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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Michelangelo Signorile Interviews Nikolai Alekseev

Nikolai Alekseev under arrest
By Karen Ocamb -

The controversy continues. Sirius/XM’s Michelangelo Signorile interviewed Russian gay rights activist Nikolai Alekseev, who spoke at New York’s LGBT Center last night and continues on his US tour – though coming to California is still up in the air.

Cynthia Laird of the Bay Area Reporter hopes he does.

Here’s the note Michelangelo posted on his blog The Gist:
Nikolai Alekseev, founder of Moscow Pride and 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 mistranslation from his blog, which was was in Russian. 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 [here].
UPDATE: Here are excerpts:
Nikolai Alekseev: “Well, it’s clear what I meant by that (blog post in question). I mean, maybe it was misintepreted the way some people wanted to use it against me but obviously I didn’t plan to generalize and say that all the Jews are responsible for the decisions of the Israeli prime minister or the Israeli government. So, obviously, I was overreacting to what the prime minister of Israel said concerning the people’s revolution in Egypt. … I absolutely don’t share the generalization of this (blog) post or the way it was presented because I am a true believer in equality for everyone. … So, to quote me in this respect an anti-semite, it’s like it has no grounding at all.”
Nikolai Alekseev: “They (California organizers) never asked me (about this). Absolutely not. I was not invited to any conference call that was organized concerning my meetings in California. … Robin Tyler did not contact me on this. I didn’t hear anything from her.”


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