Canadian Olympic hopeful, Anastasia Bucsis has admitted that she is proud to be gay and has spoken out against Russia’s gay propaganda law.
The speed skater released a public statement at the weekend admitting that she was “so proud to be gay” and with the Winter Olympics taking place in Russia next year attacked the country’s gay propaganda law.
Ms Bucsis has been open to her family for over 2 years but this is the first public statement she has made regarding her sexuality, she went onto say: “I could never promote that message of concealing who you are with all of this going on in Russia. I’m kind of happy that I did it on my own terms.”
Continuing, she added that it was vital that young LGBT people in Russia were sent a clear message that they were not alone.
Ms Bucsis is among a handful of athletes who have now spoken out against the gay propaganda law, last month Sweden’s Emma Green-Tregaro drew headlines when she painted her nails in the colour of the rainbow in a show of solidarity for Russia’s LGBT community while competing at the World Athletics Championships.
Russia passed its gay propaganda law in June and has received widespread condemnation over the issue with LGBT activist calling for a boycott of the Games and some partaking in a high profile boycott of Russian vodka.
The International Olympic Committee has sought clarification from the Russian Government over the legislation and has released a statement declaring they are content with the reassurances they have received. Despite the fact that Russian lawmakers have stated that the law shall remain in effect during the Games.
President Vladimir Putin signed the law in June banning the promotion of “non-traditional relationships” toward minors, a move that has been criticised as part of a broader crackdown on Russia’s gay community. Other laws banning the adoption of Russian children by foreign same-sex couples, and one which enables organisations receiving funding from abroad to be fined as “foreign agents”, were also passed.
Out4Russia, launched last week and allows users to lobby G20 governments into action against the Russian law.