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.