Russian President Vladimir Putin must be chuckling with joy at the spectacle of LGBT rights activists acting as though other gay-rights activists, rather than Putin and his cronies, are their worst enemies.
Activists’ harsh disagreements, especially over whether to boycott the Sochi Olympics or demonstrate for human rights there, have now reached new extremes.
As the climax to weeks of mystifying and antagonistic statements, longtime Russian gay-rights activist and recent Sochi boycott opponent Nikolai Alekseev (also spelled Alexeyev) announced today that he would halt his work for LGBT rights in response to intense criticism by American commentator/erotica producer Michael Lucas, a Russian native, who accused him of “misdirection, anti-Western smears and outright lies.”
[Alekseev later called his announcement a “social experiment.” He resumed his work against Russia’s anti-gay laws and sent out many blistering tweets attacking his critics.]
Writing in Out.com on Aug. 28, Novak said Alexeev had been either bought off or coerced into becoming the Kremlin’s “pocket gay. ”
Lucas said that “everyone now knows he can no longer be trusted as an advocate for LGBT Russians. Stick a sickle in him: He’s done.”
Because of Lucas, Alekseev said via Twitter that he decided to “leave LGBT activism. I only paid own money and faced insults.”
Gazeta.ru reported that Alekseev announced to his allies, “My dear friends and colleagues. I’m leaving LGBT activism forever after today’s insulting and defamatory article about me [by] well-known pornographer Michael Lucas, who said I was Putin’s poodle. For me, this topic is closed. I wish you all success!”
Alekseev threatened to sue Lucas and Out.com, then added that he would hire a hit man to kill Lucas if Alekseev’s ailing 72-year-old mother died because of the article.
He also said that he would no longer lead Moscow Pride, and hinted that his candidacy for remaining in that position had run into opposition. “I am in emergency proceedings to give up the leadership of Moscow Pride. I had a clear candidature and was denied,” he tweeted.
Alekseev added that he would withdraw 30 cases at the European Court charging Russia with human rights violations, because of Lucas.
“My dear friends, it’s not the homophobic Russian government that stopped me, but American insults and slanders.”
Lucas replied, “Alexeyev is using this article as an excuse to abandon LGBT activism completely. Which I fear confirms exactly what my article suggested.”
Blogger Melanie Nathan of O-blog-dee supported Lucas, commenting, “Michael like others are helping to move Russian LGBT forward by speaking the truth about Nikolai that Nikolai Alekseev is not fit to lead. Thank you Michael. Many of us have had to take the heat from Nikolai – stay strong you did the right thing with this article – well done!”
- Russian police raid LGBT activist’s apartment (76crimes.com)
- UPDATE: Nikolai Alexeyev Apparently Quits Gay Russian Activism After Michael Lucas Article (queerty.com)
- Did Russian Activist Nikolai Alekseev fall off his throne (oblogdeeoblogda.me)
- Why do activists reject Russian LGBT strategy for Olympics? (76crimes.com)
- Questions Swirl Around Prominent Russian LGBT Activist (bilerico.com)
- Russia’s Most Prominent Gay Rights Activist Feared Kidnapped Or Crazy (queerty.com)
- LGBT Russian leadership and the voice of Putin (oblogdeeoblogda.me)
- International News | Alekseev: U.S. boycott of Russian vodka makes no sense (thejournalist.ie)
- LGBT activists call for boycotts, protests after Putin-approved anti-gay crackdown in Russia (miamiherald.com)
- Home of Russian LGBT activist Nikolai Alekseyev raided by police (pinknews.co.uk)