Russian television news anchor Anton Krasovsky came out as gay, live on Russia's KrontrTV. Within hours he was fired from his job at the state-run cable network.
"I'm gay and I'm just the same as you, my dear audience, as president Putin, as prime minister Medvedev, and the deputies of our Duma," said Krasovsky. The footage of this historic moment, however, was pulled from the various places on the internet by KrontrTV.
His announcement took place during a discussion of Russia's very controversial new anti-gay "propaganda" law.
"I felt I like a hypocrite, and hypocrisy is what I hate the most about people" said Krasovsky to Snob.ru. "The meaning of this whole story we are discussing now is that throughout my whole life I’ve been struggling with myself. And this - as you call it - coming out is just another battle with myself, with my own hypocrisy, my own lies and my own cowardice."
After his admission the audience erupted in applause. Krasovsky's congratulations were short lived, however, as KrontrTV fired him within hours.
"They immediately blocked all my corporate accounts, my email. Literally immediately, overnight," stated Krasovsky. "They deleted not only my face from the website, but also all of my TV shows, as if I’d never really existed. The next day I wrote that I was totally shocked. Because it takes them half a day to put up a banner when I ask them to, and here we had such efficiency."
KrontrTV's efficiency at removing him from all media is surprising because Krasovsky himself hadn't planned the event until a couple of hours before broadcast. "I can’t say I’d been preparing for this. But just before the show, i.e. two hours before the fact, I had already known I would do this," he said. "I also had had some 300 grams of whisky, a bit of Dutch courage. I realized it while hosting Oboima [The Bullet Clip] show where we were discussing the law banning this so-called gay propaganda which our State Duma was going to adopt. I was feeling very awkward then."
"GLAAD supports Anton Krasovsky's decision to be open about his identity. With the environment as it is in Russia today, Anton is incredibly brave to put his life and livelihood on the line like this. I believe he's making an enormous difference by speaking out," said Omar Sharif Jr., GLAAD's national spokesperson.
GLAAD and Rusa LGBT, an organization that works to support LGBT Russians, are collaborating to address the ongoing persecution of LGBT Russians, who are facing extreme violence and oppression due to the recent passage of the country's draconian 'Anti-gay propaganda' law. GLAAD has media trained Rusa spokespeople with best-practices for media interviews and will work to actively secure placement of Rusa spokespeople in national and international media outlets.
Watch RUSA Founder and Co-President, Yelena Goltsman, as well as Omar Sharif Jr., speaking with Huffington Post Live.