GLAAD Resource for Media: LGBT Issues and the 2014 Winter Olympics

Spotlights the stories of LGBT people and families living in Russia
February 4, 2014

Rich Ferraro
Vice President of Communications, GLAAD
(646) 871-8011

New York, NY, February 4, 2014 — GLAAD, the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy organization, has released a resource guide for journalists covering the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

Cover from Sochi Playbook

The GLAAD Global Voices: 2014 Sochi Olympics Playbook is available here: and a PDF is available here. The Playbook is available in English and Spanish and will later be released in Russian.

The resource guide provides:

  • Background information on Russia's anti-LGBT laws
  • Facts from leading medical organizations that debunk Russian leaders' remarks about LGBT people being so-called threats to children
  • Recent high-profile calls for boycotts of the 2014 Winter Olympics and corporate sponsors of the Games
  • Story ideas focused on LGBT Russians and LGBT Olympians
  • Bios of LGBT Russians who are available to speak first-hand about Russia's anti-LGBT laws.

Throughout the 2014 Winter Olympics, GLAAD will continue working with international LGBT organizations, athletes and LGBT Russians to secure media coverage and spark a global dialogue about the anti-LGBT laws and violence facing LGBT Russians.

GLAAD can put journalists in touch with a range of LGBT experts regarding the response from LGBT people in America and around the world, as well as the following individuals who can speak about their own experiences:

Based in Russia:

  • Anastasia Smirnova is coordinating advocacy efforts on behalf of a coalition of Russian LGBT organizations in regard to the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi.  
  • Manny de Guerre is a founding organizer of the Side by Side LGBT Film Festival in St. Petersburg. She has carried out extensive research in Russia concerning the importance of the arts and culture in terms of its social, political, and psychological significance. Her work has been profiled in outlets including The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, and The Advocate.
  • Anton Krasovsky is a Russian political journalist and television personality. He was editor-in-chief of pro-Kremlin cable channel Kontr TV until he came out as gay on air, for which he was fired. He is based in Moscow. He has appeared on MSNBC to speak out against his firing.
  • Hudson Taylor is the Executive Director of Athlete Ally, an American organization focused on ending homophobia and transphobia in sports by educating allies in the athletic community and empowering them to take a stand. He is based in New York and will be in Sochi for a portion of the Olympic Games. He is leading the P6 campaign to encourage the International Olympics Committee to observe the non-discrimination clause in its charter. Hudson has been profiled in the New York Times about his work as a straight ally and has appeared on CNN and in Reuters, among others, to speak about the LGBT issues around the 2014 Olympic Games.

Based in New York:

  • Masha Gessen is a Russian journalist/LGBT activist, who has just left Russia with her partner and three children to live in the U.S., due to the increasingly negative policies of Putin and the State Duma. She was being named specifically as someone the laws were targeting, including the proposed law to take away children from LGBT parents. She is currently coming out with a book entitled Gay Propaganda: A Collection of LGBT Russian Love Stories, highlighting the violence and harm faced by LGBT Russians.
  • Alexander Kargaltsev is an openly gay Russian artist, writer, photographer, actor and film director. In Russia, Alexander was physically and verbally attacked over 15 times for being gay.
  • Oleg Dusaev & Mitja Stepanov are a couple seeking asylum in the United States after coming out and losing their jobs in Russia.
  • Yelena Goltsman & Nina Long are the co-presidents of RUSA LGBT, a network for those who identify with Russian-speaking and LGBTQ cultures, fighting for social justice, human and civil rights for LGBTQ people in America and in the Former Soviet Union. They have spoken about the environment in Russia on Huffington Post Live and other outlets.
  • Sarah Kate Ellis is the President of GLAAD and has been one of the leading voices commenting on the public outcry around the 2014 Winter Olympics with a range of appearances in mainstream news and sports media.

"As all eyes turn to Sochi, media have a responsibility to shine light not only on the anti-LGBT Russian policies, but on the real stories of the horrific persecution facing LGBT families in Russia. These families cannot be kept invisible any longer," said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.