Although news reports have slowed about Chechnya's assault on gay men, it is doubtful that things have gotten any better for the LGBT community living in the country.
In April, stories started to surface about gay men being arrested and tortured and, in some cases, killed, just for being homosexual. Concentration camps have even been reported. And it has all been done with the support of the country's president Ramzan Kadyrov.
Hoping to raise money to help people directly affected by the situation, a group of photographers and models have produced a sexy calendar. Profits from the project will go to Rainbow Railroad
, a Canadian charity which works to protect LGBT people from discrimination across the globe.
Working with the Russian LGBT Network, the money will help get men out of the country to safety by providing visas and legal support and living assistance.
“Thanks to wonderful word of mouth and great outlets […] orders have already started rolling in -- Australia, France, Italy, U.K., Canada and the US -- we are very excited,” stylist Todd Hanshaw said
. "This experience has been very emotional. We are not doctors or scientists -- we work in the fashion world and it took us a while to figure out what to do, but we knew we had to do something!
“We create beauty and in the face of this ugly moment in history -- some beauty and light is needed.”
Calendars are $35 and can be purchased here