Metro Weekly

Russian Agents Raid “My Little Pony” Convention

A "My Little Pony" conference was shut down by Russian Federal Security Service agents for spreading "LGBT propaganda."

My Little Pony – Photo: Enchanted Fairy, via Dreamstime

Russian federal security forces shut down a convention celebrating the My Little Pony franchise, deeming it a hotbed of “LGBT propaganda.”

The impetus for the raid appears to be objections to furries — a minority sub-culture of primarily adults, some of whom may identify as LGBTQ, with an interest in roleplaying and dressing up as anthropomorphic non-human animal characters — who may have been present at the conference, known as “Mi Amore Fest.”

Furries have commonly been associated with “deviant” expressions of sexuality. They are often accused of trying to entice or indoctrinate children into embracing “non-traditional lifestyles,” as Russian politicians often refer to LGBTQ identity.

Other objections seem to be related to the character Rainbow Dash, a pony with a rainbow-colored mane who is one of the chief protagonists of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic series, as well as the presence of characters — both male and female — with gender-nonconforming character traits in various iterations of the My Little Pony cartoon series, which first aired in 1986.

Organizers of “Mi Amore Fest” had changed depictions of Rainbow Dash to include the colors of the Russian national flag.

Still, Russian authorities appear to believe that the series is sending subtle messages to viewers about support for LGBTQ causes.

“Eric Myval,” who appears to be a furry, anime, and cartoon enthusiast based on their social media channels, wrote a series of posts on Telegram informing followers about the raid in real-time.

“Apparently, you won’t be able to get to the fest anymore,” Myval wrote. “While we were drinking coffee, a squad arrived and dispersed everyone. They wrote a statement for LGBT propaganda (a banned organization in the Russian Federation). Well, let’s go home.”

Subsequent posts confirmed the shutdown of the conference, with Myval writing, “[T]he FSB [Russian Federal Security Service] came to the event. Everyone is being dispersed, it seems no one has been detained yet.”

The Russian government has cracked down on various expressions of LGBTQ identity under President Vladimir Putin over the past few decades, passing a slew of laws to discourage sharing information about LGBTQ people or depictions that portray them in a positive or neutral light.

According to the Russian news website Meduza, the Russian government-aligned movie database Kinopoisk in December gave the My Little Pony series an adult designation, deeming it only acceptable for those over age 18 to watch.

Telegram channel Sota speculated at the time that the rating was due to Rainbow Dash’s colorful mane and the significance that the character projected support for LGBTQ rights.


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