These LGBT Activists Trolled Russia in the Best Way Possible

rainbow-lgbt-flag-protest-soccer-jerseys-world-cup-russia
Alexander Kacala

While scrolling through our Twitter feed, we discovered that six LGBT activists from around the world trolled the 2018 FIFA World Cup of soccer in the best way possible!

In Russia, where the World Cup is currently taking place, the six activists wore the football jerseys from their respective countries: Spain, the Netherlands, Brazil, Mexico and Colombia. What resulted was a vibrant, manmade "hidden flag" that reminds us no matter how hard our foes try, they will never be able to hinder our Pride.

Homosexuality is not illegal in Russia, but federal laws passed in 2013 effectively banned the distribution of "propaganda" to minors which promotes "non-traditional sexual relationships." This includes iconic LGBT symbols, such as the Rainbow Pride flag, and arrests (paired with homophobic violence) have resulted from the ban.

So while a Pride flag may not be able to be legally waved in the anti-LGBT country, what's stopping six people from wearing the colors of the rainbow and standing side-by-side in protest? That’s exactly what activists Marta Márquez, Eric Houter, Eloi Pierozan Junior, Guillermo León, Vanesa Paola Ferrario, and Mateo Fernández Gómez did when they took to the streets of Moscow during the World Cup to appear as a human Pride flag.

"When Gilbert Baker designed the rainbow flag in 1978, he did so to create a symbol and an icon for the LGTB community," a statement on the group’s website reads. "A symbol, recognizable across the world, that people could use to express their pride."

"Unfortunately, 40 years later, there are still countries in which homosexuality is persecuted, sometimes even by jail sentences, and in which the rainbow flag is forbidden. Russia is one of these countries."

"We have taken advantage of the fact that the country is hosting the World Cup at the same time as Pride Month, to denounce their behavior and take the rainbow flag to the streets of Russia," the group announced on their website. "Yes, in the plain light of day, in front of Russian authorities, Russian society, and the whole world, we wave the flag with Pride."

"I didn’t know what would happen and I was really scared. I can’t imagine being part of the LGTB community in Russia," says Colombian Mateo Fernández Gómez. "Where I live I have been given the space to be whoever I want to be, and this is why I wanted to come and protest in a place where others don’t have the same comfort. At first, I was intrigued in the project from an advertising perspective, as an interesting executional idea, but being there it has really made me realise that this is real life, I became aware of the dark side of Russia and I heard so many stories. I hope that this makes its all the way to Putin and that things can be changed."

"I come from a very conservative family from a small city in Brazil, so it hasn’t always easy for my sister and I, who is also gay," adds Brazilian Eloi Pierozan Jr. "That is why I have been so excited to form part of our unexpected rainbow. I hope it touches the hearts of many people. It’s a call to love."

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