Rob Halford and Freddie Mercury Named to Russian Magazine’s List of Celebrities ‘Forgiven’ for Being Gay
The Russian version of the men’s magazine Maxim has drawn the ire of people worldwide after publishing a list of gay celebrities whose contributions to culture are so great they’ve “earned our respect and the right to remain real men in our eyes.”
“We, men, do not consider men who love men to be men. This is the rule,” reads the introduction to the list, which includes actors Ian McKellen and Neil Patrick Harris. “But there are exceptions.”
In the classic rock world, those exceptions include Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford, whose homosexuality is offered as proof that “if you’re cool enough, it doesn’t matter what your orientation is,” as well as Queen‘s Freddie Mercury, whose musical legacy is summed up with the backhanded compliment that he “brought us so much joy, we are ready to forgive him anything.”
Unsurprisingly, given the well-known and widely condemned climate of hostility toward gays in Russia, the list has quickly provoked a backlash from the international press. An editor for Maxim Russia has gone on record as insisting the piece was intended to be a joke, saying the magazine’s “position is clearly formulated in the introduction to the article,” but his protests don’t jibe with the snidely written slurs in the text — and they clearly don’t hold water with the publication’s American cousin.
“We are deeply disturbed by the article in Maxim Russia and fully condemn it,” a spokesperson told BuzzFeed. “It is entirely against the views of U.S. Maxim.”