Transgender activist detained by Russian officials for attempting to protest at Olympics
Vladimir Luxuria, a former member of the Italian Parliament, was detained by Russian police on the weekend after attempting to hold up a sign reading ‘gay is ok’ in the Olympic Park at Sochi.
Luxuria was led away by two plain clothes officials. She told Reuters she was released during the early hours of Monday morning.
Luxuria told Reuters her sign was in protest of President Vladimir Putin’s anti-gay propaganda law.
"I think it is important ... (to have) the opportunity to talk internationally about these things because otherwise these things happen in Russia and nobody knows, nobody cares," Luxuria said. "They think: 'Well, it's not in our country, it's far away, it's in Russia, who cares?'"
Luxuria explained she had been warned by police she could not promote pro-gay slogans in public. Undeterred the former politician said she planned to shout her protest from within the stands.
"I think this is so important. For me, I've experienced in my childhood what it means to be beaten up or abused for the fact that I'm transgender," Luxuria said.
"I tell you, if ... I don't have the opportunity to have a flag with 'It's OK to be gay' written on it I will shout it," she said. "I know how to say it in Russian.".