Etheridge on Sochi: ‘I would be there with bells on’

Melissa Etheridge and Linda Hallem collaborating on broadway showBY MICHAEL K. LAVERS
Washington Blade

Melissa Etheridge told the Washington Blade during an interview on Dec. 13 that she would travel to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, in spite of the country’s ongoing LGBT rights crackdown.

“I would be there with bells on,” she said. “I would love to go offer support, offer visibility, stand there just as a known gay person.”

Etheridge, a two-time Grammy winning singer and songwriter, spoke with the Blade four days after she joined “Milk” producer Bruce Cohen and Anastasia Smirnova of the Russian LGBT Network at the formal launch of the “Uprising of Love” campaign during a Russia Freedom Fund fundraiser in New York. Dustin Lance Black — the Oscar-winning screenwriter of “Milk” and “8” — co-founded this effort with Etheridge and her partner, Linda Wallem, and entertainment executive Greg Propper as a way to further support Russian LGBT rights advocates.

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