Pavel Petel On Living In Russia: “I Am Worried About My Life And Health”

tumblr_mqzedhJR2L1r13tm3o1_500Tensions surrounding Russia’s new “gay propaganda” laws have reached a fever pitch, and though we’ve been sending love and support to our LGBT comrades abroad, we’ve been particularly worried about one of our favorite Russian citizens—the beautiful, sometimes androgynous and always muscular hunk, model Pavel Petel.

The Back Building landed an interview with Petel, and it’s the first time he’s speaking out since the “gay propaganda” laws were passed.

We wish we could tell you that he’s doing well, but his report from behind enemy lines is one of the most disturbing we’ve read. In the interview, Petel says he’s been attacked in the streets, has changed the way he dresses to avoid confrontation, and legitimately fears for his safety:

The Back Building: So Pavel, what’s it like in Russia right now?

Pavel Petel: I am very disappointed. You know that I don’t have anything in Russia besides the love of my fans. Previously, I was not allowed on television due to censorship, and magazines were afraid of publishing me…I became famous only because of the internet.
A lot of pop-stars, movie- and TV-stars, as well as politicians – all hide their homosexuality. Everyone is on their own with their own interests. People are afraid of losing what they have. People are just afraid. I am also worried about my life and I don’t have enough strength to openly express my opinion. Because there is no one to protect…no one will help.


TBB: Do you feel safe in Moscow? 
PP: No, sometimes people threaten me and sometimes they even attack. That’s why I started changing my appearance in Russia. I am worried about my life and health. Nevertheless, everybody recognizes me out on the streets and wants to take pictures with me. Of course, society now is more aggressive towards people like me. Sometimes I am really scared, but, as I have said before, I don’t have an opportunity to move to the States at the moment. This process requires a lot of documents, and more importantly – money.


TBB: A lot of your art is you cross-dressing and being naked in public. Do you worry how this will be perceived in respect to the new laws?
PP: Yes, I will censor and change my style. But I will do this not only because of the new laws. I want to become more famous, and I want my materials to meet the Youtube standards and the standards of other social networks.


TBB: Do you think the Winter Olympics and World Cup should continue to be held there?
PP: You know that money decides everything in this world. And no one will ever cancel Winter Olympics in Russia. I want to say that I do not support ineffective boycotts. It would be so much better if America helped people like me, instead of using its energy in a negative way. Boycotts cause aggression, and Russian authorities would have more reasons to close the borders and internet.
But when famous artists and politicians will give speeches about their positive attitude towards gays, when Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – “Same Love” will be on top of the music charts, when there will be gay love shown in Hollywood movies, and when the Nobel Price will be awarded to a person who is fighting for gay equality – progress will be noticed.


TBB: Do you have any words of encouragement for the LGBT community in Russia?
PP: I know that everything will be alright. Crying and fighting will not help you change anything. You need to try and stay strong! Everything can be changed only if you study, become politicians, achieve power and make the country not only rich, but also free!

Stay current with Pavel by following his official Tumblr. Read the interview in its entirety at The Back Building.

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  • MK Ultra

    Derzhis’Pavel. Vso budet a ne skoro

  • ho

    I respect this man and pray for his safety.

  • Horse Lips

    He shouldn’t feel safe. We need to get him out of there. He can stay with me.

  • Kangol

    Be strong, Pavel Petel, with your gorgeous self, and I pray for your safety.

  • wakeupscreaming

    It’s too bad everyone still thinks the U.S is the ‘land of the free”. I certainly don’t think Manning thinks that, or Snowden or Assange.
    The U.S. is relatively gay-positive compared to other parts of the world, only because gays don’t threaten the power structure of the elites — the illegal wars killing thousands of people, banker bailouts and a government spying on the entire world.

  • Nyruinz

    I am really surprised some sleazy porn company has yet to try and get him to the states in exchange to do scenes.

  • Zodinsbrother

    The international community and western governments will never do anything about what is happening in Russia and neither will the IOC. There are literally dozens of countries which treat gay people even worse than the Russians, including imprisoning them or executing them, which are still getting aid or massive trade deals.

    Compare this with the international outrage at apartheid. Those in power simply don’t give a shit. It’s way down their list.

  • the other Greg

    “Boycotts cause aggression, and Russian authorities would have more reasons to close the borders and internet.”

    It seems that none of the gay people who have to actually live in Russia are in favor of a boycott. Maybe they know what they’re talking about?

    It’s a word that’s starting to get very casually thrown around. I suspect that most of the Queerty posters who call for a “boycott” wouldn’t be able to define what it would involve. If they imagine a 1980-style government boycott, that’s not going to happen anyway.

  • Jazpyy

    I choose to boycott men like him who don’t care SHIT about gay people but rather how much they spend on his brand. It doesn’t take much digging to discover that this man is straight and merely gay for pay. He cares for gay propaganda merely because he is cashing in on it to make himself rich, not because he is gay or cares for gay human rights but rather so he can exploit it and feed of it for greed.

  • Marcio

    Come to my home, Pavel!

    My husband and I will treat you very very well here in Sao Paulo, Brazil!


  • Dev.C

    @Jazpyy How do you figure that Pavel Petel is G4P? I don’t know what digging you have been doing but, you obviously
    came up with half a conclusion. He’s has posted pictures of his boyfriend on instagram a number of times. Just because he preforms with women and his sex appeal lends to both parties doesn’t make him some douche gay4pay person, he’s a performance artist.

    You should probably check all your facts before you make half ass comments about people.

  • Jazpyy

    @Dev.C: Not his boyfriend but his working partner who takes his pictures and is part of the “Naked DJ” duo that they form. Nothing about being gay together in life. There are videos of him on a TV show with his girlfriend. He is nothing more than a cash in, sorry.

  • the other Greg

    @Jazpyy: Well I never heard of him before today, but obviously the point of this article is not that he’s gay (or not), but that he’s famous for his gay-adjacent performances and he’s in danger for appearing to be gay. If he’s beaten to death, his bashers probably won’t care if he’s “really” straight.

  • DrJay

    I’m sorry but why is it always up to the Americans to fix everyone else’s problems? We have our own problems to fix. Or is no one aware of the budget crisis that’s been going on for over a year now? Don’t get me wrong, I feel sorry for the gays of Russia. But I’m more concerned about what’s going on in my own damn country.

  • litper

    So when he lives his “straight” life it’s ok, but now that gay people are banned he started to care?

  • Nyruinz


    I read he was straight as well, so you may be right!

  • MMDD

    @Nyruinz: Looking through his Tumblr pics, it’s pretty clear he’s very much sexually into women. One woman in particular in several of the photos looks to be his girlfriend. His fear of safety in Russia is related to his transgender behavior (specifically parading around in women’s attire), not actually being gay himself. Sadly, news sources such as the Advocate are misrepresenting this by calling him an “openly gay model.” Nowhere in this interview does he say he is gay or even bi. He’s looking for someone to fund his way to the US…so yeah, he’s basically G4P.

  • MMDD

    Dammit…fucking spammers need to get a real job!!!!

  • MMDD

    Thank you, Queerty, for deleting that spammer’s post.

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