Russia’s ‘I’m Not Gay’ reinforces stereotypes about phobes


I'm not Gay Vitaly Milonov
Image: YouTube

Reality TV show I’m Not Gay, hosted by Vitaly Milonov, the politician behind Russia’s ‘anti-gay propaganda’ laws, intends to denigrate gays. But the show actually tends to reinforce stereotypes about homophobes. You know. Like that they’re all secretly gagging for dick.

Scroll down for the homoerotic opening credits.

I’m Not Gay features eight male contestants, seven supposedly straight, and one gay. The men are tasked with identifying the gay. At the end of each episode, they vote on who they believe it is. The man with the most votes is eliminated and the show ends when the other contestants finally identify the gay. The contestants remaining at the end, share a prize pool of 2,000,000 rubles. Don’t get excited. That’s less than AU$40,000.

I watched the first episode. I’m Not Gay lacks captions and the only Russian I know is “дай мне 5000 рублей и не кончи мне на волосы.”

But the visuals tend to speak for themselves. To assist the contestants to judge the heterosexuality of their fellow competitors, the producers arrange little segments weirdly reminiscent of Drag Race mini-challenges.

Oh, Pit Crew

Yes! There is generally a skimpily clad and lunchy Pit Crew in addition to the odd Svetlana. Apparently, the producers believe Russian homophobes enjoy watching hot muscular men in their underwear. Who’d a thought it?

Now it shouldn’t be difficult to test for the gay contestant. Strip them all naked, attach monitors to their dicks and show them a gay gangbang vid. But that might eliminate too many contestants at one time.

So instead, the producers treat the contestants to lap dances from randomly chosen male and female exotic dancers. Another segment features large pics of male faces with gloryholes built into their mouths. The contestants plunge their fists through the hole and attempt a quick feel of the model on the other side. After a momentary grope of a bare arse, the contestants need to identify it as male or female. And boy, doesn’t Vitaly Milonov get a hardon chuckle when they get it wrong. Though one begins to wonder whether he’s laughing or reacting to his remotely-controlled vibrating buttplug.

It’s all very strange. But I am a sceptical viewer of ‘reality’ television. Too many curious judging decisions on RuPaul’s Drag Race. To make money, the producers need the show to last for as many episodes as possible. They are unlikely to risk a premature ejaculation elimination. Here’s betting there are very few men left standing by the time they identify the one honest gay man among them.

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