Warning: The video linked in this article contains graphic content.
In protest of Russian anti-homosexuality laws, Barbie Breakout, a drag queen and disk jockey from Berlin, literally sewed her mouth shut. The excruciating process is documented in a short video that lasts just over a minute. Breakout has performed all over Europe and has written a book about her life titled “Tragic, But Cool.”
Russia has come under increased scrutiny since the recent passage of several laws that stifle the rights of homosexual individuals, including a law passed July 3 banning the adoption of Russian-born children to gay couples and to single parents and couples living in countries with marriage equality laws.
A law signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin classifies “homosexual propaganda” as pornography and makes it a crime to "hold gay pride events, defend gay rights or equate it to heterosexual relationships,” according to a report by the Wall Street Journal .
The same law also contains provisions that permit the Russian government to detain gay or pro-gay foreign nationals and tourists for up to two weeks before they are expelled from Russia.
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The controversy has extended to the 2014 Sochi Olympics, with a Russian lawmaker confirming the laws banning "gay propoganda" will continue to be enforced during next year's winter Olympic games in Russia. Vitaly Milonov, a co-sponsor of the controversial bill, told Interfax in an interview translated by Gay Star News: “I have not heard any comments from the government of the Russian Federation, but I know it is acting in accordance with Russian law. 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.”
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, or LGBT, activists and supporters continue to protest the controversial anti-homosexuality laws as preparations for the 2014 Winter Olympics continue.