Russian Homophobes Hope To Regulate Public Park

“No Gays Allowed”?

Gay men and women have long used public space as meeting places. As we discussed way back in The Power Issue, gays reclaim the public arena as a means of asserting their identity. In that piece, we quoted Jame Polchin:

The claiming of a street by [queers] becomes a claim on a sense of self, the projection of an identity within the public space of urban culture.

The same’s true all over the world, including Russia, where gays gather in a Moscow park, a congregation that’s drawing some anti-gay heat.

A group of nationalist and Russian Orthodox homo-haters are rallying to bar gays from the park. One activist fumed about gays “who boldly demonstrate their non-traditional (sexual) orientation, persuading everyone that it is normal. We believe that it is a vice…” She and her like-minded comrades will now launch patrols in the park and ask any and all gays to vacate the premises. They’re also asking police to help in their anti-queer crusade. That shouldn’t be a tough sell – as the cops showed during Russia’s Gay Pride, they’re not about queers in public space.

Gay activist Nikolai Alexeyev, who found himself on the receiving end of some anti-gay police corruption, claims the park campaign will fizzle out, “Nobody will waste their time, it makes no sense.” We bet people will waste their time, but we do agree: it makes no sense. In fact, you could even say it’s nonsensical. And insane. And just plain dumb.