With the passing of the controversial anti-gay legislation in Russia, millions of enraged viewers watched as the Sochi Opening Ceremony began. Tensions were especially high as President Vladimir had recently issued a warning against protesting — the excuse being that “propaganda” should not be spread during a sporting event. Of course, this warning only exacerbated people’s thirst to speak out. So it didn’t take very long for people across the globe to start cyber-bashing Russia and devise creative ways to protest.
Human rights organizations, politicians, spectators, and athletes banded together in feverish harmony to reject Russia’s homophobic attitudes. On the national level, U.S. President Barack Obama showed his support by picking two openly gay athletes to join the U.S. delegation at the Sochi Olympics. This move was ultimately viewed as a snub to Russia and to President Vladimir Putin.
The Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion showed their support by releasing a hilarious homo-erotic commercial, featuring two luge sledders moving suggestively in slow motion to the song, “Don’t You Want me Baby.” At the end of the clip, the commercial displays the following phrase: “The games have always been a little gay — let’s fight to keep it that way.” You can see the clip below and on CIDI website.
Google also joined the initiative, adding rainbow colors, the sign of inclusiveness, to its homepage logo on the day of the Opening Ceremony. Locally, another major sign of protest was shown by Brahm Finkelstein, a Toronto advertising copywriter, who invested $10,000 creating rainbow-colored matryoshka dolls to celebrate diversity. To show your support, you can purchase these dolls at www.pridedolls.com.
As this viral wave of support spread, there was an explosion of pro-gay comments buzzing on the Internet, particularly on Twitter.
Here are the top funny tweets against Russia’s Anti-Gay laws!
1. There are no #gay people in #Sochi. So weird, the same is true about American bath houses. Nothing but bi-curious! (@SteveStrafford)
— Producer Joe (@FBHWProducer) February 7, 2014
— NJ Convery (@NJConvery) February 7, 2014
4. Can’t believe PSY is dancing Gangnam Style while Putin sets gay dogs on fire. (@DJWeedPizza)
I love how the Sochi Winter Olympics have provoked a giant global Gay Pride festival
— Owen Jones (@OwenJones84) February 7, 2014
6. Does Canada have any openly gay athletes going to Sochi? I want them to walk hand in hand at the opening ceremony! (@srobarts)
7. The opening of Putin’s homophobic Olympics will be notable by the world leaders not in attendance (@bruce_arthur)
— TIM – Tim & Jeff (@r8dioTIM) February 8, 2014
— Richie Rich (@CrazyDreams23) February 8, 2014
10. The German rainbow outfits are awesome… Whether it is a dig at Russia’s anti-gay ideology or not. (I hope it is. Imagine Putin’s face!) (@ AdamTodd310389)
— South Loop Guy (@So_Lo_Guy) February 8, 2014
12. The Russian athletes look a little #gay to me.(@patpowers)
— Human Rights First (@humanrights1st) February 10, 2014