Transgender activist Vladimir Luxuria, formerly a member of the Italian parliament, was arrested in Sochi, Russia for the second time in as many days on February 17, this time for wearing a rainbow skirt, scarf, and headdress.
Luxuria was trying to enter an Olympic arena, where a game of hockey was in progress, when she was detained by police; the Associated Press reported that she was taken into custody in a car that had Olympic markings.
She told AP that she was held in the car for only about a ten-minute drive, then let out—in the countryside, and without her Olympic spectator pass. She said, “I was very, very afraid this time because the first time they said, ‘It’s OK for the first time, don’t do it again for the second time.’ So, this time I was a little bit afraid. But they just left me outside, in the country, there, outside and that’s it.”
Her first arrest, on February 16, was for waving around a flag in the Olympic Park emblazoned with the Russian words for “Gay is Okay” and shouting “It’s okay to be gay.”
Luxuria’s election as a Member of Parliament made her the first-ever trans MP in Europe; she served from 2006 to 2008. Currently, she works as a journalist and TV host. She traveled to Sochi to film a report on Russia’s anti-gay laws and the Olympics.