Drag queen protests Russia’s anti-gay laws by sewing mouth shut

Watch YouTube drag makeup tutorial star Barbie Breakout launch her own silent protest.


Audra Schroeder

Internet Culture

Published Aug 2, 2013   Updated Jun 1, 2021, 10:04 am CDT

Berlin-based DJ, drag queen, and YouTube star Barbie Breakout is known for her transformative drag makeup and wig tutorials. Recently, she used the video platform to send a different message.

She’s been very vocal on her Facebook page about Vladimir Putin’s crusade against Russian LGBT youth, which has been facilitated by the social network VK. Anti-gay extremists have taken to creating fake social media profiles in order to target LGBT youths. They then use video or photos to publicly shame and bully them.

In late July, Breakout released this video, titled “Open Your Mouth,” in which she silently sews her mouth shut with a needle and thread, in protest of Russia’s new laws. She told German newspaper Die Welt:

“The pain I felt inside when I had to see in the media what is happening in Russia was greater than the physical pain of the needle. My partner held the camera while I did it. But he couldn’t look.”

Warning: This video is very graphic, and YouTube has restricted it to ages 18 and older.

Screenshot via the Barbiebreakout/YouTube

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*First Published: Aug 2, 2013, 2:20 pm CDT