It can’t be that every instance of the word ‘gay’ is propaganda.

After SERB nationalist activists interrupted a play about being gay in Russia, police arrested the play’s director. We asked her what happened.

Alexandra Krasnova / TASS

On the evening of August 28, 12 activists from the SERB movement forced their way into Moscow’s Teatr.doc documentary theater and interrupted a play called Coming Out of the Closet. SERB is a radical nationalist group whose members have a history of similar attacks: In addition to targeting opposition figures, SERB has stormed or damaged multiple art exhibitions. When the group disrupted Coming Out of the Closet, multiple theater employees and audience members called the police. Officers responded by arresting the play’s director, Anastasia Patlai, as well as two audience members. One viewer was cited for disorderly conduct, and the other turned out to be under 18 years old even though he had shown theater employees a 19-year-old’s passport upon entry. We spoke with Patlai about the incident and about the suspiciously close relationship between SERB and the police.

Coming Out of the Closet has been in Teatr.doc’s repertoire for nearly three years, but before every staging, the theater’s employees still check every audience member’s passport upon entry to make sure nobody under 18 watches the show. Coming Out of the Closet is a documentary play like any other in that it is based strictly on real events: According to director Anastasia Patlai, it is based on more than 30 detailed interviews. However, a basis in fact doesn’t prevent some from seeing the performance as “gay propaganda” (the show follows Russian gay men between ages 30 and 40 as they come out to their mothers for the first time).

Even before the August 28, Patlai told Meduza, homophobic activists had targeted showings of Coming Out of the Closet at least twice. On one occasion, they called police officers before a Moscow performance of the play in July 2018. The officers arrived at Teatr.doc an hour before the show was set to begin, and Patlai explained to them that theater employees enforce a strict age limit to avoid breaking Russia’s “gay propaganda” law. When Patlai pointed the officers to groups on Russian social media sites where Internet users have posted threats against the theater, the police decided to stay for the duration of the play in case of any violence or disruption.

The second incident was much more recent, Patlai said: On Sunday, August 25, a group of known homophobic activists based in St. Petersburg targeted a showing of Coming Out of the Closet there. Patlai told Meduza that she was acting onstage as an understudy that day when she saw a man stand up in the audience and approach the stage, which is separated from viewers only by a row of columns. The man was not in uniform, she recalled, but he had a gun in his belt. Following the show, police officers arrived on the scene and began checking audience members’ passports. Evidently, they had received a call from somebody who said the play was “defiling children.” Patlai said she believed the August 28 incident was a “continuation” of what happened that night.

She and her staff began suspecting that something was wrong when one young man who came to watch the play appeared to be very nervous and took a long time to find his ticket. The man gave theater employees a copy of a passport that said he was born in 2000, but they took a picture of him and the passport nonetheless, suspecting that something might be amiss.

Patlai went on to tell Meduza that after the play began, a different man approached her in her office and expressed anger at the contents of the performance. He was followed shortly afterward by the same young man who had claimed to be 19. Both men then returned alongside 10 more adults carrying cameras and lights on selfie sticks.

Posted by Московский активист

When Patlai realized that it would be impossible to stop the group from entering the theater, she stepped onstage to explain the situation to the audience and ask them to stay until it was resolved. Meanwhile, the group of intruders began shouting homophobic slurs at the play’s viewers. Both the intruders and their victims began making calls to the police, and Patlai called a prominent human rights journalist to ask for help finding an attorney. When Patlai looked outside the theater to see whether the police were on their way, she saw a man waving a black-and-yellow striped flag and holding a poster with more homophobic slurs. She also noticed that one of the men in the theater was wearing a T-shirt that said “SERB.”

When police officers did arrive, the situation only got worse. “The police acted like they’d known these people [the SERB activists] for a long time, like they didn’t care at all about the disorderly conduct in the theater or the disruption of the show,” Patlai told Meduza. “The police didn’t check even one of these people’s papers. They acted as though they and SERB were on the same team. They knew ahead of time that there were minors in the room, and all they wanted to do was deal with that fact.”

According to Patlai, the group of homophobic protesters also made an effort to enable police to target individual audience members: “When the police arrived, the provocateurs started a fight with one of the people in the audience. One of the women [among the SERB activists] shouted, “He’s hitting a woman!” while another provocateur pushed the audience member onto the ground […] The police immediately put handcuffs on him and took him out to their car without stopping to realize the whole thing was a provocation,” the director explained.

Coming Out of the Closet Teatr.doc
Coming Out of the Closet Teatr.doc

Patlai was taken to a police station alongside that audience member and the young man who said he was 19: Police determined that he was in fact a minor. Even while Patlai was in custody, police did nothing to stop the SERB activists from targeting her. She told Meduza, “While I was testifying, the door was open, and they [the SERB activists] commented on everything I said: ‘Sodom, drown them, shoot them.’” The police did not interfere, she said.

Only Anton Tkachuk, the audience member who was pushed to the ground, was ultimately cited for disorderly conduct. He spent the night in the police station, and Patlai said Teatr.doc would likely assist him if he is forced to pay a fine. The young man who was arrested along with them spoke to police alongside his father for an extended period of time, but the children’s inspector who questioned them did not tell Patlai anything about what actions investigators might take against the young man or Teatr.doc.

Despite the disruption and Patlai’s arrest, Teatr.doc ultimately completed their performance with about 80 percent of the audience still in attendance.

Given that Coming Out of the Closet is not a new play for the theater, Patlai speculated that the recent homophobic attacks against it must be related to some external political cause. The director said she felt hatred and hate-based attacks are generally on the rise in Russia but added that the upcoming September 8 elections in Moscow might also have played a role in the timing of the two most recent interruptions.

“Homophobia is a lasting resource in [Russian] politics. I’m not involved in politics,” Patlai said. “I put on shows about love so that people can start understanding each other and finding something in common with one another.” She argued that the logic behind the “gay propaganda” law is misguided: “It can’t be that every instance of the word ‘gay’ is propaganda. That’s nonsense. And the fact that we calmly relay stories about real people doesn’t qualify as propagandizing homosexuality.”

Copyright www.meduza.io

10 bisexual films that you need to watch.

Here’s our list of films that shine a light on some much-loved bisexual characters.

Bi-erasure has always been a prominent issue in mainstream media. Whether bisexuality is watered down, misrepresented or not included at all, it’s clear that there’s a severe lack of representation when it comes to the big screen.

However, 2019 saw the release of The Favourite which not only proved that bisexual films can be widely successful and critically-acclaimed, but also showed the importance of representation.

Because of this, we’ve compiled a list of bisexual films that walked so that The Favorite could run. How many have you seen?

Appropriate Behaviour (2014)

Cast: Desiree Akhavan, Rebecca Henderson, Hailey Fieffer

Desiree Akhavan, who directed, wrote and starred in this playful and dark comedy, plays the character of Shirin who is struggling to blend her three identities of being: the perfect Persian daughter, the politically correct bisexual and the girl trying to make it in a big city. At the beginning of the film, you quickly find out that the protagonist has recently been dumped, is homeless and has lost her job. We love an overachiever. Throughout the film, we follow Shirin as she tries to retake control of her life with a broken heart and the judgement of her parents. Appropriate Behaviour explores the reality of bisexuality in a real-world context.

Atomic Blonde (2017)

Cast: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman

If you’re wondering if blondes really do have more fun, well ponder no more, because in this action-packed thriller Charlize Theron proves that yes, yes they do. Set in 1989, against the back drop of the Berlin wall, Theron plays Lorraine Broughton, a top-level MI6 agent who is sent to Berlin to achieve a list which contains the names of all active agents from both MI6 and the KBG. Upon arriving in Berlin, Broughton comes into contact with the character David Percival, the second protagonist who’s played by James McAvoy. But among all the gun fire and second guessing, Theron’s character is able to fit in an all-bearing sex scene with actress Sofia Boutella who plays Delphine – another MI6 agent. This makes a change from the female lead, though powerful, having to fall in love with her male counterpart. And if you didn’t think Theron was badass enough, the actress was one of the lead producers behind the film and is rumoured to be producing the second one.

Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Cast: Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Williams, Anne Hathaway

Old Town Road may have been knocked from the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 but nothing says yeehaw like the bisexual duo of Ennis Del Mar, played by Heath Ledger, and Jack Twist, played by Jack Gyllenhaal. Brokeback Mountain tells the tale of the relationship of Del Mar and Twist who meet when they’re both hired by a farmer to herd sheep. Set against the backdrop of the Wyoming mountains in the summer of 1963, Del Mar and Twist develop a sporadic sexual affair that continues long after their initial encounter on Brokeback Mountain. And though the pair both find wives, Del Mar with Alma (played by Michelle Williams) and Twist with Lureen (played by Anne Hathaway) the lovers still rekindle their affair on their annual fishing trip. The film received three Academy Awards and today is still considered a staple of LGBTQ cinema.

Call Me By Your Name (2017)

Cast: Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalmet, Michael Stuhlbarg

It was the film that captivated everyone in 2018, with its picturesque Northern Italy aesthetics, evocative soundtrack and on-screen romance. You would have to be living under a rock to not know about Call Me by Your Name. While the film has received critical acclaim and mainstream attention, there has been much confusion about the sexuality of the protagonists Elio (played by Timothée Chalmet) and Oliver (played by Armie Hammer), with many fans believing that the characters are gay when in actual fact they’re bisexual. The film starts when Oliver, a 24-year old undergraduate, arrives at Elio’s parent’s summer house as he has been invited by Elio’s father, Samuel, to stay and work on his academic papers. Over the summer, while riding bikes and swimming in the lake, the two develop an intimate relationship. Yet running adjacent to this, Elio still manages to pursue a romantic relationship with his long-time friend Marzia played by Esther Garrell, while Oliver ends up engaged to a woman. The famous line in which the book name derives from summarises the intensity of the characters of the relationship over the summer: “Call me by your name and I’ll call you by mine.”

Colette (2018)

Cast: Kiera Knightly, Fiona Shaw, Dominic West

Kiera Knightly being in a biographical drama is a film worth watching. But Keira Knightly playing a bisexual writer is a biographical drama is a film you have to see. Colette tells the tale of Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, a young woman from Northern France. Set in the 19th Century, Colette eventually moves to Paris with her husband Willy who refers to himself as an “literary entrepreneur” because he employees ghost writers to write novels for him. When hard times comes, Willy implores Colette to write a novel based on her school days which he later publishes under his by-line. The film sees Colette exploring her identity after the novel’s release which leads to her having an affair with Missy who is a French socialite played by Denise Gough. The film has been considered by critics as Knightley’s best performance yet.

Frida (2002)

Cast: Salma Hayek, Alfred Molina, Geoffrey Rush

Many people know Frida Kahlo for her surrealist Mexican influenced art that dominated the 20th century, but what many people may not know was that the artist was openly bisexual. The name sake film starts by showing the origin story of the artist, played by Salma Hayek, and how she started painting. Throughout the film, we see Frida develop a relationship with the muralist Diego Rivera, played by Alfred Molina, who both encourages her art and her sexual promiscuity with women. Altogether, Hayek plays the part accurately and with ease making it a film worth watching.

Gia (1998)

Cast: Angelina Jolie, Faye Dunway, Elizabeth Mitchell

Gia is the hidden gem of the bisexual film industry. The biographical film sees Angelina Jolie take on the role of one of America’s first supermodels Gia Marie Cargini. At the beginning of the film, Gia moves from Philadelphia to New York City to become a super model. Upon landing in the big apple she catches the eye of the agent Wilhelmina Cooper, played by Faye Dunway, and quickly starts making her way up the fashion industry ladder. But after Cooper’s death, Gia begins to spiral resulting in the model seeking solace in drugs and begins a love affair with Linda, a makeup artist played by Elizabeth Mitchell.

Moonlight (2016)

Cast: Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Trevante Rhodes

What could be worse than the 2017 travesty of The Academy accidentally giving La La Land the award for Best Picture instead of Moonlight? The answer is you not watching the bisexual experience that is Moonlight. Moonlight spotlights the story of Chiron and the three different chapters of his life titled: Little, Chiron and Black. The film tells the tale of Chiron and his experience growing up in a world full of drugs and violence as well as his relationship with his long-time friend Kevin.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Cast: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer

The murder mystery The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo sees Daniel Craig hang up his James Bond suit and putting on a hat of a financial reporter by the name of Mikael Blomkvist. His investigation into the 40-year-old murder of Harriet Vagner leads him to working with Lisbeth Salander an investigator that is played by Rooney Mara. Salander is considered an enigma not only for her hacking skills but also her relationship with men and women.

The History Boys (2006)

Cast: Richard Griffiths, Frances de la Tour, Clive Merrison, Dominic Cooper, James Corden, Russell Tovey

Deriving from the much-loved play by Alan Bennett, the film focuses on a class of charismatic, unruly, boys and their pursuit to get into Oxbridge. Throughout the film you bare witness to each boys journey of trying to fit an academic criterion while at the same time trying to understand themselves. You see the character of Posner, played by Samuel Barnett, struggle with his homosexuality while the character of Dakin, played by Dominic Cooper, crosses into the realms of bisexuality when a new professor arrives. The film is a testament to the fluidity of sexuality and knowledge, summarised in the quote from Bennett “the transmission of knowledge is an erotic act.”

Copyright www.gaytimes.co.uk

LGBT activist left Russia after commenting on Chechen minister.

Activist from Mordovia Karolina Kanaeva, speaking in defense of Chechen gays, left Russia after threats from opponents of LGBT people. They followed Kanaev’s appeal to Ramzan Kadyrov and a comment on behalf of Chechen Minister Dzhambulat Umarov.

Karolina Kanaeva lived in Saransk and actively supports the rights of LGBT people, participated in a flashmob against the persecution of gays in Chechnya “saveLGBTinRussia”. She published an analysis of the report on mass violations of human rights in Chechnya and the inaction of the federal authorities in her public newspaper VKontakte, the girl herself told the ” Caucasian Knot ” correspondent .

The activist noted that she had never been to Chechnya, but a few months ago she turned over Instagram to the head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov. Kanaeva asked him a few questions about the persecution of LGBT people in Chechnya. After some time, an Instagram user with the nickname djambox responded to Kanayeva’s comment. This channel is conducted on behalf of the Minister of Chechnya on the national policy of Dzhambulat Umarov. Djambox said that “in normal families of Muslims and Caucasians this is [the presence of homosexuals] nonsense.”

Some time later, the comment was deleted, but Karolina Kanaeva managed to make a screenshot, it is available to the “Caucasian Knot”. The activist suggested that the comment could be removed by the administration of the social network, and not by Umarov himself. According to Kanaeva, the response of the Chechen minister first surprised her and then frightened — soon after the comment on behalf of Umarov, threats from other users of social networks began to come to her. Under one of the posts of the girl “VKontakte” comments appeared: “I hope she will be slaughtered in the doorway”, “Better to be burned”, “Go kill yourself.”

Chechnya’s minister for national policy, Dzhambulat Umarov, claims that he did not have any contact with Karolina Kanaeva on Instagram Kanaeva.

“I do not know this woman, I have no idea who she is, I didn’t write anything like that to anyone on Instagram. This is complete nonsense, ”the minister quoted the Minister’s edition on July 27 as the Caucasus. Realities.

Copyright www.parniplus.com

Lawyer: a gay couple with children, because of which a criminal case was opened on social security officers, may not return to Russia.

A same-sex couple from Moscow, which has become the object of attention of law enforcement agencies because of the education of two adopted boys, may not return to Russia. This was announced by lawyer Maxim Olenichev.

“They are currently on holiday abroad until the end of summer. They are following the developments now and by the end of the holidays they will decide whether they should return or not, ”he said.

The couple went on vacation with their children, the Moscow LGBT Stimulus group reported earlier.

In mid-July, the investigative committee opened a criminal case of negligence against employees of social welfare agencies due to the fact that the adopted boys are in the care of two men in Moscow. The Investigative Committee claims that they “promote non-traditional relations” and harm the “moral and spiritual development” of children.

On July 19, it became known that searches were conducted both at home and in the vicinity of the couple. The father of one of the men was summoned to the investigative committee for questioning.

Copyright www.meduza.io