FAQ on Russian LGBT Network and gays in Chechnya

rainbow flag—photo by Benson Kua

This FAQ is a revised version of a post I wrote in April about the persecution and killing of gay men in Chechnya and efforts to help them. A message I received today reminded me that there’s still a lot of education to be done. The message was along the lines of “Russia is full of hackers and scammers, so we can’t trust things based in Russia. Therefore Westerners should only support Western charities.” If everyone followed that reasoning, we’d have 40 more dead gay Chechens on our hands right now.
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Guest Author: Proceeds from Jo Tannah’s The Way You Look Tonight help gay Chechens

I was thrilled when Jo Tannah told me last month that she wanted to participate in Books Save Lives with two titles — including one that she’d previously published with Wayward Ink, The Way You Look Tonight. Books Save Lives is a project of Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens that raises funds for the Russian LGBT Network and other charities helping gay men escape Chechnya, where police are currently conducting a campaign of terror against anyone they suspect of being gay. Here’s an interview I did with Jo last February when The Way You Look Tonight first came out. … Read more

Online auction raises $2,709 for organizations helping gay Chechens

The Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens online auction, held May 6–13, raised a total of $2,709 USD for four organizations that are working to bring gay Chechens to safety. This brings the total raised so far by the group to $10,326. Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens continues to offer ways for both writers and readers to get involved. … Read more

‘Nobody should have to fear for their life for being who they are.’

With the Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens charity auction ending tomorrow (get your bids in!), we’ve gotten a ton of support from writers around the blogoverse, and for that I’m grateful. A quick round up of a few that posted today, one from days ago that I missed in a previous roundup, and a poem that is timeless in its relevance. … Read more

Chechnya: Part of ‘a global fight for our rights as queer people’

Lately, one of my favorite times of day is checking out all the blogs that are talking about ways to save the lives of LGBT Chechens. Back before the internet, few of us would have known about what’s going on in Chechnya, and fewer of us would have been in a position to help. But that’s all changed. We may not be able to change government policies or social prejudices in one fell swoop, but we can provide real, tangible assistance to many of the men who’ve been swept up in Chechnya’s anti-gay purge — men who would have had no place to turn only a few years ago. Here are a few excerpts from the blogs I visited this morning. … Read more

LGBT book bloggers on Chechnya: ‘We need to shine a light.’

link to books whose proceeds are going to charity

Thanks to My Fiction Nook, Diverse Reader, and authors Annabeth Leong, Lisabet Sarai and Sarah Hadley Brook for drawing attention to the situation in Chechnya and the Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens fundraising auction. Annabeth wrote a post on her author blog that did a great job of capturing one of the things we’re trying to do at Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens — build up people’s spirits with great queer stories while dealing with tough realities that continue to threaten our community.

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On Chechnya: ‘We can save a lot of people.’

link to charity auction raising money for LGBT Chechen refugees

Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov’s has threatened to “eliminate” the gay community in Chechnya by the end of May. As pressure increases on LGBT Chechens, more are sure to flee, and they need our support to find a safe place to land. … Read more

Book Review: Falling for a Pirate by Meredith Bond | Proceeds help gay Chechens

“How can I be more kind?” It’s a question at the heart of the poetry of Hafez, a Sufi mystic often quoted by pirate captain Salim al-Mandri, the beloved in this time-travel romance. And it becomes a crucial question for our hero Dylan, who’s not sure how to square his affection for Salim with his revulsion for violence. Falling for a Pirate by Meredith Bond is an adventurous romance with a philosophical soul.
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