Queer Celebs Including Milk and Tyler Oakley Speak Out in NYC Against Chechnya Violence

Queer Celebs Including Milk and Tyler Oakley Speak Out in NYC Against Chechnya Violence

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Because the semi-autonomous Russia region of Chechnya is now onto its second year of kidnapping, torturing and murdering its LGBTQ citizens, the New York City-based activist group Voices4 held a rally this last Saturday to raise awareness and demand humanitarian visas for queer Chechens fleeing persecution. Gay YouTube celeb Tyler Oakley and Milk from RuPaul’s Drag Race were among the people who attended the New York City Chechnya rally.

The protest marked the one-year anniversary of the time that the Russian-language newspaper Novaya Gazeta first published reports of Chechnya’s violent purge. The protest itself occurred from noon to 1 p.m. at Columbus Circle in Manhattan and featured speaker from Voices4 and RUSA LGBT, a group which provides support for Russian asylum seekers.

The protest also featured protestors brandishing signs and a stark visual reminder of Chechnya’s purge: people wearing pinks hoods over their faces, their hands bound together with a rainbow flag in a chain surrounding the Columbus Circle column. Milk and Oakley also attended the protest, speaking to cameras and posing for pictures after the rally in a show of solidarity.

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