US rapper Mykki Blanco posts ‘love letter’ to Russia’s LGBT community following raid at concert
US rapper Mykki Blanco has penned a letter in solidarity with Russia’s underground LGBT community after he was forced to change venue due to a police raid.
On Friday, Moscow police shut down the Solyanka club just a few hours before Blanco was scheduled to perform there.
The openly gay rapper and musician, who adopts a transgender stage persona, posted a short open letter on Facebook two days after the performance.
It opens: “As it turns out the club ‘Solyanka’ previous to anything having to do with me had been a much disputed venue for some time with more right wing groups…
“Multiple Russians I met that night in Moscow had expressed how shocked and hurt they were that Solyanka was after all this time being closed and many told me how they had practically ‘grown up’ in that space.”
The letter continues in detail describing the rapper’s experience in Russia’s underground gay scene:
People have said I’m “brave” for continuing to show my support of Russian LGBT youth/persons and performing visiting the country but if I were actually transgender, if I wasn’t able to shed the skin of that reality would I actually be safe there at all?
When I think of Russia I think of the secret gay house parties I have been too [sic] kissing boys drunk on vodka and caviar… I think of smoking weed in the Siberian forests and stumbling drunk in the Russian ghetto’s with my straight male friends. I think of going to the underground Russian gay clubs packed with muscle bound men in skin tight shirts and emo twinks softly gyrating to ear splitting trance.. seeing 6’3 Glam Queens perform in thigh high boots and polyester wrap dresses like a Pre-Aids New York I never experienced.
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It concludes: “Russia is more to me than Moscow and I feel for Moscow because of how misunderstood that city is… really maybe I love Russia so much because I can relate to its ‘outsider status’…
“I see in Russia pieces of myself and through self love I in turn love Russia.”
Read the post in full: