Elton John, the musical living legend, has been committed to upholding his concerts scheduled in Russia, despite the country's anti-LGBT "propaganda laws" that continue to incite violence targeted at LGBT people in Russia. On Friday, Elton dedicated his show abroad to a young man who lost his life to such an attack.
Earlier this year, Vladislav Tornovoi, 23 years old, was beaten to death, assaulted, and left naked in a courtyard, simply because he was gay. The crime took place in Volograd, formerly known as Stalingrad, in Russia.
Prior to his concert, media outlets speculated that Elton would either cancel in protest or would be forbidden to perform by the Russian government. However, he discredited these reports as rumors and promised to make his time on stage in Russia "meaningful."
The singer is scheduled to perform again in Russia tomorrow, December 7. According to The Huffington Post, the next show will include another recognition of the difficulties facing Russia's LGBT community. The article further states that Elton understands he must proceed with caution, so as not to be thrown out of the country, or worse.
Elton thanked the audience for always welcoming him. Despite the risks, he criticized the law, saying, "I am deeply saddened and shocked over the current legislation that is now in place against the LGBT community here in Russia. In my opinion, it is inhumane and it is isolating."
Ending with a message of hope, he told the crowd, “The spirit we share tonight is what builds a future of equality, love and compassion for my children and for your children. Please don’t leave it behind when you leave tonight."
You can read the full transcript at Joe My God and watch the video of Elton's speech: