November 4, 2013
Activist coloring book protests Russia’s anti-gay discrimination
by Nick Davies
In response to Russia’s laws against the distribution of gay “propaganda,” and in preparation for the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi, anti-discrimination group FCKH8 has announced that it will publish and distribute a coloring book called Misha and His Moms Go to the Olympics. Alex J. Davidson writes for Advocate.com that the book features gay people and their families, with the goal of raising awareness of increasing discrimination in Russia.
In addition to the titular character and his lesbian mothers, Misha and His Moms.. features other children—one with heterosexual parents and another with two gay dads—but it’s not quite Free to Be You and Me. It also depicts some harshly realistic scenes, like the Russian police beating a gay couple for holding hands and Misha being taken out of his home by the police.
FCKH8 is a for-profit company based in Michigan that sells pro-gay t-shirts and other merchandise, including a line of items with the slogan “Gay OK” in Russian on them. The group will be mailing 10,000 copies to children in Moscow and Sochi, in direct defiance of recent laws that restrict discussing LGBTQ issues in a positive light. FCKH8 founder Luke Montgomery says:
Russia has made it a crime for any pro-gay words to be spoken, and that law is about to be broken… The message of this coloring book is to let kids in Russia know that being gay is normal. Beating and imprisoning people just for being out of the closet or arresting them for simply saying that it’s OK if someone in their family is gay,is an attack on human rights and a trashing of the Olympic spirit. We’re going to be breaking this homophobic law, and there’s nothing the government can do to stop it.
Misha and His Moms… is also available as a free PDF download from the FCKH8 website.
Nick Davies is a publicist at Melville House.