*** Very important guest post on behalf of LGBTQ Chechens ***
You may have heard the news coming out of Chechnya, part of the Russian Federation, where police are kidnapping gay men (and those they perceive to be gay) and taking them to camps for torture and state-sanctioned murder.
Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens is raising money for organizations working directly with gay men and other persecuted LGBT people in Chechnya and the northern Caucasus, through:
- direct donations
- donating royalties to these charitable organizations
- an online auction that runs through Saturday, May 13, at 12 noon CDT (6 pm BST and 3 am Sunday morning AEST)
Defending the Right to Love: Two Authors on Helping LGBT Chechens
Cecilia Tan and the publishing house she founded, Circlet Press, are both participating in Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens fundraisers. Tan writes:
If we don’t help gay men being persecuted in Chechnya, then who will help us when the craven anti-gay politicians in Washington decide to come for us here in the USA?
This is the first line in the sand in a global fight for our rights as queer people that we are fighting here on US soil, too. Make no mistake: all the hysteria about the “bathroom bills” will AT BEST only lead to more Matthew Shepards and Brandon Teenas, and at worst lead to them making our very existence illegal.
I’m bisexual, I’m kinky, I’m poly: I’ve always written a rainbow of “alternative sexualities” in my work and I’ve always published same via Circlet Press as a political act, as a declaration of existence and a validation to those who aren’t considered “mainstream.” And I’m going to keep doing it.
Romance writer Meredith Bond’s characters’ often confront prejudice and societal restrictions on who they’re supposed to love. Through May 15, proceeds from her sexy adventure story Falling for a Pirate go to the Russian LGBT Network. She writes:
The reason why I wanted to be a part of this movement to help gay Chechens is simple — because everyone deserves the right to love who they want. No one should be prosecuted or harmed because of it. No one can tell another who they can love and who they can’t. Love is a wonderful thing and should always be celebrated.
- To learn more about the situation in Chechnya — including news updates and how to make a direct donation to a designated charity — visit Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens
- Buy books with royalties going to help vulnerable Chechens
- Bid in the Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens online charity auction
- Sign up to attend our Facebook event and invite friends. It’s a great way to keep up-to-date.
Authors, Publishers and Artists
If you’re an author or artist who would like help out, please sign up at Authors & Publishers for LGBT Chechens. There, you can also find answers to frequently asked questions about royalty donations, the charitable organizations that are helping LGBT Chechens, and more.
Cecilia Tan (Twitter: @ceciliatan) is an author, editor, novelist, and sexuality rights activist. She has the distinction of being perhaps the only writer to have erotic fiction published in both Penthouse and Ms. magazines. She is the founder and editor of Circlet Press, publishers of erotic science fiction and fantasy, the founder and creator of the Fetish Fair Fleamarket ™, and was inducted into the Saints & Sinners Hall of Fame for GLBT writers in 2010.
Meredith Bond’s books straddle that beautiful line between historical romance and fantasy. An award-winning author, she writes fun traditional Regency romances, medieval Arthurian romances, and Regency romances with a touch of magic. Known for her characters “who slip readily into one’s heart,” Meredith loves to take her readers on a journey they won’t soon forget. (Twitter: @merrybond)