Thursday, March 03, 2011

Interview With Russian Gay Activist Nikolai Alekseev

Nikolai Alekseev, founder of Moscow Pride and a man who, with other LGBT activists, has faced brutal repression and police beatings year after year as Moscow Pride was banned, is in the U.S. on a speaking tour. He spoke at the LGBT Center in New York last night and at Columbia University the night before, and now heads on to Dallas.

But his trip has been marred by controversy and his West Coast dates canceled over remarks on his blog that some charged were antisemitic. Alekseev says it was, in effect, a mistranslation from his blog, which was in Russian (he no longer has the blog up, but he said that was before any controversy and for other reasons). He sat down with me in studio to talk about the controversy and his work in Russia battling entrenched, state-sanctioned homophobia and fighting for LGBT rights. The full interview is below.