This legendary gay Russian composer is being canceled because of Putin

Monument to Tchaikovsky. Via Shutterstock

As the world continues to watch the Russian invasion of Ukraine in horror, nations around the world have rushed to cut ties with Russia in all forms. That includes the cancellation of concerts of one of Russia’s most celebrated composers.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky lived from 1840 to 1893 and penned some of the most iconic music in history. His compositions include the ballet The Nutcracker, which has become a staple of the Christmas season. Tchaikovsky also wrote the music for the ballet Sleeping Beauty, which Disney later adapted for an animated musical in 1959, as well as the 1812 Overture, one of the most-played pieces of music in history.

Also of note: Though Russia, especially under the Soviet regime, has gone to great lengths to deny it, biographers widely agree that Tchaikovsky was gay. He had a relationship with Sergey Kireyev, whom he met at University, as well as the violinist Iosif Kotek. By contrast, Tchaikovsky’s marriage to a woman, Antonina Miliukova, was a total disaster, and only lasted about two months.

Related: Warlord who led torture and murder of LGBTQ Chechens killed in Ukraine

The current social media outrage over Tchaikovsky stems from a number of orchestras that have pulled his work from planned concerts in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Both the Chubu Philharmonic Orchestra of Japan and the Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra of Wales have announced they have nixed planned performances of 1812 Overture in response to the invasion.

Predictably, the nixing of the performances have sent right-wing Twitter into a frenzy, as users bemoan “cancel culture” and liberal overreach. Conservative commentators Ben Shapiro, George Galloway, and Douglas Murray have all taken to Twitter to rail against these two local incidents.

For the record, we don’t think for a moment that two local orchestras canceling performances somehow means Tchaikovsky and his music will be boycotted indefinitely. Still, some people need to rage over a lack of sympathy toward Russia and its imperialist aggression. We also have to wonder if these people realize Tchaikovsky was gay.

Have a look at some of the wildest responses…