Russia Bans Image of Vladimir Putin Because It Suggests He’s Gay

Russia Bans Image of Vladimir Putin Because It Suggests He’s Gay

See the famous meme of Putin in drag, now outlawed by the Russian government.

See the famous meme of Putin in drag, now outlawed by the Russian government.

Text: Jake Viswanath

A Russian court has banned an iconic and much-needed meme that depicts their discriminatory president, Vladimir Putin, in drag because it suggests that he is gay. The image shows Trump’s friend decked out in his best red lipstick and luscious lashes that are longer than most women’s, complete with a loud and proud rainbow in the background.

The poster went viral as a protest image in 2013 after the controversial nation passed a law that banned “gay propaganda,” which featured or supported homosexuality. Russia’s Justice Ministry officially added the image to their growing list of banned materials which constitute “extremist” beliefs, making it item 4071. Their description of the image is a picture of a Putin-like person “with eyes and lips made up” which implies “the supposed nonstandard sexual orientation of the president of the Russian Federation.”

The move is no surprise considering how the Russian government has already demoted the gay community to “nonstandard” people in recent years, with authorities going to the extent of arresting people who are simply suspected to be gay. This happened as recently as last week, when Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported that over 100 men suspected of homosexuality were detained in the southern region of Chechnya, and that three of them were killed. A spokesman of Chechen President Razmen Kadyrov denied the reports, stating that there were no gay people in his region. Yes, absolutely none.

It’s discriminatory values and tolerated events like this that make the US’s questionable  relationship with Russia, and the ongoing investigation about their involvement in last year’s presidential election, frightening. But it’s memes like this that we should continue to share for our comfort and laughter, to the utter embarrassment of Putin. And they call us snowflakes.

Credits: Photo: AP / Paul White

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