Last year at this time, a number of magazine editors and TV producers were getting ready to share Sochi Winter Olympics-timed pieces examining the very difficult life for Russia’s LGBT residents. This week, three of those efforts have been nominated for 2014 GLAAD Media Awards.
The first, “Inside the Iron Closet: What It’s Like to Be Gay in Putin’s Russia,” appeared in the February issue of GQ. The Outstanding Magazine Article nominee, by Jeff Sharlet, chronicles a pair of weeks spent in the country in the fall of 2013:
I wanted to see what ordinary LGBT life was like in a nation whose leaders have decided that “homosexualism” is a threat to its “sexual sovereignty,” that “genderless tolerance,” in Putin’s words, is a disease of the West that Russia will cure. The medicine is that of “traditional values,” a phrase, ironically, imported from the West, grafted onto a deeply conformist strain of nationalism. In Russia, that means silence and violence, censorship, and in its shadow, much worse.
The second Russian LGBT journalism nominee is the five-part Vice News video series Young and Gay in Putin’s Russia. It too was based on travels to the country ahead of last Winter’s Olympics and is nominated for Outstanding Digital Journalism – Multimedia:
We take a ride in Moscow’s gay taxi service, hear about the rise of homophobic vigilante groups and meet Yulia, who runs LGBT self-defense classes.
Also nominated by GLAAD this year, in the Best Documentary category, is the Epix original To Russia with Love. The explores the subject through the eyes of figure skater and commentator Johnny Weir, U.S. Olympic delegate Billie Jean King, athletes and activists.
The awards will be presented in Los Angeles March 21. For a full list of this year’s nominees, including the five very intriguing entries for Outstanding Blog, click here.