The Russian version of Maxim magazine has this month published a list of gay men that they have ‘forgiven’ for being gay.
The male centric magazine has local editions in 16 different countries including Australia and is well known for its blokey culture that promotes uber-masculinity and a lot of images of girls in swimwear.
Headlined ‘Gays We Respect’, the offensive article in the latest Russian edition begins: “We, men, do not consider men who love men to be men. This is the rule. But there are exceptions. There are gays who have earned our respect and the right to remain real men in our eyes.”
This gracious benevolence handed out by our straight Russian overlords was for the most part bestowed upon popular singers and actors.
Stephen Fry was given the nod of approval because, according to the article, he is “the living embodiment of the idea that one can be openly gay and a sensible person at the same time.”
Neil Patrick Harris was also named because of his womanising role on How I Met Your Mother.
“It’s impossible not to respect someone who elevated the hunt for girls into a true art, who systematized all the tricks and techniques and created the ‘Bro Code,” Maxim explained.
Harris should, however, consider himself very lucky as he almost didn’t make the cut because in 2006 he described himself as a “happy gay”.
Sir Ian McKellen gets a mention for his legendary roles in X-Men and Lord of the Rings, while Freddy Mercury impressed the magazine with his “bravery when fighting AIDS”.
Rock band singer Rob Halford of Judas Priest also makes the list because, “if you’re cool enough, it doesn’t matter what your orientation is.”
While Maxim Russia stands by the article, the US version of Maxim has lashed out at its Russian cousin.
“We are deeply disturbed by the article in Maxim Russia and fully condemn it,” a spokesperson said. “It is entirely against the views of U.S. Maxim.”