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Popular Topics in The Arts
Nyad, Diana Nyad, Diana
Long-distance swimmer and respected sports commentator has in more recent years spoken out on issues of glbtq rights.
 
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Indian playwright, screenwriter, dancer, director, and actor Mahesh Dattani is an important figure in South Asian gay culture by virtue of his recurrent depiction of queer characters.
 
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Entertainer Josephine Baker achieved acclaim as the twentieth century's first international black female sex symbol, but kept carefully hidden her many sexual liaisons with women, which continued from adolescence to the end of her life.
 
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American painter Paul Cadmus is best known for the satiric innocence of his frequently censored paintings of burly men in skin-tight clothes, but he also created works that celebrate same-sex domesticity.
 
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Topics In the News
 
French President, Other European Leaders to Boycott Sochi Olympics
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 12/16/13
Last updated on: 12/17/13
 
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François Hollande. Photograph by Jean-Marc Ayrault (CC BY 2.0).

On December 15, 2013, France's President François Hollande announced that he would not be attending the Winter Games in Sochi. President Hollande follows German President Joachim Gauck and European Union Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding, who previously announced that they would also boycott the Winter Games in protest of Russia's anti-gay laws. In confirming that Hollande would not attend the Games, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told Europe 1 Radio that no top French officials would travel to Sochi.

Meanwhile Russia slides into an ever more violent pogrom against gay people. In one of the most revolting recent incidents, popular Russian television star Ivan Okhlobystin, who is also a Russian Orthodox priest, told Siberian fans that he wants to burn gay people alive.

"I'd put them all alive in the oven . . . it's a living danger to my children," Okhlobystin said. Okhlobystin, a father of six, also demanded that "faggots" be stripped of their voting rights as homosexuality is a "psychical anomaly."

His fans roared their approval.

As John Aravosis commented at America.blog, any remaining doubt as to whether Russia was a modern, developed country went out the window when Okhlobystin called for the country's gay and lesbian population to be thrown into ovens and burned alive.

Aravosis has also recently reported that journalist Andy Humm had discovered that former Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir previously listed himself as an employee of the Russian Embassy in his bio for a speaker's bureau, a fact that was not revealed when NBC announced that it had hired Weir as a commentator at the Sochi Games.

If Weir, who has identified himself as a "Russophile" and has called gay activists "idiots," is an agent of the Russian government, that would pose an obvious conflict of interest for any reporting he would do at the Games.

However, soon after Aravosis's post went online, Weir scrubbed his bio at the speaker's bureau that represents him of the claimed affiliation with the Russian Embassy. He issued a dubious statement saying that the claim that he works with or for the Russian Embassy was merely a "typo."

Meanwhile, the largest gay nightclub in Moscow has, for the twentieth time, been subjected to harassment and threats.

 
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