You might think the topless picture above is inappropriate for a feature that tackles such a serious subject.
But would you have clicked on a story about what’s going on Chechnya otherwise? Perhaps you would, but for those you wouldn’t we’ve done them a favour.
Here, Simon Dunn shares his feelings about the atrocities taking place in the world right now and urges us to come together in solidarity.
As I lay here in the comfort of my bed in my new home of London, listening to the sounds of the streets outside my window, it’s never far from my mind about how fortunate I am as a gay man to be born when I was. I spend most weekends in gay bars with my friends. Laughing and having a good time, never hiding who I am.
Yet the events of the past few weeks in Chechnya really bring home the fact that I was not only lucky to be born when I was but also where I was born.
The idea that young men like myself are not only being put into concentration camps in 2017, but also killed and tortured is beyond upsetting. It disgusts me! As most gay men in Europe look forward to pride season, these men are just just hoping to survive another day. It really does make what I worry about on a daily basis seem meaningless.
But with these events firmly in mind, it is imperative that we support and show pride more than ever. We need to stand together and be a united force. When people often question why pride events are so important, we must show them what’s occurring in Chechnya.
Yes, pride events are big parties, but we party because we can be who we are without fear.
The world is in a really scary and unfamiliar place right now, and with that fear brings hatred and distrust for the unknown, or in this case people not like the majority.
Not only was Donald Trump elected the President of the USA, he has Mike Pence as his Vice President. If you thought Trump was bad, this is the man who wanted to stop funding to HIV/AIDS organisations and put it toward gay conversion therapy.
Can you believe that this man is second in charge of one of the largest and most powerful countries in the world. We are beginning see more and more right wing organisations growing in number all across the world. This is what scares me a lot. And I can honestly we should all be.
We’ve all heard the stories of the holocaust, when jews, gays, gyspies were locked away into concentration camps where they were tortured and killed simply because of the fact they were different and not accepted.
I remember growing up learning about these atrocities and thinking this could never happen in today’s world. But it looks like it is. This is history repeating itself and I feel it will continue to do so if the world keeps moving in the direction it is and we do not take a stand.
Therefore it is important that we do not become complacent in our own freedoms and rights. If it can happen in Chechnya, who’s to say that in time we too might experience such terrible things.
We are a minority; this will never change. And because of this we need to speak the loudest and be seen the most. We need to appreciate how fortunate we are to have the freedoms we do but we need to fight atrocities like this.
But with the freedom we have comes responsibility, and in this case it is to fight for the rights of all members of the LGBT community throughout the world who aren’t as lucky as we are.
As the saying goes, which side of history do you want to be on. Be proud be you.