Mikhail Baryshnikov sends rainbow signal to Putin’s Games

Mikhail Baryshnikov sends rainbow signal to Putin’s Games


norman lebrecht

February 04, 2014

Mikhail Baryshnikov, the dancer, actor and choreographer, has been pictured in a rainbow scarf to show solidarity with gay minorities in Russia.

Baryshnikov is appearing at the Berkeley Rep in “Man in a Case”, based on short stories by Anton Chekhov. After the Sunday matinee, he posed with Gay Without Borders activists Michael Merrigan and Michael Petrelis, and Robbie Sweeny who operates the Facebook page Boycott4Russia.

Barynshnikov (1)


  • Russians have been lied to by their government and their church, so they now honestly believe:

    1. Homosexuals are made and not born

    2. Homosexuals are predators who are after their children

    3. Homosexuals are out to make the whole straight world into homosexuals

    4. Homosexual orientation is directly linked to immorality

    5. Homosexuality is spread via “propaganda”

    6. Homosexuality is a Western phenomenon, and is “anti-Russian”

    7. Homosexuals can be turned into heterosexuals by persecuting us

    8. By converting gays ‘back’ into straights, the declining Russian birth rate will be reversed.

    All of these statements are 100% wrong. These are not facts, they are misperceptions, and they are being used as excuses for abuse.

    The only way forward is by direct engagement with religion and lawmakers, challenged in open and public debate. Unfortunately there is also going to have to be considerable martyrdom, with activists putting themselves in harm’s way, risking their lives and actual bodily harm as recent footage has already shown to be escalating.

  • cabbagejuice says:

    Whenever there is a 100% certainty about something, it smacks of propaganda. One point, not absolutely correct, women seem to be particularly fluid in be able to change from male or female partners. The part about changing the world has something to it, if a child has a question about his or her sexuality while growing up, then a fleeting attraction would place the person squarely into the homosexual camp. Also there is doubt about a gay gene – no one found it yet.

    Concerning immorality, children should not be subjected to the kind of sexually explicit trash exhibited at gay parades. Their right to a mother and father should trump the need to act out by sexually obsessive adults. The rest of 98% of society should not be cowed into taking pictures and baking cakes for gay weddings, or hosting couples at bed and breakfasts if their convictions do not support it as much as a Moslem should not be forced to prepare pork for a client.

    Live and let live is what was asked for in the beginning but now traditional family values that are the basis for a stable society are being upended. This is what the Russian law is about.

    Oh and by the way, violence is more rampant in your society than outside it, so your melodramatic statements about martyrdom are really over the top.

    • While I agree that any child with a fleeting attraction, or “crush” might be terrified that they are gay, it’s far more likely that they will start persecuting homosexuals to make certain no-one thinks that they really are gay themselves. Research repeatedly shows this in that homophobic people are often exposed as closet homosexuals who display an irrational obsession with homosexuality. Their inversion is brought about usually by having been raised in anti-gay households, perhaps surrounded by the same at school and at work, and so have to repress their homosexuality. Who would ever suspect a gay basher is actually gay themselves the whole time?

      Famous examples include George ‘Rent Boy’ Rekers, Rev. Ted Haggard, Bishop Eddie Long, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Senator Roy Ashburn…






      Your post appears to your private opinion presented as fact, since you present nothing to substantiate it. So for now, let me address certain of your points:

      1. “Propaganda” This is redolent of the new Russian law prohibiting “homosexual propaganda to minors”, making it illegal to be openly gay, or to protest against your mistreatment as a homosexual. This law has extinguished the citizenship of LGBT with a stroke of the presidential pen. I don’t support any kind of “propaganda to minors” and that includes “heterosexual propaganda”. Children should be protected from age-inappropriate material. As a child, the only influences I was exposed to were heterosexual in that I was raised by heterosexual parents, was educated in a Christian school that taught me all about loving heterosexual marriage. The only relationships I saw in film, television, literature and theatre were heterosexual. Imagine my horror when puberty kicked when I discovered that my romantic attractions were solely for the same sex. From age 14, I started to plot my self-extermination, eventually “succeeding” at age 22 with carbon monoxide poisoning, using my mother’s car, with brain damage consequences that live with me to this day (now aged 61). Clearly heterosexual propaganda didn’t make me change into a heterosexual, any more than my propaganda to you in this post has turned you into a card-carrying homosexual.

      2. Gay gene. There is far more evidence that your sexual orientation is determined already by the time you are born, than that it is not. The following articles show that a lot of this is genetic, but some of it may be hormonal, hence the higher incidence of homosexuality in youngest males in a larger family, and where one of two twins is gay the other is more likely to be:

      Genetic predisposition:



      Evolutionary imperative for homosexuality:


      American Psychological Association, which with over 173,000 members is the largest professional body of its kind in the world:


      The University of California:


      Whatever the “cause”, it’s clearly absurd to suggest that an individual would choose to be part of one of the most disliked and persecuted minorities in the world, with all the disenfranchisement that connotes.

      3. “Gay parades”. Your position that children are “subjected” to these is borderline hysteria. These parades, initially protest parades are becoming celebratory as rights are gained. They command huge attendances in places like Sydney Australia and Sao Paolo Brazil. They take place over a couple of hours of one day, in a year with 365 days, down a single street in a city with 10 thousand streets in a country with hundreds of cities. The alleged “exposure” is entirely elective and minimal, and is dwarfed by the child’s upbringing, schooling and normative influences – against any or all of which the child may rebel anyway. I myself have participated in these parades. When I did, I wore my academic gown, and marched with teachers also soberly dressed. In the parade was a float from the Army, and the Police, dressed in their uniforms and PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) dressed in ordinary, everyday clothes. The extravagant costumes worn by some participants aren’t typical of everyday wear of “the gays”, and they’re certainly not exclusive to gay people, unless you’ve never been to a straight night club, and they’re not that different from what you’d see at a beach. Bottom line is – you are not forced to travel to the street where this parade is being held and be “subjected” to it, and nor is your child.

      4. Your figure of a presumed 98% heterosexual population isn’t sourced, but is contradicted by many polls of substance. Let’s take the exit polls of openly gay from the last 3 US Census – 2004, 2008 and 2012; each showing an average of 4%. That’s a poll of gay people willing to tell complete strangers polling, that they’re homosexual. I suggest it’s more than likely that many would lie, especially if they’re in Southern states, or are married and in the closet, or are bisexual, so the figure could easily be double. But let’s go with a modest 5% and apply to the world population, and you get 350 million homosexuals. However we got here, we cannot be eliminated because our parents are heterosexuals.

      5. “Immorality” – this is not the exclusive preserve of homosexuals, as a quick journey through this who’s who should attest: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_gay,_lesbian_or_bisexual_people

  • cabbagejuice says:

    Derek, please don’t pretend that you don’t have a personal bias with your selective quotings and sites. I could supply just as many to the contrary and I have done this but there is also selective listening, in other words, ‘don’t bother me with your facts’. I could be content with a ‘live and let live’ but unfortunately this is not the case anymore. People are being silenced and persecuted with their livelihoods threatened for their religious beliefs. It is hard to believe there is not an agenda out there with the express purpose to explode traditional values and institute instead a kind of social engineering emancipated from family ties.

    I do admit some personal experience that colors my views, which in the main has been bad, starting from a very unstable alcoholic piano teacher in my adolescence who used to talk about his suicide attempts (he eventually succeeded) and was always going on about how much he hated his father (that instead of fingering and pedaling).

    When I was about 16, I was called into the local police station for questioning because there was a complaint by a parent of an 8 year old that he was talking to him about masturbation and then told him to drop his pants.

    Strangely enough his last liaison was with a woman (admittedly more a mother figure). He was quite out in his musical community so by way of hindsight, I don’t think his attempts to kill himself were due to repression.

    With regard to pederasty, it is somewhat hypocritical to hear the attacks on the Catholic Church when more than 95% of the cases have to do with man on boy. Once imprinted thus, many youngsters become indicted into that lifestyle, repeating the trauma as an attempt to escape it. At least make some room in your 100% for cases in which they were not ‘born that way’.

    Don’t tell me that any kind of sexual obsession that emanates from abuse is in any way healthy. This could be promiscuous acting out by any orientation. However, it is not unusual for homosexuals to have as many as 100 to even 1000 partners in their lifetimes and this admitted by them.

    • That fact that you cite your suicidal, alcoholic, pedophile, dead piano teacher as representative of mainstream gay and lesbian people, yet do not cite him as representative of piano teachers shows that you are being at least as “selective” as you are accusing me of being. Since you’ve jumped straight into conflating homosexuality with pedophilia, let me disabuse you of this with more quotes:

      University of California:




      “the ratio of heterosexual to homosexual pedophiles was calculated to be approximately 11:1”

      Another problem that skews statistics such as in the NCBI study above is that most homosexuals are in the closet, so that instances of same sex child sexual assault are calculated as a percentage of ‘known’ homosexuals, which is far smaller than the real number against the total population, thus making the proportion far higher than it would be if divided by the true, larger sample. Even so, the fact remains that same sex child sexual assaults are absolutely dwarfed in number by the assaults on underage girls by heterosexually identifying males, typically stepfather, father, uncle or other person known to the family.

      If the majority of gays were pedophiles then we would have zero rights anywhere. Instead, there are over 122,000 same sex couples raising children in the USA, who were abandoned by their heterosexual parents after having usually been conceived by accident, or who were forcibly removed by the state and placed into care because of abuse and neglect. By now, we’d be seeing pogroms against homosexuals in the US, if they were all sexually abusing the children in their care. The overwhelming majority of pedophile assaults are by men against girls, usually the father/stepfather or other relative or close friend of the family. That said, just because most pedophiles are heterosexual, doesn’t mean all heterosexuals are pedophiles either.

      In terms of promiscuity, the behaviour you attribute to homosexuals, is likewise highly selective. It is more appropriate to attribute promiscuity to males as distinct from females. Female homosexuals are the least promiscuous of all demographics, and were it not for the female part of a heterosexual relationship insisting on fidelity, a sizable number of heterosexual men would be out there impregnating as many women as possible, hence the far higher incidence of polygyny than polyandry as subsets of polygamy, as in biblical times, that until recently was accepted in the Mormon religion, and continues to be practised in the Middle East. Moves to establish same sex marriage and to register same sex civil unions show that there are substantial numbers of same sex couples who simply want to spend the rest of their lives monogamously with the one they love.

      As for your idea that pederasty induces homosexuality, I never heard anything less well thought through. Does experiencing rape make a woman more turned on to men? I hardly think so.

  • PR Deltoid says:

    Back to the subject of Russia. Contrary to popular belief, Russians are becoming more, not less, tolerant of homosexuality. Some facts and figures are given here:


  • cabbagejuice says:

    To answer your last statements, “As for your idea that pederasty induces homosexuality, I never heard anything less well thought through. Does experiencing rape make a woman more turned on to men?” First of all, it is not my idea. But briefly, sexual compulsion, or any kind of uncontrolled acting out is usually an attempt to repeat the trauma in order to ‘get it right this time’, that never happens and makes the behavior more entrenched.

    About “love”, there is so much confusion about this concept as though it can supercede and absolve everything. This is a romantic fiction so woven into our culture that we do not see its fallacies anymore. The institution of marriage is to legalize unions to preserve the stability of familial relations (rather than rootless, feral children who have a habit of drifting into criminality).

    As far as the official powers that be are concerned, “love” is not even a requirement for such a contract. When there is love or lust, two or more people can live together, no need to marry.

    The live and let live was supposed to be all the gay rights movement was about. (And please don’t pretend that monogamy is important or even widespread.) Instead, there is the drive to explode the family unit that still can only consist of mother and father when talking about how children are conceived, that as imperfect as any human institution may be, still is the best compromise for their upbringing.

    And really, there is no need to adopt children when it is so easy to go to a sperm bank or have the upstairs couple provide it. So you can really stuff some of your melodrama about rescuing kids. I don’t know how Michael Jackson’s children feel, but it is an extra burden to start life dysfunctionally.

    • Well as you clearly aren’t prepared to acknowledge, I know myself a great deal better than you do, and I’ll concede I don’t know you at all, unless your name really is Cabbage Juice, so I won’t give you a lecture about how you chose to be heterosexual, despite being oriented towards the same sex, the converse of the lecture you’re giving me.

      Your explanation as to why I am homosexual doesn’t fit with my life experience at all, nor with that of any person I ever met, gay or straight. I was never abused as a child, sexually or otherwise. Your romantic attractions appear as if by magic at puberty, and the only choice Nature gives you is whether or not to approach the object of your affection with all trepidation.

      I agree that love isn’t a legal requirement for a marriage, but marriage without it doesn’t make a lot of sense. You are free to hold the opinion that certain suspect classes you disapprove of, such as gays, shouldn’t be allowed to marry, but it isn’t your right to prevent others enjoying a right that you claim for yourself. The playing field is not level because the opposing sides aren’t playing logical opposites. The opposite of forbidding same sex marriage isn’t not forbidding it, the opposite of forbidding same sex marriage is forbidding opposite sex marriage. In other words, we are not trying to take away from you, the same right you are trying to deny to us.

      You cite Michael Jackson as an example of parenting, in the same spirit as you cite your deceased alcoholic pedophile piano teacher as representative of gay and lesbian people and our putative motivations. You may as well cite the Ku Klux Klan as representative of white America.

  • cabbagejuice says:

    A main reason for incestuous couplings to be proscribed is to protect children from genetically transmitted defects. Family purity is a beautiful cultural concept as well, guarded by the highest civilizations as in the early Roman Empire (compared to the lasciviousness of the Late).

    Siblings can have an attraction for one another and this does happen. Do they have an intrinsic right to marriage? No, because marriage as an institution is for the benefit of children and future generations. Similarly, should polyamory be included if they all “love” one another? Opening up the definition of marriage will transform it so it will not be recognizable or even useful anymore.

    Nature giving you a romantic attraction at puberty – how Walt Disney! Most of us go through different stages of doubts and uncertainty. A lot depends on what peers are doing, as well as modeling or imprinting by adults. Deferred gratification helps in the time one needs to sort out one’s life and future. Instead, these days urges must be sanctified by the appellation of “rights” and acted upon without regard for the effect on oneself, others and society in general.

    It’s interesting you never met in 6 decades, seriously troubled and distorted people with regard to sex. That messed up teacher was not the last compulsive piece of work that I had the misfortune of having met or worked with.

    • Agreed re incest, however marriage has been evolving for millennia. It’s not so long ago that the wife had to pledge to love honour and OBEY her husband, since she was his lawful property, body, dowry and all. The husband was permitted to exact physical punishment should his wife disobey, and conjugal rights meant he could never be accused of raping her.

      Again, when it comes to ‘polyamory’, you are dipping into another logical fallacy, this time, Slippery Slope. This category of Argumentum Ad Absurdum is analogous to that adduced by counsel opposing the repeal of the Jim Crow anti-miscegenation laws during Supreme Court trial finding them unconstitutional, ahead of the enactment of Civil Rights Act (1964). They relied upon the Bible’s commandment that people of different races must not intermarry. The Bible also commands that people of different religions must not marry, that a rape victim must marry her rapist, that a couple who have coitus during a woman’s menstrual cycle must both be killed, but I digress…

      Polygyny is a time honoured tradition still practised today in the Middle East, and further back a ways, in the Bible itself, no less:

      • Solomon … had 700 wives … and 300 concubines. (1 Kings 11:2-3)

      • Rehoboam … took 18 wives, and 60 concubines. (2 Chronicles 11:21)

      • But Abijah waxed mighty, and married 14 wives…. (2 Chronicles 13:21)

      There are now 116 countries in the world that do not subject same sex relationships to criminal sanction, and in most of these we have equal rights including relationship recognition; in 18 countries, and 18 US states, we have same sex marriage. I invite you to point to ANY among these 118 countries, let alone the 18 with same sex marriage, where there has been increased public tolerance for child sexual assault, incest or bestiality.

      I don’t know what circles you move in, but no, I don’t know anyone who is “seriously troubled and distorted … with regard to sex.” But since in your mind, I am such a person, maybe we have been moving in the same circles all along. I have to put this to you, isn’t it possible that it is your goodself who is the troubled one here? The vast majority of my friends are heterosexual, and most of them are in stable relationships of years’ standing, and of those, the majority have been married for decades. They accept me as I am. I’ll go a step further and say they LIKE me as I am. That’s what friends do.

      • cabbagejuice says:

        I am not going to convince you since you are such a likable person who moves in circles where there is no dysfunction or abuse, no compulsive sexuality, rampant AIDS, STD’s, promiscuity, pederasty or violence. As for evolving marriage, yes, like standards of living and general prosperity, sometimes it is better or worse. In fact a study was done by Joseph Unwin in 1935, to disprove that there is any connection to a sober practice of marriage that astonishingly turned out to prove the opposite.


        “Additionally, those cultures that began with a strong sexual ethic and later embraced a philosophy of sexual freedom for a period of at least three generations inevitably experienced cultural demise. There is not one single example in all of human history where this social fact was NOT observed. Marriage, sex and social order are directly related to the strength of marriage as perceived by a given society. Diminish the exclusive value of marriage by divorcing the intrinsic relationship of sex and you ultimately diminish the social order.

        In other words, once a culture begins to extend sexual opportunities beyond the exclusive relationship of marriage, the societal and cultural importance of marriage is diminished. As sexual opportunities are increased our creative and social energies are redirected toward fulfilling our ever-increasing sexual appetites.

        This would explain much of our present obsession with sexuality as expressed in almost all of our contemporary creative outlets – television, movies, art and music.”

        • I got your sarcasm,but do YOU really move in circles where there is “dysfunction and abuse, compulsive sexuality, rampant AIDS, STD’s, promiscuity, pederasty and violence”?

          I’d move if I were you!

          • cabbagejuice says:

            No I don’t but can’t help noticing them as dysfunctional when there is massive effort to play down the nasty side for the sake of political correctness. I just don’t want to be specific but I have some stories that only corroborate what was thrown into my lap at the age of 16. The question I have now, if it is only an issue of “live and let live” why does a whole package have to be accepted that only gets worse as time goes on?

            Now in Boston where the slippery slope originally started, it is supposed to be acceptable for young adolescents to be given hormones and drugs to prepare them for mutilation just because they are not sure of their sexuality and have some whim about being a girl in a boy’s body. So-called transgendered are allowed to use the restrooms of the opposite sex in Massachusetts and California. Their feelings trump the rights of others as well as a ridiculously described family friendly annual gay parade that was criticized by Toronto District School Board trustee Sam Sotiropoulos who said that he’s just concerned about children viewing illegal public nudity. Of course he was smeared with the usual homophobe and hater while others were dancing around the issue which is supposed to be illegal in Canada. (I don’t go to nude beaches so am not used to see ugly men sporting their junk around.)

            He wrote: “Why is that a necessary element to parade naked in the streets of Toronto to express what? I’m not sure, except for the flouting of the laws of this country.”

            Jack Fonseca of Campaign Life Coalition reported that public nudity, sadomasochism, and mock sex acts in the annual Pride parade are all part of the “edge-pushing”.

            I am against a mass hijacking of traditional values that produce such an astonishing bleeding heart liberalism for the following: “Same sex domestic violence” has become such a problem that a public candlelight vigil in downtown Boston is held every year by a coalition of Massachusetts homosexual groups ‘to remember victims of recent LGBT intimate partner violence, and to raise awareness of this important community issue.’”


            So where is the “just want to quietly live with my partner”?

            I simply don’t believe this propaganda and neither did the Russian Parliament.

          • The exceptions you portray are again, being portrayed by you as the norm, as exceptions that prove the rule in effect. This is false conclusion as in a syllogism. The same logical train of thought can be used to “prove” that most heterosexuals are pedophiles, on the basis that most pedophiles are heterosexual. You can likewise prove that all sailors are captains of ships, because all captains sail on the sea, and so do all sailors sail on the sea. But all that really proves, and all it is intended to prove, is that all captains of ships are sailors.

            Let’s take the gay parades. You are using this example to “prove” that gays parade naked around the streets in every day life, or would like to if we could only convince the hearts and minds to accept this. This is pure fantasy. The parades I agree do contain some elements that I would definitely rather NOT see portraying my identity as a gay man, but they can and should be regulated by the same rules that apply to everyone else, be they gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or Calathumpian. I suspect though, that what they’re really displaying is merely a lot of flesh, such as is the norm at any beach, rather than actual nudity; otherwise they would be being arrested, and should be. I’m perfectly comfortable with seeing strapping blokes in speedos. Everyone knows how body building competitions adorn such exemplars of the male human form in next-to-nothing string bikini garments, yet children go to these ostensibly heterosexual events as the norm, with their parents. They’re sexy but not pornographic.

            Let’s also reflect on the fact that LGBT parades started out as protests and matured into celebratory occasions. You are not required to look at them, nor are you required to take your children to see them. They are among the most avoidable experiences on Planet Earth. Significantly, they take place on ONE street in a city with ten thousand streets, in ONE city in a country with hundreds of cities, on ONE day in a year with 365 days. You get to keep the other 364 days, the other 9,999 streets and all the other cities as shrines to the Heterosexual Norm. Yet you’re not satisfied, you want it all.

            You mock the plight of transgender individuals with your ironic quotation marks, which connote contempt instead of empathy, which would be far more appropriate response to a woman born into a man’s body. Because it makes you squeamish, you simply erase it from credence. You’re not transgender, so how dare anyone else be?

            I don’t disagree with everything you say, but it’s generalised in inflammatory terms bordering on hysteria, and smacks of “the end of civilisation as we know it” rhetoric, which simply isn’t borne out in the real terms in my everyday experience, nor that of the hundreds of LGBT people I’ve met or personally known throughout my 6 decades of human experience.