In a modest dressing room, Russian men apply their eyeshadow with an expert touch, slide on fishnet stockings or thigh-high boots, then take to the stage with an uninhibited freedom that they can only enjoy within the walls of a gay nightclub. In a country where gay "propaganda" is banned and LGBT rights routinely repressed, the Fame Club in Yekaterinburg is a refuge. While football fans attend a World Cup match in the city's stadium, singers and dancers who call themselves Bomba, Star Vasha, Africa and others prepare to perform. Bomba dons an embroidered Slavic-style blouse and headgear topped with a silver star, reminiscent of the stars perched on the towers of the Kremlin. When she performs a Russian traditional dance, the crowd goes wild.
July 9 / Miami Herald