Hey Olympians, leave the kids alone!
Seems to be the cry that is repeated today by Russia's deputy prime minister.
However, with the anti-propagation law to minors in Russia and therefore actually leaving kids alone to come to terms with their own sexuality is a dangerous thing. Despite what Putin would have you believe kids under the age of consent are quite capable of coming to their own conclusions about who they are attracted to. Indeed I don't hear Russian authorities crying out about underage sex between people of the opposite sex but I'm sure like in every other nation this takes place.
But what is most worrying about the message to leave the kids alone is that during the teenage years before it is legal to have sex young people the world over pair up. They have boyfriends and girlfriends, that is part of a normal adolescence. But what if your boyfriend or girlfriend has the same gender as you, or what if the person you feel attracted to and want to ask out is of that same gender.
There is a problem you face under the new law. You can't seek advice about these feeling the adult giving that advise would be "promoting non-traditional sexual values". Now can you act upon those feelings and ask the other person, if they reject you they or their parents may report you for "promoting non-traditional sexual values" to a minor. You can't even be open about your sexual, as to be open in who you are and who you fancy is in itself a promotion.
By leaving such kids allow to wallow in aloneness while around them there is nobody they can turn to for advise, while their feelings are being condemned from on high as being non-traditional and non-Russian even leaves them in a vulnerable position.
While I was growing up in Northern Ireland while there was Section 28 in place and homosexuality had only recently been decriminalised there was no outright ban on talking to a young person about such things. It just could not be done in a school context. But when you don't grow up in the big city getting access to such services would have been awkward for a teenager. So like the fate of Russian teens I had to wallow alone, with religious and political leaders telling me that what I was feeling was wrong.
By leaving that kid more or less alone I contemplated taking my own live.
Leaving the kids alone, uneducated about human sexuality that is not across genders, and unable to seek advise about their feelings or even if they did being unable to receive it, Russia authorities are endangering those young people.
Article Three of the UN Convention on the Rights of a Child states:
"In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions,courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration."
Leaving children alone unable to seek guidance on feelings that they have is a thought control of an adverse type. It creates problems, fear, loneliness, paranoia and suicide. Not to mention the homophobia that others feel able to dish out against LGBT people as seen in The Hunted last night.