WeHo Rally Against Russian Homophobia Ends with a Little Drama

Nir Zilberman is overcome near the end the march. (Photo by Matt Baume)
Nir Zilberman is overcome near the end the march. (Photo by Matt Baume)

The first West Hollywood street rally in protest of anti-gay laws in Russia since the controversial dumping of fake Stoli in the gutters last August was small but equally dramatic.

Tonight’s event began simply enough, with about 30 people gathered at the LA Jock store at 7992 Santa Monica Blvd. near Laurel to hear Nir Zilberman, the store’s owner and the organizer of the rally, speak. Zilberman, an Israeli Jew who has said he lost grandparents to the Nazi Holocaust, teared up as he spoke. Zilberman has likened the persecution of gay people in Russia to the Nazi persecution of Jews.

Others present included gay event promoter Jeffrey Sanker, who thanked the crowd for coming; Steve Martin, the former West Hollywood city council member;  Lucas John Junkin, the party promoter and publisher of WeHo Confidential, who is a candidate in the 2015 West Hollywood City Council race; and entertainer Kitten Kay Sera (the “Pink Lady of Hollywood”), and Robert Gamboa, co-chair of the city’s Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board. Kris Searle performed for the group.

Zilberman then led the group on a short march down the sidewalk, with a Fox 11 television camera in tow and Sheriff’s Department deputies escorting, until he seemed to faint. Zilberman fell to his knees, and deputies and marchers helped him onto his back while a deputy radioed for paramedics. Shortly after the paramedics arrived, Zilberman was on his feet, saying he had been overcome by emotion.

There will be other events, all timed around the beginning tomorrow of the XXVIII Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, through Monday.


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Shawn Thompson
Guest
Shawn Thompson

I went to this Rally that happened in the rain. I was compelled strongly after seeing all the images of violence against the #lgbt community coming out on public record in video right now. It is unacceptable in my mind to sit quietly and let gays be beaten up, harassed, tricking into meetings where they are video taped and tortured. As well as permitting a law declaring a rainbow flag unlawful and trying to suppress them by saying they are propaganda. This is a dark point in our worlds history and as a community and myself as a gay man… Read more »

luca d
Guest
luca d

the plight of gay people who are oppressed anywhere in the world is sad and to be considered, but this topic is a bit played out. really, millions of jews killed in the holocaust, lenin, stalin and mao killed tens of millions of their own people…it goes on and on, and they expect proper treatment of people who are gay? this town is becoming a joke with all of the cast offs and misfits who love to hear themselves talk and fret, but offer NO constructive solutions. everybody knows it’s george bush’s fault. when do we pour vodka into the… Read more »

Wehoan Fed Up with the NIMBYs
Guest
Wehoan Fed Up with the NIMBYs

Yup. All about him.

But should we be surprised in the land of Kardashians and reality show wannabes that someone would piggy back on an important human rights cause to bring attention to themselves.

nir zilberman
Guest

please the rally was not about me, 1000’s of people around the world support our RALLY, it was all about love. the store was all covered in black with posters of heroes. the screen was playing videos of our friends, gay men and women in Russia and in WWII. it was all about “one voice” one single can create a war and one single person can make peace. life is a game and a choice to LOVE or HATE. last night we show the world that love=life. silence=death. you do not need to be a move star to be a… Read more »

Al Peters
Guest
Al Peters

how pathetic was it……

chloe ross
Guest

So it’s really about Mr.Zilberman. Maybe dressing a mannequin of Vladdie in the costume would have made a more cogent statement.