Journalist Anton Krasovsky came out as gay on air in Russia and was fired. The television presenter was promptly sacked with a text message right after his defiant announcement in the country where promulgating gay relations is considered a crime.
Anton Krakovsky on CNN
“I’m gay, and I’m just the same person as you, my dear audience, as President Putin, as Prime Minister Medvedev, and the deputies of our Duma,” he said on his live TV show on the KontrTV network in May.
A quick search online of the footage of his announcement proved to be futile. Krakovsky said that the videos of his announcement were deleted from the network’s Web site and YouTube. He didn’t know whose decision was it to delete the footage, though.
In a recent interview with CNN, Krasovsky, who was the editor-in-chief, revealed that the Internet and cable network that he helped launched had fired him right after his announcement at the end of the show. And they did so through a text message.
Asked why he decided to come out on live TV, he answered, “Because somebody should do it. It’s time to be open for me. That’s it.”
In a piece he wrote for The Guardian, Krasovsky, 37, said that he came out because it was time for courage.
“I came out because gay people in Russia are suffering – it’s time for courage.”
Krakovsky’s brave announcement came at a time when the issue of homosexuality in Russia was under intense scrutiny. A young man was killed in Volgograd just for being gay. And instead of condemn the act, there are people online who commented that the killers were heroes for accomplishing “a great deed.”
On June 30, 2013, a few weeks after Krakovsky came out, a new bill was signed into law by President Putin, which allows the Russian government to arrest anyone who promotes homosexuality to minors in the country.
Although the law doesn’t explicitly outlaw homosexuality, it does make it illegal for people to discuss the subject among people younger than 18. So writing about being gay on Facebook, carrying rainbow flags on the street, or coming out on air may be branded as propagandising homosexuality, and therefore is illegal.
The controversial anti-gay stance of the country has become an international issue as well since the 2014 Winter Olympics will be held in Sochi, Russia in February. Athletes and tourists will not be exempted from the law, which means they could be arrested and detained in the country for two weeks if they are found to be propagandising gay materials.
International Olympic Committee May Join Russia In Punishing LGBT Propagandists in Sochi [Read]
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