If there's anything better than giving the finger to someone who hates your very way of life, these two lesbian activists may have just found it.
While sitting on a flight from Moscow to St. Petersburg, two women realized they were sitting just one row in front of homophobic Russian politician Vitaly Milonov, the de facto architect of many of Russia's anti-gay laws. To protests his anti-gay agenda, the couple took a selfie of themselves kissing with Milonov asleep in the background.
One of the women, going only by Kseniya Infinity on social media (later identified as one the the heads of lesbian nightclub Infinity), posted it to Instagram, where it quickly went viral with the caption "Who's that behind us??? MILONOV! But we don't give a shit! We're flying to our favorite [lesbian] club Infinity!"
Shortly after, the woman posted more photos and a longer description on VKontakte, the Russian equivalent of Facebook:
According to Russian news website Meduza, the caption translates to:
Lots of people are asking me about my last post: did we really go and kiss in front of Milonov? Was it really Milonov? Maybe it was just somebody who looked like him? What was the flight like? and so on. Here are my answers: Yes it was really Milonov! As fate would have it, he was sitting in the row right behind us. The whole flight from Moscow to St. Petersburg, Milonov said nothing to us. We staged the photoshoot in front of him, and he hid behind his tablet, when he realized. We're all super happy. Him—probably not so much. But who cares! Attached is the rest of the photoshoot. #milonov #antihomophobia
The selfie comes shortly after Milonov began drafting new legislation aimed at closing a same-sex marriage loophole that gained media attention in November when a gay and transsexual couple officially married St. Petersburg.
The kiss was a simple, yet powerful gesture that may have seemed like nothing, but clearly had Milonov rattled. He later told Russian news agency FlashNord that the women "made a bunch of silly faces, photographed themselves and ran to the back of the plane, where they sat down and didn't show their faces until the end of the flight," while also calling them "crazy fools" and "idiots."
However, based on his track record of extremely homophobic activities and legislation, Milonov might be the one who deserves to be called the "crazy fool."
In 2013, in the lead-up to the Sochi Olympics, Milonov said that gay athletes would be arrested if they were caught "promoting homosexuality" to minors, reportedly saying, "If a law has been approved by the federal legislature and signed by the president, then the government has no right to suspend it. It doesn't have the authority."
More recently, in October 2014, Milonov proposed giving Apple CEO Tim Cook a lifetime ban from entering Russia, telling FlashNord, "What could he bring us? The Ebola virus, AIDS, gonorrhea? They all have unseemly ties over there."
Meanwhile, LGBT people in Russia are already facing dire circumstances and a clearly biased set of laws designed to make life as a gay person in Russia nearly unbearable. Luckily, there are still people, like the two women above, standing up (and kissing) for what is right.
h/t The Guardian