Italian media: Transgender ex-government official arrested in Sochi

Posted by William Douglas on February 16, 2014 

Vladimir Luxuria spoke with journalists at the foot of a bridge outside Olympic Park.

— A transgender former member of Italy's parliament has been arrested in Sochi, according to Italian media reports.

Vladimir Luxuria,  who was Italy's first openly transgender elected official, was allegedly arrested after she held a rainbow-colored banner that said "Gay is OK" in Russian.

Luxuria also tweeted a picture of herself outside the Olympics' Medal Park holding a rainbow-colored hand fan. The message under the picture said 'I'm in Sochi! Regards with the colors of the rainbow, in the face of Putin!'

Luxuria apparently was protesting a Russian anti-propaganda law approved last year that many perceive as anti-gay. President Barack Obama and several other world leaders skipped attending the Winter Olympics' opening ceremony because of the law.

Obama sent a low-level official delegation to the Winter Games that included two gay former Olympians.  

Italian wire services reported that Luxuira telephoned an Italian group called the Gay Project and told them that she had been arrested by Russian authorities.

Imma Battaglia, honorary of the Gay Project, told Italy's LaPresse and AGI that Luxuria is 'alone in a room with neon lights on the face, allegedly in police custody.'

Luxuria was a member of Italy's Communist Refoundation Party.



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