The anti-LGBT laws and violence in Russia have captured the attention of Hollywood celebrities and entertainment leaders and spurred them to action. This is a moment when people from the entertainment industry wanted to do some tangible good. From that outpouring of support, the Uprising of Love coalition was announced between Hollywood leaders and more than 24 LGBT advocacy in Russia and the United States.
The goals of the Uprising of Love campaign are to support the LGBT community in Russia and foster an atmosphere where Russians feel bolstered to be themselves and speak up for this cause, as well as raise awareness among the international community to continue to build public pressure and vigilance. GLAAD is a proud partner in the Uprising of Love coalition, providing its expertise in media and entertainment to the ever-growing coalition.
More than 65 entertainment leaders have found a variety of ways in which to express their support for the LGBT people in Russia. They are writing songs, producing videos, writing op-eds, and using their influence to spread the message of love to the people of Russia. Led by American Beauty and MILK producer Bruce Cohen and singer songwriter Melissa Etheridge, the uprising of love includes more than 65 participants, including Madonna, George Takei, Julianne Moore, Sigourney Weaver, Alec Mapa, Sarah Gilbert, Andrew Rannells, GLAAD's National Spokesperson Wilson Cruz, and GLAAD Co-Chair Steve Warren.
"I'm proud to be a member of the Uprising of Love coalition. The news coming from Russia is heartbreaking. Stories of anti-propaganda laws, hooligans, and violence at LGBT gatherings will move anyone to tears." said Wilson Cruz, GLAAD's National Spokesperson. "We have an opportunity to use the platform that's been afforded us, as members of the entertainment industry, to elevate the voices of Russian LGBT people. The Uprising of Love campaign will do just that."
At a launch event Monday night, Uprising of Love co-founder Melissa Etheridge performed her new song, “Uprising of Love,” which honors and supports Russia’s LGBT community. Melissa wrote the song just days after hearing of the struggle and plight of LGBT people in Russia. She previewed the song on CNN News Room with Brooke Baldwin yesterday.
The song will raise money for the Russian Freedom Fund, a vehicle for making financial contributions in support of the LGBT movement in Russia and efforts to combat discrimination and violence there based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Bruce Cohen told the crowd about his recent trip to the Side by Side LGBT Film Festival in St. Petersburg with Dustin Lance Black, and Gus Van Sant. He told them of the five bomb threats, including the one that delayed the screening of MILK for an hour. He told them that he found Russian anti-LGBT leaders citing American anti-LGBT activists like Mark Regnerus as justification for such anti-LGBT laws. He shared with the crowd how important it is for those of us in the United States to stop the flow of anti-LGBT discrimination to other countries.
GLAAD will continue to work with the Uprising of Love coalition, providing opportunity for the entertainment industry to stay engaged in supporting LGBT people in Russia.