the IOC will make an apology to the gay community worldwide for their lack of awareness of letting a country with homophobic laws host the games. And I hope the IOC will never allow a country which oppresses people because of their sexual orientation to host the games again.

    1. Saying that, I wish that the UK and every other country would boycott. Lets see if any country in the World puts human rights over the rights of a few athletes.

    2. Mark, the BBC (as with other broadcasters) has already misreported Stephen Fry’s letter by not explaining to viewers that LGBT Russians have been subjected to beatings, torture and murder at the hands of Putin’s secret army. Only by explaining these actual cases will the general UK public understand the context of Stephen’s letter and what the LGBT community’s anger is actually about. The current misreporting is an agenda to stifle any public interest and therefore create a general opinion that the LGBT community is being paranoid and hysterical.

      Therefore, we shouldn’t hold much hope that the BBC will report any gesture of protest by athletes at the Sochi Games. If it does, it will not be surprising if they portray such protest as being a nuisance.

  11. The Russian Embassy in the UK has posted an FAQ ‘explaining’ how the law is not discriminatory. Obviously it’s garbage. However, mysteriously they have also enabled comments. >PLEASE VISIT AND POST YOUR OWN< You can make an email address up if you don't want them to have your actual email address. I used and the comment was posted directly.

  12. Of course, when the athletes at Fuhrer Putin’s Olympics stand in the arena facing him up on his podium it would be remiss of them not to perform the famous ‘Heil Putin’ salute with each extending one finger in mid-air.

    1. I wish that picture you’ve just created in my head would become true, Katie, as it would be those salutes you describe that would offend ‘Fuhrer Putin’ the most and the many homophobic Russians, considering that millions of their ancestors were murdered by the Nazis.

      However, it’s going to be difficult deciding on a common gesture of protest as it will need to be something that doesn’t further endanger the lives of LGBT Russians, once all the athletes have returned home.

  13. If only we could air-lift all LGBT and LGBT-friendly Russians out of that country and then carry out the late Kenny Everett’s wishes.

  14. The BBC makes news programmes for kids as well as the main news on BBC One etc. So here is what they’ve been telling kids about the LGBT row over the Sochi Winter Olympics (Clue: nothing)

  15. “My latest brainchild is that every athlete, when they are receiving their medals performs a simple gesture with their arms’ – thanks for sharing your ‘brainchild’ Stephen , but the Nazis tried to get athletes to do a similar thing with their arms to make a salute – we did not like it then , we do not like it now .Now the salute is for the homo lobby group who see ‘homophobia’ lurking round every and victimisation everywhere!

    The hysteria and lies about this story have been so blown out of reality that Stephen Fry (a well know Holocaust revisionist who had to apologise the the Polish people a few years ago)has compared the ban on homosexual propaganda designed for the under 18s and the ban on the obscene indecent homo-rallies as comparable to how the Jews suffered under the Nazi regimes .You could not make it up !

    The Russian people who fought fascism and the Nazis , suffering millions of deaths , reject ‘LGBT’ ideology , rainbow swastikas,threats and the ‘gay’ gestapo .

    1. Give me a break. Russia is one of the most Anti-Semitic countries in the world.

  16. The last time athletes made a hand gesture statement about human rights…

    They were suspended, kicked out, and ostracized. By the IOC.

  17. Criminal Code: Sexual relations and other action of a sexual nature with a person UNDER the age of sixteen (16), Chapter 18, Article 134
    Sexual intercourse, buggery [‘muzhelozhstvo’] or lesbianism, committed by a person over 18 on a person admittedly UNDER 14 is punishable by limitation of freedom up to three years or deprivation of freedom up to four years [R1.2].

    And this is so-called ‘homophobia’ ? I’m sure if Jimmy Saville was alive he’d be out with Tatchell and Fry wearing a rainbow-coloured shell suite .

    Stephen Fry’s books, The Liar and The Hippopotamus, glorify sex between men and teenage boys, exactly the same acts that are banned under this brave law which the Russian people are behind .

    If only the media knew the whole story (better not mention Tachell’s letter to the Guardian circa 1997 !)

    1. In self-denial much?

    2. Rainbow coloured shell suite? Like a three piece suite? Wow! Sofas and arm chairs like? Where can I buy one pet? ;-)

    3. Bravo, Ray! I completely agree with you!

  18. If a boycott is not possible, boycott watching the television.
    Also I can think of another gesture or two other than crossing your arms on your chest in protest.

    1. A winning bobsleigh team having mad, rampant sex with each other on the podium perhaps, maybe just groping each other or French kissing? They could let the silver and bronze medal winners join in and have an orgy. As the Russian male audience in the arena would probably get ‘semis’ at least (revealing their hidden fantasies to the world), the medal-winning national flags wouldn’t be the only things raised.

  19. johnny33308 11 Aug 2013, 6:04am

    I invite everyone to read the truth about the anti-gay law in Russia. You will be utterly shocked! This requires the complete attention of the entire LGBT Community, worldwide…..if we fail to correct this, we will fail to secure equal Human Rights for all LGBT people all over the world.

  20. In their quest for social homogeneity, social conservatives find themselves aligned with some of the worst, most despotic rulers in the world. One could say that their obsession with “normalizing” everyone and everything borders on fascism.

    1. The anti-gay obsession of social and religious conservatives doesn’t “border” on fascism, it is fascism. Open, shameless and unafraid.

      1. Okay , you’ve convinced me. I just didn’t want to sound quite so extreme as they do.

  21. Not very likely, the culture is too homophobic. I doubt the athletes will do anything.

  22. .....Paddyswurds 11 Aug 2013, 1:05pm

    Western athletes who support the Russian anti gay pogroms by attending the Winter Olympics in Sochi should be ostracised and vilified at every opportunity and they should have fair warning of this before they go. We have little time left in which to bring as much pressure as possible on western Olympic committees to boycott the Russian games and we must step up our game. Athletes who go there will be hoping to gain medals with which they will then approach commercial concerns in order to make as much money as possible from such wins. The gay community is an important economic block when these companies are marketing as we have the disposable income. If we make it clear that participants in these games will be shunned then I am betting things will change in our favour and more importantly in the disgraceful and inhuman anti gay laws in Russia. Buyer and supporter of these laws beware; supporting and taking part in these games is giving tacit support to these dreadful, WE ARE WATCHING!

    1. .....Paddyswurds 11 Aug 2013, 1:20pm

      …these dreadful laws**

    2. WORLD PEACE 28 Sep 2013, 6:49am

      1. They are not supporting the Russia by going to the Olympics genius, they are going because it is the Olympics and they are supporting their country.
      2. Russia is suspending the anti-gay law during the entire winter Olympic.
      3. Athletes are protesting and still protest against the law including the fans going to Olympics.
      4. You need to do research before you say stuff.
      5. What Russia is doing is an example of intolerance and attempt to make their citizens fit the definition of their definition of “normal” which is EXACTLY what Hitler did.
      6. WORLD PEACE!

  23. Better yet, every country that supports equality should incorporate a rainbow pattern into their official formal or athletic attire.

  24. I think athletes and activists should dress en-masse in the halariously ironic blue and white stripey sailor outfits that those thugs wore, complete with jaunty beret and neck-cheif ! It would be hilarious and show how ridiculous the whole thing is.

  25. WORLD PEACE 26 Sep 2013, 9:26pm

    The title saids everything.

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