From Russian bears to the Google doodle, here are the people standing up for gay rights in Sochi
As Sochi gears up for the Olympics opening ceremony today, Russia is attempting to head off to a torrent of international criticism over its treatment of LGBT people. From the Google doodle to Channel 4's "Gay Mountain" viral ad, more and more people are adding their voices to the chorus of disapproval and backing gay rights. Here are best troll-trollworthy examples of how to subvert the Sochi Olympics.
Gay Mountain by Channel 4
A joyous explosion of Russian bears, light-up rainbows and go-go dancers. Channel 4, which will broadcast the Olympics in Britain, will also brand its logo in the rainbow colours of the gay pride flag to coincide with the opening ceremony today.
Luge by the Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion
It's not particularly sublte, but this Canadian TV ad points out the obvious: between the thermal spandex, its celebration of the human physique, and all that luging, the Winter Olympics are already pretty gay.
The Google doodle
Just in time for the opening, Google has switched its doodle to a tasteful rainbow vision of various Winter Olympic sports – and just to make sure the message isn't lost, it's included a pointed quote from the Olympics Charter about the importance of being able to practise sport without facing discrimination of any kind.
A great example of DIY spirit – Toronto resident Brahm Finkelstein sunk $10,000 of his own money to design this LGBT take on Russia's iconic matryoshka dolls. All proceeds go to the Gay and Lesbian International Sport Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to equality in sport.
#LoveAlwaysWins by AllOut
So this isn't trolling so much as an all-out assault on your tearducts, but this viral video from gay campaigners AllOut drives the message home: in Russia, gay Olympians could compete for glory at Sochi and still not be allowed to celebrate with the person you love most. You can read more about AllOut's campaign to end LGBT discrimination in Russia here.
American Apparel's Principle 6 line
AA has thrown in its lot with the Principle 6 campaign, which campaigns for Russian LGBT rights and is inspired by the anti-discrimination rule in the Olympics Charter. Designed to bypass the Russian law that bans "gay propaganda", American Apparel is hoping that this simple re-statement of the Olympic rules will be enough to drive the pro-LGBT rights message home. Australian snowboarder Belle Brockhoff is planning to wear the line at Sochi, apparently. All proceeds will go to LGBT groups in Russia.
Acting too gay once you touch down in Sochi? You could get cuffed.
Saturday Night Live does Sochi
SNL has had a pretty solid run of making fun of the Russian Olympics – imagining what a completely heterosexual figure skating team would look like or just plain asking why anyone would pick Russia to host the Olympics ("I went to Sochi one time, it was to throw myself into the sea") – but their best take is on the US Olympic delegation, which includes several out athletes.