The popular Dutch band, Kleintje Pils, says that it will include the popular 1970’s gay disco anthem, “Y.M.C.A.” as part of its musical repertoire this year at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in protest of Russia’s inhuman anti-gay laws. The band that always performs at Olympic speed skating ovals will perform the iconic song as a sign of support for [LGBT] rights.
Band leader Ruud Bakker told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Kleintje Pils will mix the Village People’s “Y.M.C.A.” in its sing-along repertoire as “a signal.”
Indirect moves by athletes to show support for gays have already caused controversy in Russia. At last August’s world athletics championships in Moscow, Swedish high jumper Emma Green Tregaro sported rainbow colors on her nails. In the final, however, Green Tregaro went with red nails after track officials said her earlier gesture might violate the meet’s code of conduct.
For many, the Sochi Olympics have become a cause célèbre, highlighting the hostility, and in many cases indifference, that Russians have shown toward the plight of the LGBT community since Russian President Vladimir Putin enacted several legislative measures aimed at stopping the spread of what he calls LGBT ‘propaganda’ directed at children. As a result, violence toward that community has increased.
For others, the Sochi Olympics are a slap in the face of human rights and a symbol of an impotent steering committee that has overlooked not only the attacks on the LGBT community but other Russian groups (including the Caucasians) that have fallen victim to the heavy hand of Putin’s government.
I may not be a major protest but at least it is a protest which is more than the Human Rights Campaign has done or has planned.