The last time Sir Elton performed in Russia was in December 2010, see poster here on the right. His forthcoming concert in December this year could become a problem. Since the anti-gay law the people seems to be getting more intolerant towards homosexuals. A committee of parents in the Ural region sent an open letter to Putin to complain about the concert: ‘The singer intends to come out in support of local sodomites and break the current Russian law, directed at protecting children.’ (Daily Mail) According to the Guardian the superstar will perform in Russia despite such complaints. Earlier this month he told the Guardian that he feels an obligation to perform in Russia. “As a gay man, I can’t leave those people on their own without going over there and supporting them.” (The Guardian)
In an interview with NPR’s Terry Gross, Elton John stated last Monday that he wants to support the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community and that he will try to solve this in a diplomatic way.
by Charlie Crooijmans
“On one hand, I want to say, ‘I’m not going and you can go to hell, you guys.’ But that’s not helping anyone who’s gay or transgendered over there. I’ve been going to Russia since 1979. I’ve been going quite frequently, and I’ve always had a wonderful rapport with the Russian audiences and with the Russian people. And you know there are a lot of great Russian people out there who are outraged by what’s going on, but they don’t have — I don’t want to abandon them. Now, I’ll probably get criticized for going, and I can understand that. It’s just that I, as a gay man and a gay musician, cannot stay at home and not support these people who have been to lots of my concerts in the past. I’m aware of the situation and I will be diplomatic. I’m not going to go into Russia and tell [Vladimir Putin] to go to hell and things like that. That’s not the way things are done. You chip away at something, and you hope there will be dialogue and that the situation can get better. You don’t just go in there with guns blazing and say, ‘Well, to hell with you.’ Because they’re going to say, ‘To hell with you, and get out of the country.’ That’s not going to solve anything. But if I can go there, maybe I can talk to some people in the administration.
“You can make a statement and you can read it from the stage, but it would be nice, and it would be much more fulfilling to try and meet with people in Moscow and say, ‘Listen, this is just, you know, this is silly. It’s a reactionary knee-jerk thing. It’s harming your reputation in the rest of the world. It’s not doing you any good. There has to be some discussion here. What you’re doing is outrageous.’ [Pauses.] They can tell me to go to hell. I’ve gotta do it diplomatically, but I’m going to say what I think and what I feel.”