Gay Concentration Camps in Chechnya - It’s Time to Take Action - Paul Richmond Studio

Today is the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, & Biphobia, and we need to talk about what’s happening in Chechnya. You’re not hearing about it from our politicians or most of our news media, but it's important.

Chechnya's a republic of Russia. Gay and bisexual men there are being rounded up and held in torture camps. Over a hundred have been arrested and there have been at least three deaths.

One survivor said “Once they bring you there, they immediately start the beatings and electrocutions, demanding information about who you were dating.”

A spokesperson denied the reports saying it can't be true bc there ARE no gay people in Chechnya. Which is bullshit and terrifying. That is Hitler mentality right there - alive and well in 2017.

I want to be VERY clear: It is NOT acceptable for anyone anywhere in a position of influence to turn a blind eye to this. President Trump, I am talking to you. Your silence speaks volumes. Leaders from Germany, Britain, the Netherlands, France, and Sweden have all spoken out. Where have you been? The blood of these innocent men is on the hands of every world leader who remains  silent.

I remember when I first learned about the holocaust in school, I couldn’t understand how something so horrific was allowed to happen. 

Now I know.

Today, information travels a lot faster than it did in the 1940’s. Where’s the massive showing of support? Where’s the outrage? Where's a president who stands up for these oppressed people? Oh, he's too busy buddying up to the Russian ambassadors behind closed doors. Ok, well we are going to have to do this without him. 

The unthinkable is happening right now in Chechnya, and the majority of people in our country don’t even know because we're all busy and the issue is too complicated to sum up in a tweet. It’s not juicy enough for entertainment news sites to slap a clickbait headline on it and rake in some easy cash. So it gets ignored.

Meanwhile innocent people are being imprisoned. Beaten. Killed. Because of their sexual orientation. Right now. While I sit here in my nice, safe apartment talking to you. 

We all have to take a stand, even if our leaders have better things to do. How can we possibly celebrate Pride this year, how can we have any sense of pride, if we aren’t willing to stand up for members of our own community who are being tortured? How can we expect anyone to stand up for us.

It's hard because we live far away and we don't have all the answers and we have our own problems. I know. I struggle with all of that too. 

Here’s one small thing we can all do. Right now. 

I designed this tshirt to raise awareness and much-needed money for the cause. I used the pink triangle, which was the symbol Nazi's used to identify gay prisoners, as the basis for the design. The statement “Never Again” is a call to action for all of us to learn from history and refuse to allow the atrocities of the holocaust to be repeated. 

The shirts are being produced by Traxler Tees and they are available right now. 100% of the proceeds are being donated to Rainbow Railroad, which is an incredible organization that helps LGBT people around the world escape violence and persecution. They are working with the Russian LGBT Network to provide direct travel assistance for endangered men in Chechnya. 

I’m asking all of you who can to order the shirt now and tell your friends to do the same. They are $25 and for a limited time you can get free shipping with the code LOVEYOU. Or if you don't want the shirt but would rather donate directly to Rainbow Railroad, that’s great too.

If you can't afford to buy a shirt or make a donation, use your voice. Speak out. Demand that the world keep an #EyesonChehnya. Share this video or make your own. If you do buy the shirt, wear it  and tell everyone what it means. Use your talents and hold your own fundraiser. Call your politicians and demand they take action. Lives are at stake and if we all do our part, we can make a difference.

Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens:

“Chechnya accused of ‘gay genocide’ in ICC complaint - BBC News:

“LGBT activists arrested in Moscow after demanding investigation of alleged torture of gay men in Chechnya” - ABC News:

“Gay Chechen men tell of torture, mass arrests” - CNN:


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