Reporter who exposed Chechnya’s anti-gay campaign explains what Western media gets wrong

Photo of Elena_Milashina_receiving_International

Yesterday, The New Yorker ran an interview with Elena Milashina, the reporter who broke the news of Chechnya’s anti-gay purge in Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta. The article provides important context about the difficult relationship between Chechnya and the federal Russian government; the terrible human rights situation that has existed for quite some time in Chechnya, particularly for women and political minorities; and the history of the unofficial prisons where gay men are being detained. It’s a quick read, but an important one. … Read more

FAQ on Russian LGBT Network and gays in Chechnya

rainbow flag—photo by Benson Kua

This FAQ is a revised version of a post I wrote in April about the persecution and killing of gay men in Chechnya and efforts to help them. A message I received today reminded me that there’s still a lot of education to be done. The message was along the lines of “Russia is full of hackers and scammers, so we can’t trust things based in Russia. Therefore Westerners should only support Western charities.” If everyone followed that reasoning, we’d have 40 more dead gay Chechens on our hands right now.
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Guest Author: Proceeds from Jo Tannah’s The Way You Look Tonight help gay Chechens

I was thrilled when Jo Tannah told me last month that she wanted to participate in Books Save Lives with two titles — including one that she’d previously published with Wayward Ink, The Way You Look Tonight. Books Save Lives is a project of Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens that raises funds for the Russian LGBT Network and other charities helping gay men escape Chechnya, where police are currently conducting a campaign of terror against anyone they suspect of being gay. Here’s an interview I did with Jo last February when The Way You Look Tonight first came out. … Read more

Online auction raises $2,709 for organizations helping gay Chechens

The Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens online auction, held May 6–13, raised a total of $2,709 USD for four organizations that are working to bring gay Chechens to safety. This brings the total raised so far by the group to $10,326. Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens continues to offer ways for both writers and readers to get involved. … Read more

‘Nobody should have to fear for their life for being who they are.’

With the Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens charity auction ending tomorrow (get your bids in!), we’ve gotten a ton of support from writers around the blogoverse, and for that I’m grateful. A quick round up of a few that posted today, one from days ago that I missed in a previous roundup, and a poem that is timeless in its relevance. … Read more