K-pop cafe ‘told BTS banners are gay propaganda’ by Russian print shop

A print shop in Russia reportedly refused to print BTS banners for a K-pop-themed café, insisting they were “gay propaganda” that would turn children into “perverts”.

According to RT, the owners of the K-pop-themed PinkyPop café in Ekaterinburg, Ural Federal District, took to Instagram on Tuesday (13 July) to reveal that they had been turned away while trying to print “greeting cards and banners” of their customers’ favourite groups.

The café wrote: “We discussed all the work and details, and placed our first order… after seeing the photos of the bands BTS and Stray Kids, which they were supposed to print, they began to ignore us.”

Eventually, the staff managed to get in touch with the print shop, which told them that they wouldn’t be printing the products because the K-pop groups had a “non-traditional orientation”, alluding to Russia’s “gay propaganda” ban.

Although there are no out queer members of BTS, the group has taken a strong stance of supporting LGBT+ rights.

The owner of the print shop also asked the PinkyPop café staff whether they wanted their “children to become perverts” and insisted it was “stupid to support something that may leave you with no grandchildren”.

He added: “We have enough normal clients to be able to choose who to work with and who not to.”

In 2013, Russia introduced a ban on “non-traditional sexual relationships” to minors, known as its “gay propaganda” ban.

A report by Human Rights Watch in 2018 showed that the law was directly harming and endangering LGBT+ children and young people.

The human rights group found that the law was preventing mental health professionals from offering the necessary support to LGBT+ youth, and that there had been an intensification of stigma, harassment and violence against LGBT+ people since the law was passed.

The “gay propaganda” law in Russia has been used to suppress the LGBT+ community in a multitude of ways, including banning drawings of happy, queer families, shutting down Pride events and even monitoring students’ social media profiles.