If the word hypocrite was to apply to one person in the world right now, I would have to apply it to Russian fake lesbian t.A.T.u singer Yulia Volkova.

By now I’m sure everyone has heard about Volkova making anti-gay comments, saying that she would not support her son if he was gay and banging on about gay people not being real men. It’s got us all talking about t.A.T.u again, long after they slipped from relevance, but whether it’s another marketing ploy or not I believe that we need to take Yulia Volkova’s comments seriously and consider the damage her words could do.

I have to admit to genuinely being annoyed by Volkova coming out publicly as a homophobe, particularly when she used lesbianism to gain exposure for her band and to make money. I believe her comments to be dangerous. Russia is now well known around the world for being an anti-gay country that is seemingly going backwards in time towards the dark ages rather than progressing with the majority of other countries on Earth. Whether people here in the UK take Volkova’s comments seriously or not, there is potential for those comments to be inflammatory and lead to a rise in anti-gay feeling, not just in Russia but in other European countries where t.A.T.u remain popular.

Another thing that annoyed me about Volkova’s comments was the fact that she used supposedly having gay friends in an attempt to demonstrate that she is not a homophobe. Sadly this is something that is all too common. I have lost count of the amount of times that someone has said “I have loads of gay friends, but…” before then going on to make a homophobic statement. These people need to understand that having gay friends doesn’t mean that they can’t possibly be homophobic in any way.

Something else that Yulia Volkova is guilty of is reinforcing a stereotype. Apparently, two women together (i.e. lesbians) is more aesthetically pleasing than two men together (i.e. “fags”). Of course, all lesbians are hot and purely exist for the titillation of heterosexual men, but gay guys and the thought of two men having sex is vomit inducing. How disgusting. I hope you detect the sarcasm there, but it’s outrageous that there are people in the world who genuinely think like that. It’s that reinforcement of stereotypes that t.A.T.u built their whole career on.

In 2002 t.A.T.u released All The Things She Said. It was a massive hit around the world and quite rightly too (let’s not forget what a brilliant song it is), but it played on lesbianism and the idea that being lesbian is hot or en vogue. The two members cavorted around in the rain, wearing school girl outfits (jailbait, anyone?) and kissing passionately. Lots of us were fooled by the act and believed they were genuine lesbian pop stars. The gay community championed them and the band rose to fame, while no doubt making a lot of money on the way. Then came the revelation that they are not really lesbians and it was just a marketing ploy. I went off t.A.T.u at that point, despite being excited by their music. Using or exploiting sexuality for fame or financial gain simply isn’t cool, and I chose to no longer be a part of t.A.T.u’s machine.

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Even when it was revealed that t.A.T.u are not really lesbians, the members spoke out in support of the gay community. Volkova’s recent comments have shown her true opinions, though, and demonstrated that her previous support of gay people was as fake as her lesbianism.

I’m quite aware that t.A.T.u as a band are no longer taken seriously, but I do feel we should take Yulia Volkova’s anti-gay comments seriously. She is a public figure in a notoriously homophobic country. There will be people who agree with her comments or who will change their views to match hers. That is a dangerous thing and we should be concerned, despite how ridiculous this woman obviously is. But to end on a positive, at least we gays are “better than murderers, thieves, or drug addicts”. There’s clearly hope for us yet.

 

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Opinions expressed in this article may not reflect those of THEGAYUK, its management or editorial teams. If you'd like to comment or write a comment, opinion or blog piece, please click here.