Also: Why Sochi officials will break gay "propaganda" law each time they play U.S. national anthem during a medal ceremony
The Atlantic examines the curious contradiction of 88% of Russia's population approving of draconian antigay legislation, and of only 16% saying LGBTs should be "accepted by society" but of that same population wildly embracing gender-bending pop stars like openly gay Boris Moiseev, a beloved 60-year-old (!) institution (middle video) and Philip Kirkorov (top and bottom videos (top video loops until you click on it to stop it). Kirkorov isn't openly gay, which only means he hasn't come out and actually said the word.
Stephen Amico, a professor of music and media studies at the University of Amsterdam who is writing a book about homosexuality and Russian pop, said Russians in smaller cities have told him that they like the pizazz of gender-bending acts, which seem to brighten an otherwise dreary provincial existence. Older women in particular seem to love Moiseev for his emphasis on beauty and tenderness -- two aspects that were lacking in Soviet life.
Amico's personal theory, though, is that Russians simply need an outlet to escape the binary heterosexuality that's been imposed on them. The law says you can't promote gay rights, but you sure as heck can rock out to a indefatigable drag queen.