The hot topic leading up to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi has undoubtedly been the increase in harsh laws against “unnatural” – read LGBTQ – forms of love. As if people in Russia don’t have it hard enough? What with the rampant government corruption, adverse business practises, and overall poor standard of living I can’t imagine having something as simple as your right to love who you want censored.
Sure, things aren’t perfect here in the Western world – there’s still a large amount of homophobia and persecution around – but things seem to be getting better. I recognise that I am really lucky in that issues concerning alternative lifestyles were never a topic of discussion – they were all accepted to the point not ever having to even be brought up for discussion, and subsequently I can’t even imagine judging someone based on who they love. Does who they sleep with affect my life? No, actually it doesn’t. Unless of course I’m crushing on an adorable gay guy (why are they always so adorable?)…
So, besides the fact that I have zero interest in sports – sure, I get the attraction, but it’s not for me – I now have a more legitimate reason to ignore the entire Olympics performance. Because that’s what it is in large part, a performance, each country trying to put on a show for the rest of the world while with Mother Russia as the key player this time around. I fully respect and support the athletes who are competing for the medals, but I will not be distracted by the pretty light show and ignore what’s happening in the wings.
I am not the only person who has made the connection between the Olympics being a massive distraction after the host country has put into place extremely censorious legislation. If this is anything like what happened with Berlin in 1936, then we have a whole lot more pain coming our way. I’m hoping that we don’t have a historical repeat, but I would not be surprised at all if this is only step one in an unofficially sanctioned plan.