Gerard Way has been using his solo tour as a platform to voice his support for transgender people, even taking his campaign as far as Russia, famous for its anti-LGBT propaganda laws.
Way toured Russia in early February playing shows in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Video footage from both concerts shows Way saying, “I want this song to go out to all my transgender fans out there,” before launching into his track Television All The Time.
Speaking to Music Feeds from Soundwave Melbourne, Way said, “I was respectful, I feel, about it. I didn’t go on a big long thing about it.
“When I get to a country that has certain rules I can break them and never get to go there and play for fans again, or I can try to be respectful of them.”
While Way “doesn’t like playing things safe,” when prompted he replied, “There are a few countries where, yes, you want to play things safe.”
Lady Gaga’s promotion team was fined for spreading “propaganda of alcohol consumption and homosexuality” in Russia, while the legislation has also been used to attempt to sue Madonna for expressing her views.
The former My Chemical Romance lead-singer has introduced Television All The Time at a number of live shows by pledging his support for transgender people. Video footage from a live show in Manchester, England records him saying, “If anybody here is transgender tonight I want to applaud you for coming and thank you for coming and thank you for being you, it’s just a bonus for you.”
Way previously reacted to Russia’s laws against homosexual propaganda on Twitter in 2013, simply writing “Yuck,” when asked if he’d seen the new laws by a follower.
The singer told Music Feeds that he has plans to return to Russia later this year, despite having had some shaky experiences there in the past.
“When My Chemical Romance went to Russia the first time it was probably the absolute wrong time for that band to go there, because there was a lot of tabloid stuff going on and I think it affected Russia. A lot of tabloids in the UK were calling the band a death cult and saying “emo is dangerous”, so we played an arena for like 200 people. It was really empty.
“It was a dark situation. It wasn’t the right time for us to go. And now seven years later I’m going in, not even with My Chemical Romance, and playing massive venues.”
Watch: Gerard Way @ Soundwave 2015, Melbourne
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Gallery: Gerard Way @ Soundwave 2015, Melbourne / Photos: Brett Schewitz
Gerard Way On His "Respectful" Support Of Transgender Fans In Russia - Music Feeds