Berwickshire actress Tilda Swinton caused quite a stir last week when she was photographed next to the Kremlin with a rainbow flag.
The emblem is the internationally recognised symbol for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Tranagender (LGBT) people and Tilda’s pose, in front of Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow’s Red Square, provoked such a strong reaction due to the anti-gay stance currently adopted by the Russian government.
Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the so-called “homosexual propaganda” bill into law, which fines large sums of money to Moscow residents, organisations and businesses, that give information about the LGBT community to minors.
Similar laws have already been enacted in various regions in Russia, including St. Petersburg.
And on July 3, Putin signed a law banning same-sex couples in foreign countries from adopting Russian children .
There is also a 100 year old ban on Gay Pride parades in the country.
Whether it’s through her fashion choice or her political views, Tilda has become famous for her nonconformist approach to life and her Kremlin snap, with the tag line ‘ In Solidarity.
‘From Russia With Love’ quickly went viral after it was uploaded to Twitter by her agent Christian Hoddell.
Within hours the image had been retweeted by over 1000 Twitter users, including Stephen Fry who Christian thanked for his support.
Celebrity bloggers such as America’s Perez Hilton heralded her bold pose, while other sites were quick to report that any tourists wanting to follow in Tilda’s footsteps would be subject to 15 days in Russian jail.
On June 29, dozens of activists were arrested by police for protesting against the anti-gay legislation - passed unanimously in the country’s parliament , the Duma - at a rally in St Petersburg.
‘The Berwickshire’ contacted Hamilton Hoddell, the agency who represent Tilda, but they had nothing further to add.
The actress, who won both a Best Supporting Actress BAFTA and an Oscar in 2008, isn’t the first celebrity to show support for Russia’s beleaguered LBGT community.
International stars such as Lady GaGa and Madonna have spoken out on the issue in the last couple of months and at New York’s recent Gay Pride parade there was a float dedicated to the LGBT communities in Russia and other Soviet republics.