Russian gold medalist “insulted” by suggestion of same-sex protest kiss

Russian gold medal runner Ksenia Ryzhova is just another home-grown bigot. Now there’s a surprise.

Ryzhova finally spoke out about speculation surrounding the same-sex kiss she gave teammate Yulia Gushchina following their gold medal at Moscow’s World Athletics Championship, an official Olympic trial. Many had speculated that Ryzhova and Gushchina shared a kiss to tweak their displeasure at Russia’s draconian new anti-gay “propaganda” law.

I was suspicious. It seems I was right.

Ryzhova held a press conference yesterday to make clear that she had no intention of protesting Russia’s anti-gay law, and that she’s “insulted” by the suggestion.

Even stranger, Ryzhova seemed to misunderstand the controversy. Rather than realizing that people were speculating about her protesting the anti-gay law, Ryzhova believes that people were speculating as to whether she and her teammate were lesbian lovers.

You just can’t make this stuff up.

France's first legally-wed gay couple share a kiss. Via FranceTVInfo.

France’s first legally-wed gay couple share a kiss. Via FranceTVInfo.

From AFP via France 24:

“Yesterday, I was telephoned 20 times by various publications and instead of congratulating me they decided to insult me with these questions,” she fumed, quoted by the ITAR-TASS news agency.

“Myself and Yulia are both married and we are not having any kind of relationship,” she added, saying the two were very good friends after having trained together for eight years.

“It was a storm of emotions (after winning). And if at that moment we touched lips… I don’t know in whose fantasy this all gets thought up.

“This insults not just us but our trainers,” she added.

First off, you’re an idiot if you think the controversy is about whether you’re lovers.

Second, why is it an insult to suggest that you might be gay?

And third, why would it be an insult to your trainers?  Do Russian trainers have some secret cure for homosexuality that we’re not aware of?


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • Ty Morgan

    You just HAD to know it would come to this.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Remember, there are multiple actors at play here, including the Russian government, the Russian sports organizations, and the IOC.

    The IOC is trying desperately to play down the danger of arrest for LGBT athletes, trainers, staff, media, and visitors. Probably some also within the Russian government and sports orgs. There’s millions of dollars (and billions of Rubles) on the line here.

    But then there are the ones who passed the law, and those within the sporting groups who believe fully that gay people who don’t hide who they are, and anybody expressing support for LGBT rights, deserves to be arrested, jailed, fined, and possibly deported.

    And of course the ridiculously vague language of the Russian law means that any same-sex affection or contact, even between straights, is considered debatable. I’ve known a few Russian nationals over the years, and physical demonstrativeness is practically built into their culture.

  • cole3244

    my dear you insult all of humanity by your ignorant position on this issue, please join the 21st century before its too late.

  • Thom Allen

    This gets more and more interesting and Byzantine.

    Isinbayeva started with her comments about supporting the the Russian repression law. Admittedly in bad English. Saying that the Russian people are afraid of these things (gay propaganda) happening in their streets. Afraid because she has no understanding of who LGBTQs are. So lets repress, arrest, beat and confine them. Sounds like a 13th century peasant’s reaction to werewolves, vampires and witches. But later, she said that she misspoke and that she is opposed to discrimination against gays. I don’t think that the government would have told her to say something like that. I think, they would have told her to stand firm or even double down.

    Ryzhova, on the other hand, is enraged and insulted that her same-sex kiss might be interpreted as having lesbian overtones and/or could be a protest against the law. Yet how does the objective viewer, or Russian riot police, decide if what she and Guschina did was gay or just friendly? In this case, I can see the Russian government telling her to make the above statement to support the law, damn gays and clearly send a message that she and her teammate weren’t arrested because the kiss was just sorroral. That is, the all-wise Russians can tell when something is an act fd gay propaganda and when it’s just being friendly.

    It makes for interesting conjecture as to who said (and meant) what and if pressure was applied to get the desired response.

    In any case, I think I’ll still keep sending e-mails, signing petitions and boycotting all things Russian.

  • jomicur

    I’m more and more convinced that that entire nation is weirdly mired in the 1950s (“the bad decade,” as Gore Vidal called them). I’m old enough to remember the era of routine police raids on gay bars and the earliest beginnings of gay protests against them. The cascade of 100% clueless statements we’ve seen from an assortment of prominent Russians is eerily reminiscent of the kind of statements American district attorneys regularly made during the 50s to justify harassment and violence against us. And the brave–VERY brave–resistance by Russia’s LGBT community also has an uncanny resemblance to our own experience. Unfortunately I’m afraid that things in Russia might very well get much worse than they ever did here.

  • Bill_Perdue

    The same thing was reported by Gay Russia http://www.gayrussia.eu/russia/7525/ so it’s progably not true that her statement was based on fear of a one-way ticket to a non-existent gulag. They adn PinkNews are also reporting that the UN Office of the High Commissioner Human Rights has a urged repeal of Putin’s anti-gay law.

    However it turns out the question of who has to solve the problems created by the Putin Regime have to be solved by by our Russian brothers and sisters organized the various gay pride groups like those associated with http://www.gayrussia.eu/

    We can help out by urging a boycott of NBC/Comcast/MSNBC for remaining silent for years knowing what Putin’s regime had planned. “Human Rights Watch (HRW) notes that before Sochi was chosen for the 2014 games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and other stakeholders, including
    American multinational sponsors of the Winter Olympics, as well as NBC Universal, which has the broadcast contract, carefully tracked the path of the legislation… .” huffpo

  • Indigo

    They need to be more “insulted.”

  • goulo

    Probably she misunderstood the question of whether it was a protest against the law to be a question of whether they were lesbians because she is incapable of imagining any Russians except gay Russians protesting the law…

    Someday the descendants of the current Russian population are going to shake their heads sadly at the closed-minded hateful ignorance of their ancestors.

  • NCMan

    Do you suppose that two male Russian gold medal winning athletes could get away with an explanation of “it was just a celebratory kiss” like two women can? LOLOLOLOLOL

  • kingstonbears

    You’re certainly right about this one — “you just can’t make this stuff up.” You would almost think that the Russians are republicans, they just keep on giving and giving and giving……….

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