Melissa Etheridge Releases ‘Uprising of Love’ Video for Russia
With all the violence across the world, Melissa Etheridge has released her newest music video asking all LGBT activists to participate in an “Uprising of Love” as a response in particular to the anti-gay violence in Russia.
“If you had been to Russia a couple of years ago, you would have seen the gay movement gaining ground,” Etheridge said. “Now, [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is looking for a common enemy to unite the country. He’s saying the reason you don’t have a job or that your family is suffering is because of gay people. Then there are government sanctions that allow violence. It’s an old World War II way of scaring a nation into submission.”
The goal of the video is to bring awareness to the struggles many LGBT people face around the world. It features peaceful Russian LGBT rallies and protests as well as loving couples.
“Change comes from feeling better about being gay ourselves, so to see the video is shocking, but then you realize that people have posted these videos to show what’s going on,” Etheridge said.
The proceeds of the song will go directly to the Russia Freedom Fund.
“There are about four gay leaders in Russia who are taking a big risk coming out,” she said. “The money will go to those people to pay for those positions so they can make a living from their activism.”
The video stems from the Uprising of Love celebrity coalition that Etheridge, her partner Linda Wallem, and Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black created on Human Rights Day in 2013. The goal of the coalition is to support the Russian LGBT community as well as raise awareness amount the international community. So far over 50 celebrities including Madonna and James Franco have displayed their support.
“My message is that I’m never going to change anyone by telling them what they should be,” Etheridge said. “It all starts with me, so I’m going to start an uprising of love.