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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > September 2018 > Hidden in plain sight

Hidden in plain sight

Appearances were deceiving when six imaginative LGBT+ activists tackled homophobia at the World Cup in Russia

Earlier this summer, six strangers scored a headline-hitting goal for Russia’s repressed LGBT+ community over the course of the World Cup. Gathering from all around the globe, they risked the wrath of the authorities by flying the rainbow flag right under the nose of president Vladimir Putin and his aggressively homophobic government. However, it was not your typical unfurling – anything but – since that has long been forbidden. Back in June 2013, Putin sparked outrage when he permitted the passing of a law that banned any “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations among minors” (translation: LGBT+ sexual relationships).

The distribution of material pertaining to, or the discussion of gay rights in public spaces where children could be present is illegal, with the threat of arrest or a hefty fine for those who flout the rules. This also applies to the display of the rainbow flag, designed by Gilbert Baker in 1978 as a symbol of freedom and pride. It’s another stain on Russia’s appalling anti-queer record. In the five years since, hate crime in the region is understood to have doubled, with many more attacks going unreported because victims don’t trust the powers-that-be to investigate properly.

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About Attitude

Attitude celebrates its 300th issue! Style special with new Vogue editor Edward Enninful, Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing & Lady Gaga designer Nicola Formichetti. Plus: Jack Haslam, Instagram stud Troy Pes, and the Hidden Flag Russia protestors.