Lithuanian artist uses homophobic messages to raise money for LGBT causes

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04/29/2021

A Lithuanian artist has raised over $6,000 for LGBT groups by selling a digital collage of homophobic messages that were sent to a member of parliament who champions gay rights causes. The black-and-white artwork by Erikas Malisauskas, titled “Hate Speech Cloud”, consists of 400 offensive messages bundled together in the stylised shape of a cloud. “My goal was to monetise the hate speech,” said Malisauskas. “Now everyone who wrote the hateful messages to LGBT people has contributed money towards LGBT causes.” The messages were originally addressed to Tomas Raskevicius, a well-known figure in Lithuania where he is the first gay rights activist to be elected to parliament. Malisauskas, who is not gay, said he was shocked by the extreme levels of abuse hurled at Raskevicius and the LGBT community in general. Among the messages included in the artwork, which are in Lithuanian, are many that used a term of abuse that would translate into the English slur “faggot”. “You are destroying Lithuania and you should be ashamed,” says one of the messages. “Pervert, stop showing yourself to normal Lithuanian people!” says another.

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