Transgender Woman Detained In Sochi 2014’s First Gay Arrest

Italian Vladimir Luxuria was arrested for waving a flag about...


by Sophie Wilkinson |
Published on

Much was made of Russia's anti-gay laws ahead of the Sochi Winter Games 2014. And though president Vladimir Putin promised that tourists would be safe from his draconian laws, so long as they 'leave the children alone, please', there has been an arrest over something pretty petty.

Italian communist Vladimir Luxuria – the first openly transgender MP in Europe – was detained because she was walking around waving a rainbow flag that bore the slogan 'Gay is OK'.

Vladimir, a former Italian MP and cabaret performer, had been making a documentary all about how difficult it is being gay in Russia, and we suppose this arrest is going to make some good material.

Perhaps inevitably the games' organising committee and the local police have denied her arrest, despite holding her in a cell for hours, 'There was a detention. It lasted less than 24 hours. Our consular network worked to achieve a positive result.'

But she says she was held for two hours and it was directly related to her actions. 'The problem was not a rainbow flag, the problem was the writing,' she told _The Time_s. 'They asked me not to show things like that any more.'

However, even with her flag confiscated, the 48-year-old plans to continue her protests, this time shouting the slogan. 'I know how to say it in Russian.'

Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson

Picture: Getty

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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