Why Go to Moscow as a Gay Man Living With HIV/AIDS?

This post on AMERICAblog is what I saw as I weighed the possibility of going to Moscow for the LGBT-affirming Russian Open Games. So why go in the first place? It was for that 17-year-old boy who was tortured, beaten and raped with beer bottles and pissed on for just being himself. He was forced to say he was a pedophile. How can a 17-year-old boy be a pedophile?

There is true fear instilled in the Russian mentality that the two are the same, that if you are gay, then you are a pedophile. We know better, but in an indoctrinated country, who watches news every day to keep up with the world to have conversations outside watching the news?

I am sorry, but even I do not! The news is too depressing and often presents skewed views of the world. Take Sochi, for example. It was a dreamland, and that is exactly what it was compared to in my experience in Moscow. The Russian Open Games were to celebrate the diversity in Russia's own culture and bring self-esteem to LGBT people through sport, and to help them accept who they are as people and creative individuals.

This is why I went to Moscow! It was for that 17-year-old boy. And with regard to the "gay propaganda" laws, I have been saying all along that there is a gay child born in Russia every day, and who is there to protect that child from harm?

That is why I supported the Russian Open Games!