Shirtless Putin: Iconic Brokeback Resonates in the East


The Daily Mail notes that the recent beefcake shots of Russian President Vladimir Putin first published in the German magazine Spiegel have taken his home country by storm:

Putin4“Yesterday, the Russian mass-market newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda published a huge colour photo of the barechested president, under the headline ‘Be Like Putin’. The picture illustrated a guide to the exercises needed to build up a torso like that of the Russian leader…Russian gay chatrooms and blogs were particularly intrigued by the photos. Some claimed that Putin, by stripping to his waist, was pleading for more tolerance of homosexuality in Russia – where gays and lesbians are for the most part forced to remain closeted. One satirical photo circulating on the internet jokingly compared the fishing and riding adventure to the movie Brokeback Mountain, a love story about gay cowboys.”

Of course, we’ve all seen the Russian reality.

In related news, Russia’s neighbor China finds the Jake Gyllenhaal/Heath Ledger romance has entered its lexicon:

“They banned the film but they couldn’t stop the word ‘brokeback’ from entering the Chinese language. Now Chinese officials have accepted the term, taken from the film Brokeback Mountain, into the national language registry as a synonym for a gay man. Though banned, millions of Chinese saw the film on pirate DVDs.”

A River Runs Through Russia: Fishing with Pin-Up Putin [tr]


  1. Leland Frances says

    It’s official! We have a winner. The competition was stiff from the endless execrable coverage of Anna Nicole’s death and Paris Hilton’s vacation in jail; from Reichen blowing the best meal ticket he ever had by blowing or whatever some twink hick in Atlanta; from those who think Kucinich has more than a Munchkin’s chance of surviving the running of the bulls in Pamplona to win the Democratic Presidential nomination and election; from those gays who think Giuliani would shed his snake’s skin once in the White House; from those who think Karl Rove has simply ridden quietly and permanently off into the sunset; from SAAD who praised “Chuck & Larry” and Marc Fag Repug Cherry and would put a future “Brokeback” in competition with Queer Chic crap; from those who paid to see “Chuck & Larry;” from those who believe the Human Rights Champagne fund’s claims of credit for all that is good for gays on earth or that HRC can seriously change without a huge enema flushing out its calcified politubro; from those who think “we can still win in Iraq;” from Ft. Lauderdale’s mayor and from Poland’s Tweedledumb and Tweedledumber; from those who would still deep throat all of the lies of the lunatic fringe about SF Mayor Gavin Newsom if the Messiah came with Gavin sit-spinning on his cock; from Ross the Intern and Willaim Sledd; from Isaiah Washington and his hag Jasmyne Cannick; from Ann Coulter and Don Imus — with all that powerful competition we still have a hands down winner for dumbest people in recent memory: those who believe, “Putin, by stripping to his waist, was pleading for more tolerance of homosexuality in Russia.”

    Thank you and your award carved out of frozen Siberian horse shit is in the mail.

  2. Karl Marx says

    Hopefully, the Russians will be lucky enough to have the Communists take over again. LOL.

    Unfortunately, the Russians need the stability and control the Communist dictatorship provided.

  3. BeeDee says

    Maybe the Russian media published a pic where he was flexing… that would help, right? Or maybe the publishers have put good use to all their pirated copies of Photoshop!

  4. mark question says

    Wait, what? Taking off your shirt is a plea for more tolerance of homosexuality? Seriously?? The mind boggles…
    How about, oh, I don’t know, commanding your police forces to stop harrasing and brutalizing homosexuals for no other reasons simply because they exist? How about prosecuting and arresting those who spill hatred and throw stones at participants in gay rights rallies rather than their targets?
    Something a man like Putin, with his nigh complete control over russian politics and near dictatorlike powers could very well do. But can’t be bothered to, due to being anti-gay himself.

    No my friends, these ridiculous propaganda shots probably serve only to infuse him with a folksy, down-to-earth charm that a soviet trained, natural beaurocrat so utterly devoid of personality like Putin himself couldn’t possibly have.

  5. Fizzoullah Banghead says

    Darlings! I was gangraped by a band of 60 year-old Chinese pirates on a Sampan bound for Shanghai that had better builds than that Putin thing. He looks like someone forgot to turn on the permanent press button at the dryer, or maybe next time he should demand extra starch. If that’s supposed to be sexy, something stinks to high Kremlin!

  6. zabadak says

    Ummm, wasn’t this topic first reported on by Andy about 10 days ago?
    At that time it was reported Putin was fishing w Prince Albert & I then commented on the Brokeback allusions.. all the more relevant due to Putin’s Fly-fisn’n buddy.

  7. anon ( says

    He’s better than Henry Kissinger would be with his shirt off–the man who said power is the ultimate aphrodisiac. And that, I’m afraid, is the only sexual appeal this man has to otherwise sane women or clearly insane gay men. The Terminator ain’t lookin’ too pretty these days either. Just sayin’.

  8. says

    I think this may all be the invention of the Western press. While of course all the Putin-lovers (and there are many) in Russia swooned over the photos, I’ve seen no reaction at all on the main gay site and found practically no evidence elsewhere.

    The only thing I did see was a Russian report of a cartoon in The Sun:,,2-2007380177,00.html Maybe that’s the “satirical photo circulating on the internet” referred to in the Daily Mail article?

    It’s a British fantasy, not a Russian one. Russian gays have no such illusions.

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