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.
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