Sochi Mayor: We Do Not Have Gays in Sochi

Despite the existence of a gay nightclub that features drag shows, the mayor of Sochi, Russia claims that there are no gay people in his city.

PakhomovThe Independent reports:

Mr Pakhomov’s claim – an echo of the Radio Stars’ 1977 hit “No Russians in Russia” – is preposterously untrue to anyone who knows anything about the beach resort in Russia’s deep south. Boris Nemtsov, the opposition politician and unsuccessful candidate for the Sochi mayoralty, collapsed into giggles when I told him about the mayor’s statement, saying: “No gays in Sochi? Unbelievable, unbelievable.”

Drag queen Miss Zhu-Zha, a performer at the city’s best-known gay bar, said: “In some places there’s serious prejudice against gay people. In other places, it’s not so bad.” It’s a cautious comment, but none the less evidence of existence.

Mr Pakhomov told Panorama: “Our hospitality will be extended to everyone who respects the laws of the Russian Federation and doesn’t impose their habits on others.” But when I asked whether gay people have to hide their sexuality in Sochi, the mayor said: “No, we just say that it is your business, it’s your life. But it’s not accepted here. We do not have them in our city.”

When I challenged him the mayor backtracked, conceding: “I am not sure, but I don’t bloody know them.”

CNN's segment on gays in Sochi, which they broadcast in December, AFTER THE JUMP...


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  1. I'll be glad when all this is over.

    Posted by: Jack M | Jan 27, 2014 8:56:33 AM

  2. They also don't have vodka.

    Posted by: robertL | Jan 27, 2014 9:31:45 AM

  3. Didn't Ahmadinejad famously say the same of IRAN? Saying something is true doesn't make it true. Idiot.

    Posted by: Geoff | Jan 27, 2014 9:32:05 AM

  4. A drag queen does not indicate gays in Sochi. Male homosexuality is defined as men who love each other sexually, not men who dress up as women.

    If you're a man who dresses up as women, it's a fetish, not a sexuality.

    Posted by: sam | Jan 27, 2014 9:36:25 AM

  5. he must be related to Ahmadinejad then because he said the same thing about Iran! How ignorant can you possibly be?????

    Posted by: Tom | Jan 27, 2014 10:00:55 AM

  6. The mayor is living way back in the last century.
    P.S. Here in Canada, we don't have any snow either.

    Posted by: David From Canada | Jan 27, 2014 10:07:44 AM

  7. No gays and No snow. One comment is correct.

    Where's the snow for the "Winter Olympics"?

    Posted by: Will G. | Jan 27, 2014 10:54:20 AM

  8. Drag Queens are part of gay culture Sam. Get some confidence and quit feeling threatened by anything that isn't stereotypically masculine.

    Posted by: Nathan | Jan 27, 2014 11:16:07 AM

  9. Well, to be fair, with that mug, nobody of either gender would approach him.

    Posted by: tranquilo | Jan 27, 2014 11:21:06 AM

  10. Ha ha ha;
    He must have got that line from Mrs Kearney in South Boston.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Jan 27, 2014 2:25:48 PM

  11. I believe the translation is wrong, what he really said was "LALALALALA I can't hear you." then he stomped his feet and ran out of the run to cry.

    Posted by: woodroad34 | Jan 27, 2014 3:16:47 PM

  12. That should be "out of the room" and not "out of the run"

    Posted by: woodroad34 | Jan 27, 2014 3:17:41 PM

  13. Oh, and apparently the Ukraine has plenty of snow, via Turkish smuggler routes. Yeah, Sochi, you're suchi fool.

    Posted by: woodroad34 | Jan 27, 2014 3:20:52 PM

  14. This poor fellow is obviously oxygen deprived (having his head so far up Putin's behind that he's no longer getting any air).

    I don't know them.

    Perfect reply. If you don't know LGBT folks, we don't exist.

    I don't know any idiot mayors either, does that mean you don't exist?

    Posted by: MuchMuchMunching | Jan 27, 2014 3:48:48 PM

  15. I agree with Sam that just because there are drag queens doesn't mean they are "gay." Of course the Mayor's overall position is idiotic but the fact that a drag show exists doesn't mean gays exist. I also agree that probably most drag queens are gay men but not all. At the famous Finocchio's in SF, a few were married straight men.

    In my opinion we just need to be more careful of labels. Just because Larry Craigs has sex with men in a restroom doesn't make him "gay" it just means he has sex with men in bathrooms.

    Posted by: calpoidog | Jan 27, 2014 4:46:19 PM

  16. @jack m. this won't be "over" when you can put your head back in the sand about the oppression of gay people worldwide.

    in fact, the oppression is just getting started

    Posted by: jaker | Jan 27, 2014 6:55:30 PM

  17. Since there are no gays in Solchi according to its mayor, if you are arrested for being gay, can you call the mayor as a witness and say there must have been some mistake as there are no gays in Solchi?

    Posted by: Bill | Jan 28, 2014 1:00:51 AM

  18. Sam, you're an idiot. Performing in drag is not a 'fetish', for many its a viable career choice. For others its a lark. "Lark" - look it up. I've known a lot of drag queens and its rarely a fetish.

    Posted by: dumbnhung | Jan 28, 2014 2:04:10 AM

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