Teens Hold A Mock Execution Of Gay Person In Front Of Live Audience

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Teens Hold A Mock Execution Of Gay Person In Front Of Live Audience

A group of teenagers in a Russian military club held a mock execution of a gay person in front of a crowded theatre.

The skit used anti-gay slurs which shocked and horrified organizers of the event.

The performance, depicting violence against a gay character, shocked the audience. 

As horrified audience members looked on, the stage was filled with disturbing acts of discrimination against the gay character.

The incident occurred at the Dobrynin Palace of Culture in Yaroslavl during a celebration honoring the 20th anniversary of the local club named Paratroopers.

“I was not at the performance itself, but I saw these photos on social networks. We view these attacks as a call to murder,” said the head of the Yaroslabl branch of the veterans’ group Defender, Tara Sidorin.

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On stage, the cadets lifted another cadet and placed a fake block of cement on his stomach.

The block of cement had writing on it which called for the death of gay people, using a homophobic slur. Another cadet then used a sledgehammer to strike the block.

“There were small children in the hall,” Sidorin continued. “This behavior is simply unacceptable.”

Unacceptable might be an understatement for the severe cruelty that this performance inflicted.

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The Palace’s director claimed that the performance was not approved beforehand.

“We are outraged,” Igor Derbin, the palace’s director, said afterward. “Initially, the event was planned to be pleasant and joyful. Their trick was unexpected for us. It wasn’t preplanned or agreed upon because they knew we wouldn’t allow it.”

However, the head of the Paratroopers clearly took no issue with the performance. 

"What's the problem? They just don't like" gay people, Andrei Palachev later was quoted as telling reporters, using an offensive slur for gay in place of the actual word. "And neither do I."

There is still no evidence circulating about whether or not the boys in the performance will be punished.

Homophobia is a concerning issue in Russia.

In Russia, Vladmir Putin issued a series of anti-LGBTQ+ amendments which banned transgender adoptions and marriage equality.

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Performances like this depict how homophobia has become embedded into Russian society as well as the nation's laws. 

Last year, a survey found that 1 in 5 Russians want lesbians and gay people to be "eliminated."

Fear is a common feature in the lives of the Russian LGBTQ community and this performance will only add to concerns.

For members of the LGBTQ who worry about being targeted, this performance sends a clear message that the nation is still not a safe place to exist.

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Izzy Casey is a writer who covers pop culture, news, and entertainment for YourTango. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her work has been published in Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts, The Iowa Review, BOAAT, The Columbia