Russian activist face persecution for sharing art that portrays LGBTQ message

A Russian artist will face up to 6 years in jail for running a pro-LGBTQ social media site which also portrays feminist artworks.

According to Radio Free Europe, Yulia Tsvetkova runs two social media groups which the government says is violating The Gay Propaganda Law. She was already been put under house arrest and fined 50,000 Rubles(approx. $800 USD).

Tsvetkova spoke to Radio Free Europe in Russian saying that this would set a serious precedent for everyone involved in lgbt activism, “especially lucky enough, or unlucky enough, to have any connection with children.”

A huge part of her activism involved producing and performing a student play with the moral that children don’t have to live by strict gender norms. This play showed several aspects of stereotypes for example “men don’t cry,” asking the boys to do the opposite. Parents who also witnessed these performances claimed there is nothing controversial in the content.

Tsvetkova also shared feminist artworks that represented female anatomical parts in vague and abstract manner. For example one picture represented the uterus depicted in 8-bit manner or another simple one which showed women’s hands shaped like a vagina. None of three artworks showed sexual organs in explicit manner.

In words of the Russian authorities, Tsvetkova was promoting propaganda by sharing art that teaches minor to engage in nontraditional sexual relations.

Tsvetkova is not the first artist to face legal persecution for her work that promotes tolerance or empowerment among youth of Russia. Russian police investigated producers of the Russian Youtube series Real Talk after the posted an interview with an openly gay man talking to children.

Other than legal repercussions pro-LGBTQ activists face threats from violent factions of society. Yelena Grigoryeva was murdered after her information was posted on a website that encouraged the hunting of LGBTQ supporters, but according to government officials she died in a domestic dispute.

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