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Walking With Pride

Walking With Pride


From Kiev to Lisbon, the social experiment is spreading.

Photo shows Dustin Lance Black (left) and Tom Daley, via Instagram/Dlanceblack

Inspired by marriage equality's victory in the United States, two men from ChebuRussia TV filmed themselves walking through the streets of Moscow one month ago today. The aim was to see where their society stood in terms of LGBT acceptance. The results were unsettling, with many strangers hurling verbal abuse and a few imparting violent shoves and pushes.

The video quickly went viral, racking up almost 10 millions views to date. Inspired by the video, a couple decided to repeat the experiment in Kiev, Ukraine. They were not subject to any verbal abuse--the only reactions were those of surprise, with Zoryan Kis saying "we were like aliens to them." However, when Kis' boyfriend sat on his lap in a busy square, a group of neo-Nazi youth attacked them with pepper spray and kicks.

Despite that, Kis' conclusion was positive overall. "In our society there are very few aggressive homophobic radicals who are ready for physical attack," he says. "Other people don't care as long as it doesnt concern them personally."

Clearly taking their cue from the Moscow and Kiev videos, but reacting to much more specific circumstances, two men took part in the same social experiment for YNet News in Jerusalem. Following the deadly attack by a right-wing Jewish religious extremist at Jerusalem's Gay Pride Parade that left a 16-year-old girl dead and five others hospitalized, the situation for LGBTs in Israel's capital was revealed to be far different from that of those in the gay haven of Tel Aviv. The video affirms such a characterization, with the couple being the target of verbal abuse numerous times.

When a couple in Lisbon, Portugal decided to take up the challenge, however, the results were radically different. While Lorenzo and Pedro did turn some heads, they received nothing but love. Their conclusion:

"If you live in a county where being gay is not a crime, you should always walk holding your boyfriend or girlfriend's hands. Can you imagine if we all do it? Even the curiosity stares will dissapear. Always walk with pride."

As history has shown, the more visible members of the LGBT community are, the less misunderstood our community is. Being open and shameless about our love, while potentially opening ourselves up to varying levels of abuse, is an important step in helping the rest of society progress. It's a sentiment that Oscar-winning activist Dustin Lance Black and Olympic diving champion Tom Daley clearly take to heart, as seen in Black's Instagram post while on vacation.

TIE DYE undercover #vacation (#holiday) Day 4 of 8.

A photo posted by Dustin Lance Black (@dlanceblack) on

So, who's next? Will you walk with pride?

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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