"It’s led to a huge increase in antigay violence, including murders. It’s led to attacks on gay and lesbian clubs and film festivals… and because these laws are passed supposedly to protect children, the people who are most targeted or have the most to fear are LGBT parents…LGBT people have an incredible amount to fear right now, especially if they have children.”
– Russian author and activist Masha Gessen to ABCNews.com
As the eyes of the world turn to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, journalists will have an opportunity to tell the stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Russians, whose lives have changed significantly and, in many cases, endangered as a result of the country's anti-LGBT laws and environment.
The lives of LGBT Russians are a significant part of the 2014 Winter Olympics story. Celebrities and notables have spoken out against the persecution of LGBT Russians, heads of state have refused to attend the 2014 Winter Olympics because of Russia's anti-LGBT laws, and activists have called for boycotts of the Games. As you plan coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics, it is important to not only highlight the violence and inequality facing LGBT Russians, but also to share their personal stories and experiences.