Beaupedia

Man Under Construction

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A Sad Update on (State Protected) Russian Hate Crimes

When I talked about the awful situation in Russia in my post a couple of weeks ago, barely anyone was covering the story. I’m glad to see that now has changed, and it’s getting much wider coverage. Still no movement in Russia, but at least the word is out there.

I am sad to report however that news is coming in that indicates the young man whose photo I used in my previous post has died from injuries he sustained while being tortured by the homophobic mob pictured.

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According to human rights activist Dr. Valentin Degtyarev, MD, who has been reporting on the “Occupy Pedofilyaj” group, after being tortured and humiliated, the man was beaten with bats and apparently had some sort of liquid foam injected into his body. Dr. Degtyarev reports that no charges have been filed and no arrests have been made.

He also stated that after notifying the authorities of the crimes being committed he was told they could see no wrongdoing in any photos or videos posted by the group and that they consider the group to be one of the local “civil movements fighting the sins of the society.”

These monsters make no attempt to disguise their identities in any of their photos or videos. They feel protected by Russia’s recent laws to criminalize homosexuality. Even telling a child that gay people exist is now a crime.

 

 

Above is a video I pulled from one of the group member’s social networking pages before it was take down. It shows the beginning of the incident after fooling the victim into showing up at what was supposed to be another gay man’s home.

I do not know what else to say. I am hoping the information is inaccurate, but fear it likely is not. As more information becomes available I will share it. In the meantime please spread the word and sign this petition: https://www.allout.org/en/actions/russia-attacks

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Russian Hate Crimes–Why Isn’t This News?

Russian extremists using social media to target, attack LGBT youth

Russian Neo-Nazis Allegedly Lure, Torture Gay Teens With Online Dating Scam

Putin’s Crackdown on LGBT Teens in Russia [WARNING: May be difficult to watch]

 

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Throughout Russia there are groups of Neo-Nazi assholes emboldened by Russia’s recent anti-gay laws who are fooling gay teens into meeting up with them only to humiliate, torture, and at least in one case, murder them.

Why aren’t we hearing about this? Even finding links for this post was a bit of a struggle. These guys aren’t hiding their faces. They aren’t wearing ski masks while they commit these awful crimes. Look at them, they’re smiling and they’re fucking proud of what they’re doing. Now that the law basically makes it a crime to be gay, who cares, right?

 

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I’m going to have to agree with Dan Savage on this one, and start boycotting Russian companies that market to the gay community in the western world but do not speak up for our queer brothers and sisters in their own backyard.

In addition, the 2014 Winter Olympics will be held in Sochi, Russia. The pressure needs to start increasing. This needs to be on the front page as the Olympics approach.

Start by signing this petition to call for the freezing of financial assets of those committing these crimes and deny them entry into the US. Secondly, spread the word. This needs to start getting publicity. The world is about to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in Russia during the Olympics. We pressured China over their human rights violations when they hosted, and it’s time to do the same for Russia.

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Judy and the Legacy of Matthew Shepard

This past Monday I had the good fortune to hear Judy Shepard speak on Auraria Campus as a part of her work with The Matthew Shepard Foundation.  11 years after Matthew’s terrible murder she is still traveling around the nation passionately educating on equality.  Through her incredible perseverance and strength she has served as an inspiration to me from the time I was a terrified, closeted teen.

I remember hearing the news at a time when I was still very closeted, wanting to believe that what I was experiencing was a phase.  The people in my life, family, church, etc. all viewed Matthew’s murder with no hint of sympathy.  He was a “faggot” and got what was coming to him, was the general belief.  It’s hard to even type those words, but we all know those mindsets exist, and if you don’t you should get with reality.

I outwardly followed along with their detestable views, but inside I was heartbroken.  I remember when MTV produced a film about Matthew, I couldn’t very well watch it in the living room, so I went into my parents’ bedroom to watch it.  When my mom would come by to see what I was watching, I’d quickly flip to, of all places, Fox News.  I sat in that bedroom in front of the TV, fighting tears and listening closely for approaching footsteps.

As I began typing this I realized that I’ve lived to be 5 years older than Matthew was when he died.  It feels extremely unfair.

The world is a very different place than it was when Matthew was murdered.  Since then Judy has marched, and rallied and spoken hundreds of times.  She has lobbied on Capitol Hill and stood by as very important pieces of legislation have been signed.

I was lucky enough to march with her as we stood outside of the Focus on the Family campus.  I listened as she told them to stop attacking our families, to stop causing so much hurt, to stop encouraging hatred.  I watched as she approached representatives from Focus on the Family and presented them with an album filled with photos of LGBT families, families that Focus on the Family dismisses as illegitimate.

In her speech this past Monday Judy answered a question I have had for 11 years.  Did she support Matthew before he died?  The answer is unequivocally yes.  When Matthew came out to her, she had already known, just her mother’s intuition she guesses.  There was also the fact that as a child he dressed as Dolly Parton several Halloweens in a row, she told us all with a laugh.

She spoke about her entire family and their support of him.  Matthew’s father accepted and supported him as well.  It’s funny how over the years, I’ve wondered about this more than anything.  Did Matthew die knowing that his family loved him unconditionally and that they accepted him for who he was.  I’m relieved and happy to know that the answer is a very strong “YES”.

Judy, thank you.  Thank you for Matthew, thank you for letting us all get to know him, thank you for keeping his memory alive.  Thank you for fighting prejudice and hatred.  Thank you for saying “we” when you speak about the LGBT community.  Thank you for taking your grief and turning it into something so powerful.

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Gay & Seeking Asylum

I just happened upon this video and it’s very fitting when considering my previous post.  We must work harder to create safe havens for LGBT individuals around the world, until that day when all people are loved, accepted, and safe in their home.

 

I’ve been haunted lately by the images of teenagers Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni as they wept and waited for their execution, pleading for their lives.  There are questions about their case, and whether or not they were executed for their consensual homosexual acts or not, but regardless, hundreds of people are executed in Iran and other places for simply being who they are.

There are people and organizations working to make change around the world.  Please consider joining up with Amnesty International and making a recurring donation.  When atrocities like these and in many other categories appear around the globe Amnesty is always there fighting for justice, peace, and human rights.  I have the utmost respect and gratitude for Amnesty International, and if I’m lucky maybe someday I will work for them.

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Consequences of Gay Marriage

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Someone over at GraphJam.com game up with this brilliant and incredibly accurate graph.
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