Potential Interviews

 

Russian LGBT Voices

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, both by Russian government officials and by private parties while government officials either refused to help or advanced a culture of tolerating attacks and constant discrimination against LGBT people. He is based in New York.

Oleg Dusaev & DmitriyStepanov are a couple seeking asylum in the United States. In Russia, Oleg was the host of an arts and culture show, and Mitja was a psychologist. After coming out, they have traveled to New York City, and are currently in the asylum process.

Anastasia Smirnova is coordinating advocacy efforts on behalf of a coalition of Russian LGBT organizations in regard to the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi.  She is based in Russia.

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.

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.

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.

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 are based in New York.

United States-based LGBT organizations, advocates

Sarah Kate Ellis is the President of GLAAD, the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy organization. GLAAD has been working with LGBT leaders in Russia for several months. GLAAD 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. She is based in New York.

Omar Sharif Jr. is an Egyptian-Canadian actor, public-figure, and grandson to international icon Omar Sharif. He faced a barrage of condemnation, criticism and threats of violence in the Arab world after he wrote a commentary in which he came out as gay in 2012. Most of this negativity was spurred on by the Arabic media’s demonization of his identity. He is based in New York.

Julie Dorf is Senior Advisor for the Council for Global Equality and has been a leader in the LGBT rights movement for twenty years.

Wade Davis is the Executive Director of the You Can Play Project, which advocates for LGBT equality in the professional and amateur sports communities.  Davis is a former NFL player who is one of a small number of openly gay men to have played professional sports.

George Gellis is the president of the No More Fear Foundation, a volunteer support system for LGBT asylum seekers in the United States. No More Fear provides legal, medical, and psychological assistance, as well as English language classes, and resettlement counseling for LGBT people seeking asylum in the United States.

Hudson Taylor is the Executive Director of Athlete Ally, an 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.

Ty Cobb is Director of Global Engagement for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the United States’ largest LGBT civil rights organization.  He has worked closely with LGBT activists in Russia – even traveling to St. Petersburg for strategy meetings with local leaders on how to advance LGBT rights during the Sochi Olympic Games.

Celebrities:

Dustin Lance Black, openly gay Academy Award-winning filmmaker of Milk. He traveled with Bruce Cohen and Gus Van Sant to the Side by Side LGBT Film Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia to screen his film, MILK, and speak about the global LGBT movement.

George Takei, openly gay TV icon and LGBT advocate. He has used social media to criticize Russia's anti-LGBT laws and show support for LGBT people.

Melissa Etheridge, openly lesbian musician. After meeting with Russian LGBT advocates, she wrote the anthem, Uprising of Love, for which the coalition takes its name. The proceeds from the song will benefit Russian LGBT advocates.

Bruce Cohen, award-winning film, television, and theatre producer. He has been one of the major organizing forces behind the Uprising of Love campaign, which has organized over 40 entertainment leaders to speak out in support of LGBT Russians.

For additional spokespeople, contact GLAAD.

GLAAD's 24/7 resource and assistance availability

For more information, help, and guidance, please contact GLAAD. We can put you in contact with the above interview subjects, provide resources, facts and ideas to tell the stories of LGBT Russians.

Rich Ferraro
Vice President of Communications
646-871-8011
rferraro@glaad.org

Ross Murray
Director of News
646-871-8040
rmurray@glaad.org

Seth Adam
Senior Manager of Communications
646-871-8018
seth@glaad.org

Recent blog posts

VIDEO: Australian Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe comes out as gay

Ian Thorpe, an Australian Olympic swimmer comes out as gay putting an end to speculations. Thorpe is the youngest swimmer ever to represent Australia and holds the record for the most Olympic medals won.

Canadian Olympic luger comes out as gay

Canadian Olympic luger, John Fennell, is the latest athlete to come out as gay. The 19-year old did an interview with the Calgary Herald, in which he called being closeted, "suffocating."

Report: Russian LGBT advocates detained for protesting Ukraine invasion

Two prominent Moscow LGBT activists have reportedly been detained for protesting the invasion of Ukraine outside the Ministry of Defense in Moscow on March 4.

Amidst bomb threats and government pressure, LGBT Open Games kick off in Russia

The Russian Open Games have finally kicked off with Greg Louganis attending. However, the LGBT-inclusive sports festival has had to weather last-minute venue cancellations, a bomb threat, and threats from anti-LGBT politicians who urged the event to be shut down by the government.

Open Games in Moscow suddenly find all venues closed to them

Today was meant to be the start of the Russian LGBT Sport Federation's Open Games in Moscow, but just hours before the launch, the event is being met with cancellations from four sporting venues and the Hilton Hotel.

LGBT youth support group founder NOT GUILTY under Russia's anti-propaganda law

The site published over a thousand of letters from teenagers who shared their stories. In the letters many discuss discrimination and other issues they face.

TAKE ACTION: The games are almost over, the fight goes on

As we prepare for the closing Ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, it is crucial to continue the momentum towards LGBT equality around the globe.

Morning Joe: Sarah Kate Ellis 'brings substance to her leadership role' at GLAAD

MSNBC's Morning Joe talked to GLAAD's new CEO and President Sarah Kate Ellis about her new role and GLAAD's work highlighting LGBT Russian voices.

NBC News profiles gay President of Russian LGBT Sports Federation and 'Russian Open Games'

The Russian LGBT Sports Federation announced the opening of the Russian Open Games

GLAAD Gold Medal Winner: Vladimir Luxuria for LGBT visibility in Sochi

For being a bright sign of LGBT visibility in Sochi, transgender Italian parliament member Vladimir Luxuria earns GLAAD's Gold Medal.