Fans of reality television, prepare to pour a stiff one.
Russia has released its latest attempt at being the most homophobic country on the planet: a reality show in which contestants attempt to prove they’re not gay.
I’m Not Gay pits eight Russian men against each other, all attempting to prove how stereotypically “straight” they are. Each episode sees another contestant eliminated via a vote by the cast following contests such as a swimwear pageant and getting lap dances from female strippers. Hidden in the cast is an actual gay man (and we feel really bad for him); the show concludes once he is rooted out.
Related: How Russia’s war on Ukraine is a war on LGBTQ people
Russian politician Vitaly Milonov hosts the series. Readers might recognize him as the mind behind the nation’s harsh “anti-gay propaganda” laws which demonize LGBTQ people, and encourages violent treatment of them. The laws have encouraged queer people to flee Russia and the rest of Eastern Europe in recent years. Reports amid the country’s invasion of Ukraine also detail increased violence toward queer citizens.
The irony is that the premise of the show is pretty gay unto itself. The opening credits to the series, set to “All Along The Watchtower,” is also as gay as anything we’ve ever seen on RuPaul’s Drag Race. Here’s hoping Ru & company has a parody of I’m Not Gay in the works.
I’m Not Gay streams on YouTube (paging moderators!) for anyone who needs to waste an hour of his life…not to mention brain cells.
Of course, with the release of the first episode of the show, Twitter has some very confused thoughts about the series…
A sneak peek of reality in Russia:
Vitality Milonov who is the creator of russian "gay propaganda" law is now a host of a show "I'm Not Gay" where 8 men are trying to find a gay among them
My brain is dead now + I wonder what ?????-?-ukrainians-are-nzis folks would say about this https://t.co/zd1GK3fyZQ pic.twitter.com/XjOJ6XXQq0
— ?????? ??????? ?? ????????? ? ???? ? ??????? (@kukukhahello) April 26, 2022
Seriously? This is their top agenda? Pun intended. For an ordinarily citizen, the abysmal state of Russia, the standard of living (not oligarchs), the lack of basic freedom to live a life? This is on the agenda to be addressed? How about having a toilet inside, or roads? ?
— Minna Hayman (@minna_hayman) April 26, 2022
Putin is more popular than ever since the standard of living is quite high. Though that should change in a year when sanctions really bite.
— Jacks (@danny28748565) April 27, 2022
I won't lie, it took me a good 45 seconds to figure out what the hell "????" in the disclaimer meant. Never seen it written in Russian.
— James (@James51108575) April 26, 2022
And what happens when you lose?
— Mona Lis (@uralollah1) April 26, 2022
This is what Fox wishes they could do.
— Brehon (@BrehonFailte) April 26, 2022
With bikinis, a baseball bat, and a heavy chain.
— JaeSwoon (@JaeSwoon) April 26, 2022
The whole show screams repressed homosexuality to me, which of course wouldn't be surprising.
— András Tóth-Czifra ?? (@NoYardstick) April 26, 2022
I have friends of friends who worked in Saint-Petersburg government in the 90’s, and among them it’s well known that Milonov’s nickname at the time was “fairy ding-ding” (??? ????-????) and that he was fairly openly gay.
— Alex B (@MrsDoubtwater) April 26, 2022
I have no doubt Vitaly Milonov is a child predator. That face gives me the creeps.
You can get a ton of hetero lap dances, be into sports, fvck 1000 girls, be “straight passing” to people and still end up being homosexual or having queer dimensions or overall being homo-leaning or having degrees of fluidity or being somewhere in the gender, sexual, affection, emotion, commitment spectrum. Of course, most non dumb people know that by now.
This actually could be a funny novelty concept if it were driven by making fun of stuff like “bro culture”, internalized phobias, gay panic, “straight” worship, non-homo superiority and what are supposed to be “gay” or “straight” stereotypes. But of course, its aim is only to reiterate and support that stuff. This also seems like something only an embittered, self-hating, mentally fraught, “straight” worshiping queer would come up with. Like some cheesy porn.
“waste an hour of his life…not to mention brain cells.” Bravo viewers don’t seem to mind.
What a barbaric culture considers entertainment can’t shock too many. After all, “Playing it Straight” was an American reality show just some 20 years ago.
I’d be more concerned about the WAR CRIMES they are committing against their neighbors, but Queerty and Mr. Reddish want to help with the lack of reporting and deflection.
The show is relevant to the nature of this site. And this is a site that focuses a lot on silly shit like reality TV. Starting the article talking about how Russia is trying to prove they’re the most homophobic country, that was fairly tacky and unnecessary.
I don’t think you’re getting the full extend of this.
This “show” is a propaganda piece created only to enthumanize us.
Similar to the Nazis in Germany, who produced movies like “Jud süß” to ridicule jews and pit people against them and encourange violence against them from the public.
Did they take idea from that one tiktok video where the guy proposes a netflix reality show where the show gather a bunch of men to sniff out which one of them is gay but in reality all of them are straight so what you get is a bunch of dudes trying to seduce each other by doing homoerotic things to each other and no one wins in the end…LOL
Vitaly Milonov is the epitome of a self-hating closet case. Not that we want the freak…
And in the finale the “straight” guys beat the gay one to death to revalidate their manhood?
As one of the tweets says, what happens to you if you lose? What on earth do they pay a gay guy to do this show – or what do they promise him & not give him – and what happens to him after he’s outed to everyone in Russia and his life has been permanently ruined?
The videotape, however, would help in a refugee application if you ever get to a civilized country!
Doesn’t this seem like entrapment? Once the gay man loses, he’ll be nationally famous. He won’t be able to date men if there are Russian paparazzi following. And if he somehow wins the competition, and if he celebrated, would that violate the law? He’s been set up for some kind of nightmare, that’s for sure.
PLEASE let the first and second place winner of this show, take the prize money, move to Holland and get married.
Of course, this is a stupid, homophobic show. But it’s also another piece of something that highlights the obsession with being “not ‘gay”. It’s not only an obsession with many “straight presenting” dudes but also many bi/pan/fluid/queer “pride” dudes. And even many guys who are thoroughly homosexual and “gay presenting” still obsess with trying to belie stereotypes, or trying to prove how much better than other “gays” they are, or they become “pick me” gays. No matter the psychology, dimensions, identities, preferences, love life- gay panic, gay resentments, femme-phobia, queer insecurities, and the self-consciousness around stereotypes and identities are abound.
Best speak Russian to watch this show w no subtitles.