Canadian songs for Pride: "New Year's in Sochi" by Vancouver's The Fugitives

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      Vancouver's Pride Week is fast approaching at the end of the month.

      As a countdown to the festivities, let's take a look at some Canadian tunes to get into the Pride mood with.  

      We'll start off with a hometown tune that certainly thinks globally while acting locally.

      Russia's antigay laws became a focal point for international criticism during the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014.

      Numerous celebrities and public figures spoke out, including Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.

      In the music industry, Cher rejected an invitation to perform at the Sochi Olympics while Lady Gaga and Madonna also spoke out against the discriminatory legislation. Meanwhile, British indie band released a tune entitled "Moscow", with a video featuring two men kissing in front of the Kremlin. (A kiss is always so much nicer than a finger, even if it sends the same message.)

      Meanwhile, the local band Fugitives also penned a foot-stomping folk tune called "New Year's in Sochi", released in January 2014.

      It's an upbeat musical letter to Dmitry Isakov, the first person who was convicted under Russia's homophobic legislation.

      In the video, Kitsilano residents hold up signs telling the story of Isakov while the lyrics offer support to him.

      The song reflects how generous Vancouverites are in being socially conscious not just locally but globally.

      It also puts our city's social progress into a broader global context. While LGBT people have gained many rights and freedoms here, there remain numerous others around the world who have not. With Vancouver's immigrant community and roots, it also helps to remind us of our international connections.

      Unfortunately, homophobia in Russia has only worsened over the past decade. In the troubling results of a recent poll this year, 41 percent of Russians said that homosexuals should be persecuted in order to exterminate the "phenomenon".

      To illustrate what social conditions are really like, two men had themselves filmed walking through Moscow holding hands to see what the reaction would be.

      As shown in the video below, the men receive a barrage of stares, homophobic verbal abuse, and threats of physical violence.

      As the Fugitives' tune points out, something to be proud of is being able not only standing up for yourself, but also standing up and speaking out for those who cannot. 



      Daria McMorran

      Jul 15, 2015 at 10:25pm

      Keep on educating and informing people that we all have different stripes, and many travel to a different drum beat. Keep it up!