nikolai alexeyev

In the face of new homophobic legislation, it’s perhaps understandable that a number of Western politicians and celebrities, from Francois Hollande to Lady Gaga to Stephen Fry, are boycotting—or calling for a boycott of—the Sochi Olympics. But, as Young and Gay in Putin’s Russia shows, the vast majority of gay people and gay activists in Russia do not support an international boycott.

“We oppose the boycott of the Olympics because it would hurt the athletes, who then wouldn’t be able to participate, and also the Russian LGBT community, because they would blame us if anything goes wrong,” said activist Nikolay Alexeyev. Countless gay rights supporters in Russia echoed his views.

—The Case Against Boycotting the Sochi Olympics