During his controversial concert in Moscow last Friday, Elton John stated that he felt obligated to perform in Russia because didn’t want the LGBT people there to feel isolated. Paraphrasing lyrics from his
nemesis good friend Madonna, the out superstar looked out at his audience filled with both gays and straights and declared that it’s music that brings the people together.
John also revealed that his performance was dedicated to the memory of Vladislav Tornovoi, a 23-year-old gay man murdered in May, who some have called “Russia’s Matthew Shepard.”
The entertainer, who has performed in the country numerous times over his career, posted the transcript of his speech on his Facebook page:
“I have something to say.
I have always loved coming here, coming to this country, ever since I first played here in 1979. I love Russia – I love its art and its culture. But most of all, I love you, the people. You took me to your hearts all those years ago, and you have always welcomed me with warmth and open arms every time I have visited. You have always embraced me, and you have never judged me.
So I am deeply saddened and shocked over the current legislation that is now in place against the LGBT community here in Russia. In my opinion, it is inhumane and it is isolating.
Some people demanded that because of this legislation I must not come here to Russia….
But many, many more people asked me to come. I listened to them. I love this country. I want to show them and the world that I care, and that I don’t believe in isolating people.
Music is a very powerful thing. It brings people together, irrespective of their age, their race, their sexuality or their religion. It does not discriminate. Look around you tonight. You see men, women…young and old…gay and straight. Thousands of happy Russian people enjoying music. We are all here together in harmony.
And harmony is what makes a happy family…. and a strong society. The spirit we share tonight is what builds a future of equality, love and compassion….. for my children and for your children. Please don’t leave it behind when you leave tonight….each and every one of you… please keep this spirit in your life and in your heart.
I wish you love, peace and health and happiness.And this show is dedicated to the memory of Vladislav Tornovoi.”