Knowing I am a huge t.A.T.u. fan, a few people forwarded me bigoted comments made by Yulia Volkova earlier this morning. They’re pretty ugly:
“Yes, I would condemn him, because I believe that a real man must be a real man.”
“God created man for procreation, it is the nature. The man for me is the support, the strength of… I won’t accept a gay son.”
“And a man has no right to be a f*g. Two girls together – not the same thing as the two men together. It seems to me that lesbians look aesthetically much nicer than two men holding their hands or kissing.”
“I have many gay friends. I believe that being gay is all still better than murderers, thieves or drug addicts. If you choose out of all this, being gay is a little better than the rest.”
Is Yulia Volkova really this shitty of a person? Maybe. We know that the Russian government has heavily criticized homosexuality, going as far as to criminalize the “distribution of homosexual propaganda” which Russian police have mostly interpreted as carte blanche to beat the shit out of anyone who is gay, may be gay, or supports gays. So is Yulia Volkova, a woman who made her name and money on presenting a lesbian relationship with bandmate Lena Katina merely saving her own ass?
Another wrinkle is that ever since their split, and despite performing at the opening ceremony to the Sochi Olympics, the two hate one another. Is Yulia taking a shot at her much more LGBT supportive former bandmate?
Does Yulia Volkova have a problem with homosexuality in general because she was forced to adopt a lesbian persona in public by manager Ivan Shapovalov at the age of 14?
It’s unfortunate that, for whatever reason, Yulia has chosen to publicly promote such ugly views, views that will impact her child and may very well have a direct impact on her child. It’s unfortunate that Yulia has chosen to walk back some of the good that t.A.T.u. did for LGBT individuals.
By the way t.A.T.u. did do a lot of good. And it’s easy to call them a gimmick band with limited success today, 3 years after their last album and knowing what we now know about their relationship. But they’re still Russia’s best selling artists of all time and their anthems about loving who you want to love and ‘fuck everyone else’ tone inspired thousands of LGBT individuals in the early 2000s when the world wasn’t nearly as welcoming to them as it is today.
I should know, I’m one of them. t.A.T.u. isn’t just the biggest reason I came to grips with my own sexuality and felt comfortable coming out. They are the reason and I can’t quit on them just because Yulia gave a shitty interview or is a shitty person. (I always liked Lena better anyway. Good call, me.)
To Yulia: Your legacy has mostly already been written (believe me, I’ve seen your solo work). You’re never going to undo all the good that you did as a member of t.A.T.u. I wouldn’t bother trying.