Yes, this is me studying in the while my parents drive me back to campus. There just aren’t enough hours in the day, and I want to have my International Law outline done by the end of the weekend.

Edit: I’ve had a lot of people ask which program I am using - it is Microsoft Word for Mac.  If you open a new document in the lower left hand corner there are a series of buttons,one of them is the “Notebook” view which is specially designed for easy note taking in outline format.  I’ve been using it for years and I love it! By far the easiest way of taking and keeping all my notes together than I’ve ever found.  Some years I can have just one tab per class and others I need to separate them and have the tabs represent topics or weeks.  

As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.
—  Henry David Thoreau

Law Week 2016 ~ 5/9

Day 1: Past//Future

Viktuuri kiss vs Russian LGBT rights

Can we talk for a moment of another aspect of the Viktuuri kiss from the latest episode of Yuuri!!! On Ice? Of course, it is great that this ship is now canon and it happened in a sport anime, but let’s appreciate how it was actually brave of Viktor to show that much affection towards Yuuri and how much it means regarding him as a Russian.

Until 1993, Russian law regarded homosexuality as a crime and as a mental illness until 1999. However, although no longer same-sex sexual / romantic activities are punished, Russian society is still mostly against homosexual people. There is no law protecting LGBT people from being discriminated, moreover, in 2013 Russia enacted law which practically bans so called non-traditional sexual relations, supposed to extend further and ban also public displays of homosexuality. What means that for kissing, tender hugging or just holding hands gays will either pay fines (a few thousand rubles) or get arrested.

Because gay people have no rights and no law protects them, this anti-LGBT attitude of Russians has already led to many crimes committed against gay people, including tortures and murders. 

President Putin speaks of how much he supports equal rights, but during one of the interviews in 2014 (link) admitted that cannot say whether people are born or become gay, also in one sentence talks about “gay and pedophilia propaganda”. He claims that in some countries homosexuality is illegal – of course, but you can’t call yourself a human rights supporter if you dictate your countrymen strict standards and penalize the smallest departures from them.

Obviously, it affected the sport world, too. In general, this community is pretty severe. Sportspeople rarely come out, and each of confessions is widely discussed. For example, Sergiy Stakhovski, Ukrainian tennis player, recently stated that he would never let his daughter follow sport example, because WTA is full of lesbians, and he doesn’t want her to become one. On the other hand, we can speak of Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova or Amelie Mauresmo. Still, most of openly gay sportspeople are women and let’s notice that where they live is nowhere close to Russia or other places from the former Soviet Union.

2013 World Championship in Athletics and 2014 Olympic Games (both took place in Russia, Moscow and Sochi respectively) were boycotted by LBGT organizations. A few girls painted their nails in rainbow colors, other didn’t participate to show their objection. None of them was from Russia. Moreover, Yelena Isinbaeva, one of best-known Russian athletes, called it ‘disrespectful’ towards the host country and its law. After she was criticized for being homophobic, Isinbaeva blamed her poor English and said she was misunderstood. 2018 FIFA World Cup are still questioned whether Russia is a right place to held them.

And here comes figure skating, which in fact is no different than tennis, football or basketball, but because it tends to be called as a very gay sport, skaters are under the pressure of denying. They choose songs that can be labeled as masculine, they mention having girlfriends, they deny any connection to the LGBT community. It is a very conservative environment. Afraid of consequences, many skates were hesitant about speaking aloud about anti-gay Russian law.

I don’t want to make this post too long, just intend to focus on the most important aspects. Unless the YOI writers are going to make both Russia and the sport world very au, I hope for at least a little mention of this in the upcoming episodes. I’m curious whether we’ll see Russians reaction at Viktor and Yuuri’s relationship. But please, imagine what would happen if their kiss happened in the real world. I’m so happy about YOI’s portrayal of genders (like Yuuri training his female moves) and homosexuality, yet I also cannot stop thinking of how much Viktor is risking. Let’s appreciate it for a moment, what’s in fact another proof of how much he cares for Yuuri.