Frontiers magazine will hit the streets on West Hollywood’s East Side today with a Russian-language edition.
The Russian-language version of its “Love and Sex” issue is an effort, the gay magazine says, “to show the Russian government and the world the example of tolerance and friendship we live every day here in Los Angeles. We want gay Russians, living under oppressive laws, to know we are pulling for them and seek to aid them anyway we can.”
Frontiers said copies of the magazine also will be sent during this first week of the winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, to Russian President Vladimir Putin; mayor of Sochi, Anatoly Pakhomov (who has said there are no gay people in Sochi, a city with two gay bars); Russian embassies and consulates in the United States; the International Olympic Committee; the United Nations, and U.S. companies with offices in Moscow.
The Sochi Olympics have served as a rallying point for supporters of gay rights who are protesting a Russian law barring “gay propaganda.” Demonstrations have been staged in West Hollywood and around the world.
In another symbolic protest, BrewDog, a Scottish Brewery, last week mocked Putin and his anti-gay sentiment by sending a case of its “Hello My Name Is Vladimir” beer to Putin.
Putin is shown wearing makeup on the beer bottles, which are labeled “not for gays.” The BBC reports that BrewDog will give 50 percent of profits from sale of the brand to charities “that represent oppressed minorities around the world.”
“Our brave friends in Russia need our support,” said Michael Turner, who recently purchased Frontiers out of bankruptcy and has begun revamping it. “And this is the first step in what the reborn magazine will become: bold, diverse, sophisticated and socially engaged.” Turner has assumed the title of publisher of Frontiers, Southern California’s leading gay magazine. He replaces David Stern, the former publisher and owner, who now manages events for Frontiers.
The Russian-language edition of Frontiers will find a large potential audience on the East Side of West Hollywood, home to the Russian-speaking immigrants who are estimated to make up 13 percent of the city’s population of 34,000 people. Those immigrants, largely Jewish and from various countries that constituted the former Soviet Union, live a life quite separate from the rest of West Hollywood, with their own shops and restaurants, some of whose proprietors speak no English.
Frontiers said its decision to publish and distribute a Russian-language edition “is meant to heal some of the anger and misunderstandings that have occurred in protest and to help humanize gay life so governments can less easily spread lies about them to their constituents. We hope it will foster even more dialogue in our own backyard as well.
“With LGBT issues commanding a global stage right now—there is no better time to spread this message of friendly communication and neighborliness that can span cultures and continents.”
Digital copies of the Russian-language version of the magazine are available online.