Late last year, Sweden was alarmed to discover that a Russian submarine had entered its territorial waters and remained there for some time. What to do in response? Sweden doesn’t belong to NATO, and its military outlay can’t exactly match Russia’s bloated budget. So Sweden devised a response in the form of a transmitter and video display whose message was tailor-made for this enemy, distinguished by extreme fear and loathing toward anything “gay.” The device was lowered into the ocean where the submarine had lurked, whereupon it proceeded to broadcast in Morse Code: “This way if you are gay.” Pictured on the monitor was a neon “Dancing Sailor” whose hips gyrated provocatively, along with the words, “Welcome to Sweden. Gay Since 1944” (the year in which Sweden legalized homosexuality). No word on whether the Russian sub has re-entered these newly treacherous waters.
—Gay and Lesbian Review, July-August 2015