Sochi 2014: Vladimir Luxuria arrested for holding ‘Gay is OK’ banner

Europe’s first openly transgender parliamentarian detained at Winter Olympics amid controversy surrounding gay rights.

A prominent Italian gay rights campaigner and former MP has been arrested in Sochi while watching the Winter Olympics with a banner reading “Gay Is Ok” in Russian, two activists have said.

Vladimir Luxuria, a television personality and actor who became Europe‘s first openly transgender parliamentarian when she was elected to the Italian chamber of deputies, reportedly called the heads of two gay rights organisations in Rome to say she had been detained on Sunday by Russian police.

“She was arrested by the police at Sochi while she was watching the Olympics with a banner which read, in Russian, ‘Gay is ok’,” Imma Battaglia, honorary president of the Di’Gay Project, told

Luxuria had also sent a text message saying: “Help me I am detained. I am alone,” she added, saying the television star had not been able to understand what police station she had been taken to.