I was brought up watching the Olympics. Winter or Summer, it didn’t matter – we were there, watching, every night or weekend day, celebrating the athletes or commiserating with them. There was national pride, yes, and much joking about the one Ukranian judge who didn’t score appropriately (and I’m making a generalization here, people), but mostly it was a celebration of awesome physical feats of endeavor.
So it is with great confusion that I see people proclaim that they’re not watching the Olympics because of Putin’s policies outlawing homosexuality. I don’t understand that protest.
Yes, Russia is anti-gay. Am I an admirer of that stance? Hell to the no. But not watching the Olympics is, to me, not the best way of having my opinion heard. Not watching the Olympics won’t change Putin’s mind about the policies he’s put into place. Not watching the Olympics will only deprive me of the fun of watching the Olympics.
As a protest, I like what one of my friends is doing. For every day of the winter Olympics she’s watching, she’s donating to the Russia Freedom Fund. What is that? To borrow from their website:
“The Fund is a U.S. tax deductible vehicle for making financial contributions in support of the LGBT movement in Russia and efforts to combat discrimination and violence there based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”
Now that, my friends, is one way to make your voice heard. I know very little about the Russia Freedom Fund, and as always do your due diligence before donating money to any cause.
But if you LOVE the Olympics and you are depriving yourself of the joy of watching the Games in the belief that it’s going to make a difference in the lives of gay people in Russia, well. Maybe you should re-think your opinion on this issue, and watch some winter Olympics before they’re over for 2014. Grab yourself some of that Olympic joy.