Subtle acts of defiance are sometimes necessary to promote acceptance in society. In repressive nations, these can be dangerous actions — so those who take them must be lauded for their bravery.
In Russia, for instance, a group of people came together during the World Cup to promote LGBT equality. In defiance of a national law that prohibits disseminating material that promotes the community, six activists wore soccer jerseys, in the colors of the LGBT rainbow flag, to promote their cause.
Walking down Moscow’s streets and using public transportation, the activists wore the jerseys of six separate nations, including Spain (red), the Netherlands (orange), Brazil (yellow), Mexico (green), Argentina (blue), and Colombia (purple).
In Russia it’s illegal to display the LGBT pride flag. So during the #WorldCup these 6 football fans have formed a hidden rainbow flag with their soccer jerseys, to protest Russia’s discriminatory laws in plain sight. #HiddenFlag ??????? pic.twitter.com/I6uvYztGlR— Jason Ball (@jasonballau) July 9, 2018
The “Hidden Flag” caught the attention of users on social media, and the group soon went viral for their defiance of a law meant to silence them.
The Russian law making “gay propaganda” illegal was passed in 2013. The Hidden Flag Project, the group that promoted these individuals to defy that law, issued a statement this week explaining their activism.
“Six countries. Six courageous LGBT activists who, together, formed our flag and toured emblematic places in Russia, taking to every corner a fight that will never be silenced,” the statement read in part.
Civil acts of disobedience are sometimes necessary when governments refuse to acknowledge or protect the rights of others. These six individuals did something immensely brave, risking arrest to promote their beliefs in a country that has worked hard to suppress LGBT rights.