Trans Fromer Italian MP Detained Twice, Abandoned In Rural Area For Rainbow Protest In Sochi Olympic Village
Vladimir Luxuria made history by becoming Italy's first transgender MP nearly a decade ago. Now, as a spectator of the Sochi Winter Olympics, she's looking to make the history books again.
On Sunday, Luxuria was arrested after waving a rainbow flag and banner that said "Gay is OK" inside Sochi's Olympic Village. She was detained until early Monday morning and said she was respected by the authorities.
"I think it is important ...(to have) the opportunity to talk internationally about these things because otherwise these things happen in Russia and nobody knows, nobody cares," Luxuria later told a crowd gathered at a gay cabaret bar in Sochi. "They think: 'Well, it's not in our country, it's far away, it's in Russia, who cares?'"
After Sunday's arrest, International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams chided Luxuria, not the horrific human rights violations that occurred in the Olympic Village. "We hope that the Games will not be used as a platform for demonstrations."
Then, late Monday, Luxuria was arrested again.
This time, the activist showed up in the Olympic Village in a rainbow outfit and headdress. Instead of a banner, Luxuria shouted "Gay is OK" and "It's OK to be gay" in English and Russian before being apprehended by four men who weren't wearing identification. The Associated Press reports that Luxuria was then shuttled away in a car emblazoned with Olympic markings, which dropped her off and abandoned her in the middle of nowhere.
"I was very, very afraid this time because the first time they said, 'It's OK for the first time, don't do it again for the second time,'" she told the AP. "So, this time I was a little bit afraid. But they just left me outside, in the country, there, outside and that's it."
Luxuria will be deported from Russia Tuesday morning by the Russia Foreign Ministry.