In honour of Pride Month, six activists joined together for three days in Moscow during the World Cup wearing different coloured football shirts to represent the pride flag of the LGBT community.
Six activists banded together for three days in Moscow in the final weekend of June during the World Cup, wearing different coloured football shirts to represent the Pride flag in protest at Russia's anti-LGBT laws.
The movement, The Hidden Flag, was arranged by Spain’s LGBT association, FELGTB, and online newspaper El Diario.
Russia in 2013 passed a “gay propaganda” ban, which made it illegal to promote a range of topics associated with LGBT rights, including the flag.
To get around this, the group wore football shirts from Spain, Holland, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia as they walked around in a single-line formation emulating the rainbow colours.
According to their website, they wanted to “denounce” Russia’s intolerance and “fight against a struggle that will never be silenced.”
One participant, Mateo Fernández Gómez from Colombia, spoke to Euronews about the experience.
“It was weird. I don’t feel that people realised what we were doing,” he said.
“I did feel the LGBT tension — you didn't see anyone [gay] displaying affection. When my gaydar went up, I couldn’t say anything. Everything felt grey. Not seeing [PDA] at all during those three days, we felt lucky [for where we come from].”
Gómez, who works in advertising, now wants to incorporate activism into his job by using ads as tools for advocacy and change.
“Seeing people like this and seeing my own fear during these three days made me feel like there’s a lot to be done. I work in creativity and I can do something from my side of it," he said.
He added that he hoped people who saw the protest stunt would be inspired.
"Just like I did, I think people who see this will start doing it themselves.”