Mikhail Baryshnikov Condemns Russia’s Treatment Of Gay People

mb_web_headshotMy life has been immensely enriched by gay mentors, colleagues and friends and any discrimination and persecution of gay people is unacceptable. Equal treatment of people is a basic right and it is sad that we still have to even speak about this in [the] 21st century. I salute No More Fear foundation for stepping in so quickly to provide the much necessary assistance to gay and lesbian people who are fleeing prosecution and help them lead a proud life in their new country.”


— Legendary dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, who defected from Russia in 1974, in a statement released to the No More Fear Foundation

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  • Polaro

    WTG Mikhail!

  • Stache1

    @Polaro: Ditto on that.

  • gina

    Mischa has always been a class act. I would like to see more gay ballet stars in Russia speak out about this. Some of Russia (and Georgia’s) best known dancers are gay not to mention all the dancers who’ve had gay teachers and mentors. Baryshnikov’s main teacher, Pushkin, was a closeted gay man, as was the head of the Kirov and one of the USSR’s biggest ballet stars, Konstantin Sergeyev. Another gay man who was, perhaps, the biggest ballet star in the USSR during the mid-20th century, Vakhtang Chabukiani, was a gay man. Vladimir Malakhov, who left Russia early in his career after being considered perhaps Russia’s best male dancing ‘prospect’ has been an openly gay man in the West. Needless to say, the Georgian male star who has been the Bolshoi’s biggest draw in the past two decades (but is being bounced from the company) is also a gay man. It’s my hope he leaves the repressive climate of Russia, lands with a foreign company and comes out. Russia needs to know some of their greatest artists are gay and they’re going to be losing a huge part of their culture capital by forcing them into the closet and harassing them.

  • Ogre Magi

    When I first glanced at the pic, I thought it was Anthony Hopkins

  • dewin

    I thought Mikhail was dead!

  • roddyboy4848

    iim a big fan of mikhal and im glad that he is taking a stand about this and i allways had a big crush on him and i still do love you mikhal

  • SmartManbear

    You’d think the Russians would realize the artistic greatness that has always been in their midst, especially from its gay citizens. Think Tchaikovsky, for example.

  • LadyL

    @gina: Well said, gina! And Mischa B–I salute you!

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