we watched the controversial russian reality show “I’m not gay”

“I’m not gay” (“I’m not gay”) is a reality TV program that has been airing on Youtube since April 25. And more than a million people have already seen it. Halfway through secret story et Koh-Lanta, the concept is to reveal the homosexual among the eight men who are locked up together. During tests based on the most dubious biases – a candidate’s reaction to a stripper or stripper drawn by lot, blind identification and touch of a female or male buttocks, this last test that allows to win an immunity trophy win – it’s about exposing the “invader” among heterosexuals.

Contestants have 52 minutes per episode to cast their vote. One of them will be eliminated by the majority. If the gay person goes through the eight episodes without being pierced to date, he will win two million rubles (27,000 euros). Conversely, the amount goes to those who identified it.

The program offers very "cliche", based on old and filthy prejudices.  (SCREEN SHOT)

“Finding a gay in this country is like finding a working McDonald’s. Sure there are a few, but not many and few people know about them”throw a Vote out after a traveling camera crossed a snowy landscape to a background of disturbing music. The atmosphere warms up with the arrival of the candidates who smile and greet a caged rooster placed at the entrance of the TV studio. The “cock” defines a homosexual in Russian prison language. A deadly insult, so serious that it has now almost disappeared from everyday language. The participants then discover a living room decorated with pictures of old men kissing, deer copulation. The stage is set.

The first test consists of sleeping together in the same room, in the same bed and sharing the same shower… Oiled men with prominent pecs and bimbos in very scanty outfits complete the picture. In just a week, the show has easily racked up over a million views on YouTube. If some comments describe the show as:“interesting” or“pleasure”most bet on the coming out of the presenters. “The worst ending: Amiran confesses he’s gay and kisses Milonov. It’s going to be mega hype!”, writes one viewer. Another applauds the concept: Anyway, guys, well done for making such a format of the program! Finally viewers will understand that gays are no different from non-gays, that you can be straight and stupid, and that femininity or masculinity means absolutely nothing .”

To frame the “game”, co-hosts of the show: blogger Amiran Sardarov, explaining that he wanted “entertainment and something socially interesting”and… Vitaly Milonov, a far-right Russian MP, best known for his LGBTophobic views.

In 2013, he pioneered a law punishing any act of homosexual “propaganda” in front of minors with a fine. “Every day I will try to help participants identify the weak link”, he promises. In images taken in 2014 by France 24 in Saint Petersburg, Vitaly Milonov had spoken edifying words that qualified homosexuals as “child molesters sodomites”† In 2021, he was reprimanded by the Russian Human Rights Council for calling for… “sterilization” homosexuals.

Screenshot of Russian LGBTTophobe MP Vitaly Milonov, on the show he co-hosts on YouTube, "i'm not gay"April 25, 2022. (SCREEN RECORDING)

In Russia, the 2013 law was supported by 67% of the population, according to a poll quoted by Geopolis† A third of those surveyed even considered homosexuality a “disease that needed to be treatedAnd attitudes have hardly changed, if we are to believe this study from the Levada Center in 2020, which shows that one in five Russians thinks homosexuals should be “eliminated“. Judgements” “not effective” the 2013 law, two deputies of the Russian Communist Party also proposed that it be tightened in 2015, imposing penalties ranging from a fine to 15 days in prison for openly gay men. They called homosexuality “deadly threat to all humanity”† In Russia it was considered a crime until 1993 and a mental illness until 1999 (1982 in France). When homosexuality is officially decriminalized, Gay Pride is banned, activists are regularly incarcerated and beatings of homosexuals are tolerated, especially in Chechnya.

for magazine Stubborn“This is probably the most gay erokitch content in the country!” He also believes that the result is somewhat “contradictory”since “homorotic as fuck…”† le Mirror [article en anglais] echoes the responses across the web. “What’s the point?asks a user concerned about the ramifications of the media coverage of the homosexual being revealed in the program: ‘Who are you going to expose now? The Muslims? The Jews?’

In a similar genre, one of the entertainment episodes Do not belong to from the American Youtube channel anniversary which also consisted in exposing the homosexual among seven people. But the game consisted of guessing by asking questions for fifteen minutes with a completely different goal: to create a movement of empathy for the good coexistence.

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