1. Sir Elton John performed a concert in Moscow today making him one of the first openly gay artists to perform in Russia since President Vladimir Putin put into place a law against gay propaganda.
2. Following rumors his Moscow concert could be canceled, the singer told CNN last month that he was “going to say something from the stage that’s […] going to be meaningful.”
3. He dedicated the performance to 23-year-old Vladislav Tornovoi. A man who was tortured and killed in a homophobic attack earlier this year.
4. The singer spoke candidly from the stage, expressing his dissaproval of the current anti-gay legislation in Russia.
You took me to your hearts all these years ago and you’ve always welcomed me with warmth and open arms any time I’ve visited. You have always embraced me and you have never judged me. So I am deeply saddened and shocked over the current legislation that is now in place against the LGBT community here in Russia. In my opinion, it is inhumane and it is isolating. People have demanded that because of this legislation, I must not come here to Russia. But many, many more people asked me to come and I listened to them. I love coming here.
I want to show them and the world that I care and that I don’t believe in isolating people. Music is a very powerful thing. It brings people together irrespective of their age, their race, their sexuality, or their religion. It does not discriminate. Look around you tonight. You see men, women, young and old, gay and straight. Thousands of Russia people enjoying the music. We’re all here together in harmony and harmony is what makes a happy family and a strong society.
The spirit we share tonight is what builds a future of equality, love and compassion for my children and for your children. Please don’t leave it behind when you leave tonight. Each and every one of you please, keep this spirit in your life and in your heart. I wish you love and peace and health and happiness. And this show is dedicated to the memory of Vladislav Tornovoi.