Helping persecuted LGBT Chechens
You may have heard the news coming out of Chechnya, part of the Russian Federation, where police are kidnapping gay men (and those they perceive to be gay) and taking them to camps for torture and state-sanctioned murder.
Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens is raising money for organizations working directly with gay men and other persecuted LGBT people in Chechnya and the northern Caucasus, through:
· direct donations
· an online auction that runs through Saturday, May 13, at 12 noon CDT (6 pm BST and 3 am Sunday morning AEST)
A Line in the Sand: Two Authors on Helping LGBT Chechens
Cecilia Tan is an author, editor, novelist, and sexuality rights activist. She and the erotica imprint she founded, Circlet Press, are both participating in Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens fundraisers. Tan writes:
If we don't help gay men being persecuted in Chechnya, then who will help us when the craven anti-gay politicians in Washington decide to come for us here in the USA?
This is the first line in the sand in a global fight for our rights as queer people that we are fighting here on US soil, too. Make no mistake: all the hysteria about the "bathroom bills" will AT BEST only lead to more Matthew Shepards and Brandon Teenas, and at worst lead to them making our very existence illegal.
I'm bisexual, I'm kinky, I'm poly: I've always written a rainbow of "alternative sexualities" in my work and I've always published same via Circlet Press as a political act, as a declaration of existence and a validation to those who aren't considered "mainstream." And I'm going to keep doing it.
MM erotic romance author Adira August is donating proceeds from her book On His Knees to the Russian LGBT Network through the end of May, and here she talks about why she decided to get involved:
I fought for gay rights for over 40 years. For the simple right to not be killed by hate. For the right to marry under the law. For the right to teach my kid math in middle school. For the right to die with your loved one at your bedside. And that last was important because at that time, we were going to a couple funerals a week.
I think people don't get what's going on. The men are taken, not arrested, just taken. They are tortured for the names of other gay men. This is standard operating procedure in the former Soviet Union and has been since the Revolution. Then they might keep torturing them for fun.
Then they kill them and start on the names they gave up.
I did this because I have no choice. I did this because I can’t live with myself if I don’t so something.
How to Help
Check out the items up for auction.
Bidding closes Saturday May 13th at NOON CDT*
*6 pm BST; 3 am Sunday morning AEST
Authors, publishers and freelancers have donated so many incredible prizes, from a handmade, cozy reading quilt to signed paperbacks to original stories to gigantic ebook collections. Browse the items here.
Wish someone would write that trope or relationship you’ve always been looking for? Now is your chance. Bid on one of the original stories.
Check out Books Save Lives
These authors are donating their royalties to one of the organizations evacuating LGBT men from Chechnya. Find your next read here.
Share the word on social media and your blog!
· Or share the Books Save Lives.
· Or share them all!
· The hashtag for English efforts is #chechenrainbow.
Donate directly to the Russian LGBT Network
Since much of their website is in Russian, Dale Cameron Lowry put together an FAQ to help you magically change it to English and guide you through the donation process.