Moscow Police Investigated a ‘My Little Pony’ Convention for Alleged LGBTQ+ Propaganda

This past weekend, the organizers of a My Little Pony convention in Moscow shut down the festivities early after police were called to investigate the event for alleged “LGBTQ propaganda.”

As the Associated Press reported, the organizers of Mi Amore Fest posted to the Russia social media site VK on Sunday, writing that police had received a complaint about the event promoting “non-traditional relationships and related symbols, adult content for minors, and general horror and darkness.”

Police were unable to find any confirmation of these allegations, but asked for the convention to be shut down a few hours early on Saturday, according to the post. The organizers additionally chose to end the event even earlier than the police asked, after hearing unconfirmed reports of additional officers heading to the venue, per the Associated Press. Both attendees and organizers were able to leave without incident.

My Little Pony has minimal canonical LGBTQ+ representation, but the franchise has been the subject of some scrutiny in Russia, especially in the wake of the country’s recent ruling against anti-LGBTQ+ “propaganda.” In November, Russia’s Supreme Court ruled that the “international public LGBT movement” is an “extremist organization,” and banned all forms of related activism (which includes displaying LGBTQ+ “paraphernalia or symbols”). Shortly after the ruling was issued, the Russian streaming service Kinopoisk changed its age rating for My Little Pony to 18+, according to Pink News. (There has been speculation that the change was due to the character Rainbow Dash, who has a rainbow-colored mane and tail. )

Earlier this month, a woman was arrested and sentenced to five days in jail after being approached by a man who asked her to take off her rainbow-colored frog earrings. Both the woman’s lawyer and the Russian LGBTQ+ rights organization Aegis pointed out that the earrings featured a rainbow with seven stripes, as opposed to the traditional six stripes of the Pride flag, meaning that the earrings may not have even been intended as an LGBTQ+ symbol in the first place. These incidents have led to a wider fear that the Supreme Court ruling could lead to a crackdown on “even indirect connections to LGBT rights and symbols,” as the Kyiv Independent wrote.

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