Maybe nobody knows that in Russia to show and display rainbow flag can be punishable by a jail sentence, as it is classified as ‘gay propaganda’. Life for homosexual people there is very hard and full of risks and punishments, and what should just be easy, becomes an every day challenge.
And a challenge is what a LGBTQ+ activist group has started. This six people organization intelligently tapped media attention at the Russia World Cup 2018 to share an important message.
Thanks to Spain, The Netherlands, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia official football team shirts, they managed to wave the rainbow flag. How? For a whole day they wore six football shirts, and they organized themselves to represent the forty-year old pride symbol, just playing with colors.
“Yes, in the plain light of day, in front of the Russian authorities, Russian society and the whole world, we wave the flag with pride.”
This is what is displayed on the activist official website, thehiddenflag.org. Marta Márquez, Eric Houter, Eloi Pierozan Junior, Guillermo León, Vanesa Paola Ferrario and Mateo Fernández Gómez, these are the names of these heroes. They’re all from Latin American and on their website you can read each of their stories
The resonance this event had on the internet is unbelievable. Thousands of tweets and posts on both Instagram and Facebook are now trending in the social network world.
Messages of support, solidarity and love are coming from all over the planet, and not only from common users and LGBTQ+ communities: even verified pages, like Billboard, are sharing this incredible adventure.
Before the World Cup started, it was said that this summer would be less rigid in Russia for gay people and that the only true rule to respect would have been not to show same-sex relationship to minors. In facts, homosexuality was actually decriminalised in Russia in 1993, but homophobic sentiment unfortunately remains strong.
That’s why The Hidden Flag has to be considered likewise a courage act. It’s never easy to express ourselves, from the easiest things to the most difficult ones, and the rights campaign that the whole world still has to fight is far from being over. But reading about these simple love demonstrations is what a gay teenager could need right now in his bedroom, while is swamped with doubts, questions and worries.
Image credits: thehiddenflag.org