QUEER VOICES
02/07/2014 10:53 am ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Cheryl Maas, Lesbian Snowboarder In Russia, Raises Rainbow Glove In Sochi

One of six reportedly out lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) competitors at this year's 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics made the first display of LGBT "propaganda" and solidarity with Russian queers yesterday.

Following her attempt to qualify in the slopestyle event at Sochi, Cheryl Maas, from The Netherlands, who is openly married to another woman, raised her glove bearing a rainbow (and a unicorn) to the cameras. The snowboarder has reportedly previously criticized the decision to hold the Games in Sochi, stating, "With the choice of Russia, the IOC is taking a step back in time."

Since Russia passed an anti-gay "propaganda' law last summer, members of the LGBT community have become subject to a pervasive climate of fear and violence. The law itself paved the way for other proposed anti-LGBT laws, such as one that would remove the children of same-sex parents from their homes.

While Putin sought to reassure LGBT athletes and visitors traveling to the 2014 Sochi With Olympic Games that they would be safe, he has warned members of the LGBT community to stay away from Russia's children.

In the first 24 hours of the Games opening, at least four LGBT activists have already been arrested.

(h/t Towleroad)

CORRECTION: An earlier headline on this story identified Maas as Russian; she is Dutch.

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