Six Activists in Search of Each Other

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LGBT activists from around the world found a fun way to subvert Russia’s odious “gay propaganda” law during the Moscow World Cup competition this summer. They came from six different countries whose team colors corresponded to the stripes on the rainbow flag. So, when the six met in Moscow and donned their countries’ jerseys, the result was a gay flag that was hidden in plain sight. The new friends moved about the city together, making themselves as conspicuous as possible and taking lots of photographs along the way. This took place without incident, until one of the men, Mateo Fernandez of Columbia, was detained at the airport when he tried to leave. His luggage and phone were confiscated and he was held in a small room and interrogated for fifteen hours. Through it all, he was never told why he was being held. However, as the photograph would suggest, the police were not oblivious to the presence of this roaming challenge to Russia’s gag law. Presumably the detention of one member sent just the message that was intended.

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