An Italian LGBT activist was detained for shouting “It’s okay to be gay!” on her way in to an Olympic hockey match yesterday.
Vladimir Luxuria (above), a former politician in the Italian parliament, and Europe’s first trans parliamentarian, was stopped and detained by four men before being driven away from the sports arena in Sochi in a car with Olympic markings. She was released in the countryside after having her spectator pass removed, reports ABC News.
(A Tweet from Luxuria’s account saying: “Regards with the colours of the rainbow, in the face of Putin!”)
Luxuria – who was dressed in a rainbow-coloured outfit and large headdress when she was removed from the Shayba Arena – claimed that Russian police had also detained her on Sunday night, for carrying a sign which said “Gay is Okay” in Russian. She stated that police warned her not to wear clothes with slogans supporting gay rights. The Sochi police deny having detained Luxuria.
“We have talked to police,” Alexandra Kosterina, a spokesman for the Russian Olympic Organising Committee, said Monday, “and, according to police, there is no record whatsoever of any detention or arrest.”
Luxuria told the AP that on Monday she spent two hours walking around the Olympic Park in Sochi shouting “Gay is OK” and “It’s OK to be gay” in both English and Russian. She told reporters that she felt it was important “to stand up for the rights of lesbian, gay and transgender people all over the world.”
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