Sir Elton John Feels Personally Obligated To Perform In Russia

“As a gay man, I can’t leave those people on their own without going over there and supporting them. “

1. Out athletes aren’t the only ones having to make tough decisions regarding the upcoming 2014 Sochi Olympics in Russia.

Many LGBT athletes are struggling with how to best act in regards to competing in a nation currently banning homosexual propaganda.

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2. Musician Elton John recently discussed his feelings on the topic with The Guardian.

When the singer performed in Russia earlier this year, he was asked to wear “more respectable” attire, such as a knee-length caftan, by the head of the local branch of the Communists of Russia.

Fred Prouser / Reuters
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3. The singer explained he felt obligated to go there himself:

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Dan Steinberg / AP
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6. In comparison, Cher recently stated she turned down a chance to give the opening performance in Sochi due to the nation’s anti-gay laws.

“I immediately said no. I want to know why all of this gay hate just exploded over there. He said the Russian people don’t feel the way the government does.”

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7. Actor Wentworth Miller came out publicly by declining a Russian film festival invitation.

“I am deeply troubled by the current attitude toward and treatment of gay men and women by the Russian government.”

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8. With no end to Russia’s state-sanctioned homophobia in sight, Elton John isn’t the first and certainly won’t be the last public figure with a difficult choice to make about exactly how to show solidarity Russia’s LGBT community.

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Sarah Karlan is the Deputy LGBT Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Sarah Karlan at
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