September 4, 2015

September 4, 2015
Russian Government Cancels the Country's
Only LGBT Film Festival

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Friday and we have almost made it through another work week. Dab the AIDS Bear, Jared and I are enjoying some down time since they just got back from deployment with the United States' Army recently.

If you read my blog on a regular basis then you have heard about all the homophobia in Russia during the recent Olympics in Russia. So you won't be surprised when I blog about more homophobia and gay bashing in Russia especially considering Putin is still their leader.

Russia canceled the country's only LGBT-inclusive film festival mere weeks before its premiere, citing the country's "difficult economic situation" as the reason. Yeah right, that's the issue and reason. I think not.

The government says they canceled Moscow Premiere, a film festival that was entering its 13th year of hosting free screenings of controversial films (which in Russia includes LGBT films), because "the culture department of Moscow has to limit the use of budgetary resources in 2015." They instead decided to fund the Youth Festival of Life Affirming Film, headed by Yevgeny Gerasimov, a city council member and member of United Russia, the Kremlin's ruling party, so I guess they were able to somehow find budgetary resources for that.

The head of Moscow Premiere, Vyacheslav Shmyrov, says he will not participate in the new festival, saying that his festival was a "social mission" and "a charity project that exists for those people, especially the older generation, who can not afford to go to the movies," and this other festival is a "very different program" from what he'd hoped to achieve this year, which included movies about Russian neo-Nazis and a gay-themed debut feature that struggled to get distribution in Russia.

So while our country may still be a work in progress where all Americans have the same rights, at least we are further ahead than countries like Russia and many parts of Africa. I can only hope I live to see the day when all Americans are truly equal but I am grateful for the strides I have seen been made toward equality in the past 35 years here.

Hope you have a beary safe and great end to your week!

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab