This chapter examines a seeming contradiction in post-Soviet Russian popular musics: the existence of widespread homophobia and the relatively large number of popular music performers whose sexual orientation has been questioned, both by those in the general public and the (yellow) press. Focusing on the work of three male performers—singers Boris Moiseev, Valerii Leont'ev, and Andrei Danilko (who assumes the drag persona Verka Serdiuchka)—the chapter analyzes the ways in which certain texts of theirs may be read as suggesting male–male sexuality. To situate historically and corporeally, and help explain, this contemporary efflorescence of relatively visible/audible homosexuality, the chapter considers the phenomenon of the phantom limb. More specifically, it explores how homosexuality, through its gendered connections to disease and infection, is viewed as a danger. Finally, it discusses the persistence of stereotypical gender roles in the post-Soviet era, and particularly the ways that masculinity is linked to the male and femininity to the female.
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