He’s the Ukraine star who performed the enigmatic song “Under the Ladder” at Eurovision 2018. But at yesterday’s Atlas Weekend festival, MELOVIN had a very clear message. The singer came out as a member of the LBGTQ community by finishing his performance kissing a woman then a man and proudly waved the LGBTQ rainbow flag.

The former X Factor Ukraine champion performed at the popular Atlas Weekend festival, back after being postponed in 2020. At the end of MELOVIN’s set, he took off his keytar and planted a smooch on the Ukraine model Margarita Verhovtseva — herself a member of the LGBTQ community.

MELOVIN then turned and walked towards a man on stage, grabbed him and delivered a passionate kiss. The gothic performer held the pride flag up while tunefully singing “Yeaaaaaah!”

Broadcaster cuts away from MELOVIN’s coming out

But there was a downside to his bold act. While the concert was broadcast live on Ukraine music channel M1, the broadcaster cut away and did not show the kisses. As well, while M1 has uploaded many clips from Atlas Weekend to its YouTube channel, the end of MELOVIN’s performance is missing.

Instead, MELOVIN uploaded a fan’s footage of the event to his Instagram account.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by MÉLOVIN 🩸 (@melovin_official)

In the post, MELOVIN wrote:

“We are a strong people. We are not afraid to move forward, feel the rhythm of time and keep up with other democracies. But this movement is hindered only by the old crypts, which I observed today.

“My official coming out, which took place on the stage, was cut from the M1 live broadcast. My video is still not uploaded to YouTube. And all because I showed my essence. For me, it does not matter colour, faith or gender, because you need to love a person, body, soul…

“And at the same time such love is not recognized by anyone, blocked and simply not aired. Should the struggle for one’s rights and freedoms be censored? If not, I unequivocally support you. And if so, I’m not sure I want to exist in such a future for Ukraine.”

The comments under his post were supportive, with many Ukraine fans saying how proud they were of MELOVIN and how disappointed they were with M1.

Ukraine’s Eurovision 2013 star Zlata Ognevich — who also performed at Atlas Weekend — posted on her Instagram stories: “Mel! I support you! Freedom to be yourself is the greatest value!!!”

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by wiwibloggs (@wiwibloggs)

M1 says the censorship was unintentional

Following an outcry from both the singer and his fans, M1 released a statement, explaining that they weren’t censoring him — they simply didn’t know that the kiss was going to happen. Writing on Facebook, the broadcaster said:

“We are all sorry that such an important moment of the artist’s statement did not get into the live broadcast. It’s a shame that the channel team wasn’t informed about the planned moment and the broadcast continued on traditional broadcast principles — switching activity, changing locations and participants for greater dynamics and vibrancy of the frame.”

 

MELOVIN’s kisses joins a history of same-sex kisses in music performances. At the 2003 MTV VMAs, Madonna shared kisses with Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. At the 2009 American Music Awards, Adam Lambert kissed a male band member. Last week at the BET Awards, rapper Lil Nas X kissed a male dancer.

Eurovision acts have also puckered up. At Eurovision 2015, Lithuania’s Monika & Vaidas shared a kiss together, as did their two male backing singers and two female backing singers. Last week, Måneskin‘s Damiano David and Thomas Raggi kissed on stage in Poland in the name of LGBTQ rights.

Read more Ukraine Eurovision news here

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Adn
Adn
2 months ago

Btw Kirkorov supported Melovin under his post about it. The whole country is now talking about Melovin)

Polina
Polina
2 months ago

MÉLOVIN is brave person ??? huge respect to him! It is old traditional society here in Ukraine. And now people divided into those who hate him and support him.

Victoria
Victoria
2 months ago

I’m so happy and proud that Mél showed his essence) I understood that he is bi long time ago and he was talking about a special project so I thought it would be coming out , and I was right)
Mél, we suppport you and love you, our bold crazy guy ???

Ffs
Ffs
2 months ago

Staged

Charles
Charles
2 months ago
Reply to  Ffs

… not as much as your own comment …

ESCFanGA
ESCFanGA
2 months ago

What Melovin did is pretty brave considering Ukraine like the rest of Eastern and Central Europe is a deeply conservative country hostile towards the LGBT community. I imagine he might lose a lot of fans and get negative publicity in Ukraine because of what he did.

Uladzislau Ulasenka
Uladzislau Ulasenka
2 months ago
Reply to  ESCFanGA

His fans are teenagers, the new generation. All will be fine.

Mar
Mar
2 months ago

Ukraine does not consist of his fans only.The half of the country is still homophobic

Victoria
Victoria
2 months ago

Most of his fans were teenagers several years ago, and now there are much more of adult people. And fans support him, you are right. But there many wicked people left their nasty comments on his social media

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
2 months ago

Mélovin is in dreams I have once in a while. Now it looks like one of those dreams became reality. 🙂
In case he reads this: Thank you so much, and continue to enjoy your life.

Last edited 2 months ago by Purple Mask
Jimmy Smit
2 months ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

Under the ladder indeed!

Thanos
Thanos
2 months ago

I am always happy when people try to spread this kind of messages in countries where basic human rights are being disrespected (or even worse).

Timmy
Timmy
2 months ago

Proud of you, Mel. Your lyrics showed your pain for years… To see you are finally ready to be yourself without fear makes me so happy, darling. :’)

Anita
Anita
2 months ago

.

Last edited 2 months ago by Anita
Meckie
Meckie
2 months ago

Coming out, yes or no. However, to be honest we know he did it all for PR, just like Lil Nas X, Britney and Maneskin did. It’s so sad, that such a important moment is used for provoking or simply gaining attention online and worldwide.

Mariia
2 months ago
Reply to  Meckie

Britney and Maneskin (2 members) are straight as far as I remember and do not live in a homophobic country. So it is not really the same. There is nothing bad in it, because it will show to other artists to not be afraid of coming out (Ukrainian artists never come out)

Jonas
Jonas
2 months ago
Reply to  Mariia

Italy is a Catholic country, so yes, it is a homophobic country. Homophobia is everywhere, just some places worse than others.

Mariia
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Ukraine is one of those “worse” places. If you can imagine two guys holding hands in your country then you are fine. Because in our country you will get beaten up for it for sure

Joe
Joe
2 months ago
Reply to  Meckie

That’s awfully cynical

L’oiseau
L’oiseau
2 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Please don’t jump into conclusions. Portugal is also a catholic country and is one of the most advanced what LGBT+ rights is concerned. Also, homophobia is everywhere, also in non-catholic or Protestant countries.

Jonas
Jonas
2 months ago
Reply to  L’oiseau

Portugal has marriage equality. Italy does not.

Jonas
Jonas
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Portugal has adoption equality. Italy does not.

AdD
AdD
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

America has full rights on just about anything, and it’s pretty damn homophobic.

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

stop speaking on behalf of italians sis… italy might be lagging behind in equality laws but a majority is pro-lgbt rights (including marriage) and even though there are episodes of discrimination here it isn’t comparable to what eastern europeans go thru.

Jonas
Jonas
2 months ago

It’s not a homophobia contest. Italian law treats gay people as second class citizens. That’s enough to make it homophobic.

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

that doesn’t make a majority of italian ppl homophobic. public acceptance is improving each day and the laws will eventually have to adapt to it

Jonas
Jonas
2 months ago

Eventually isn’t good enough. Now would be better.

Charles
Charles
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

But we can’t mix up the Italian population mindset with the word “laws”. The fact that there aren’t still any laws in place … does not automatically imply in anyway that the population is homophobic. Politics and the Vatican are to be blamed … but let’s not bring the people into this equation .. just yet… unless we “vox pop” each Italian citiizen to find out who is and who is not homophobic. I would recommend to both Jonas Non-brother and Miss Russia 2015 to conduct that vox pop through the streets of all Italian major cities and share with… Read more »

ales
ales
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

You’re avoiding the point fam lol. So for the slow: Portugal is arguably more catholic than Italy and has more gay rights than italy. So italy being catholic doesn’t make it automatically homophobic. 😉

Jonas
Jonas
2 months ago
Reply to  ales

Arguably, you say. That means Italy is also arguably more Catholic than Portugal. I’m not talking just about population percentages, or how many are still devout – I’m talking about the impact of the church on national culture. Portugal changed after the 1974 revolution. The pope himself is still the Bishop of Rome. Thank you, ales, you’re very kind.

James
James
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

My country is more Catholic than Italy since you can get away with a lot there freely without any persecution from the Church there in Italy, such as getting a divorce.

Jonas
Jonas
2 months ago
Reply to  James

That’s awful. I hope that changes.

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

italians care about religion less and less every day, especially now that it’s impossible for the vatican to censor online media (they still do have huge power on all mainstream media, but ppl rely on free online sources so they can’t hide anymore). we went from 95% identifying as catholic in the 90s to less than 70% now, and the number keeps going down. the pope being there can only do so much.

L’oiseau
L’oiseau
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Exactly my point. Portugal is catholic and has those freedoms. So it is not so much a religious issue but a political and social one.

Jonas
Jonas
2 months ago
Reply to  L’oiseau

Those three things are not separate. You say that Portugal is Catholic. You also say that it is not homophobic. To me, that seems contradictory. Gay people are told by the Vatican that being gay is a sin. Gay Catholics are not free to marry in a church ceremony like the generations before them, like their hetero friends, like their siblings. Homophobia is not measured just by law.

Jonas
Jonas
2 months ago
Reply to  Meckie

It might help other people in the same situation, so no – it’s not sad. What’s sad is the necessity to do it.

Nikko
Nikko
2 months ago

Now it is also time for Sergey Lazarev. I think he should not fear losing fans because he will even get more fans by coming out

Mariia
2 months ago
Reply to  Nikko

I am from Ukraine and it is honestly not the same because our government is much more supportive. We have Prides every year, some tv-series have LGBT-characters, no propaganda laws etc. It would destroy his career in Russia but not in Ukraine

Colin
Colin
2 months ago
Reply to  Mariia

I am happy to see Ukraine becoming gradually more supportive towards the LGBT community. 🙂 And good for Melovin. I am happy that he felt comfortable enough to share his sexuality (even if he wasn’t obliged to do so).

Mariia
2 months ago
Reply to  Colin

I would like to add that this is still a very brave thing to do, because we have radical organisations which are against LGBT. (and regular homophobic people). I was a volunteer on many human rights events that were cancelled due to that. It is still dangerous to come out and I do not know other artists to do so

kir
kir
2 months ago
Reply to  Mariia

Almost off-top: Is it a good idea me as a Russian gay male from Moscow visiting Kyiv Pride this year?
Recent Tbilisi case really upset me belief I could be welcomed as both an LGBTQ+ person and a Russian citizen.

Last edited 2 months ago by kir
Mariia
2 months ago
Reply to  kir

Due to the situation in the country it is difficult to answer. The hate for Russia is strong. And considering the fact radicals would be there as every year it is not safe for anyone there actually (they hate both Russians and LGBT tho). But there would be like 5000+ policemen protecting the event. I go there every year. More and more people come. I suggect to visit, but to be careful. A lot of people from other countries come to our Pride. The route is usually kept in secret, so that radicals would not know where we go, they… Read more »

Mariia
2 months ago
Reply to  kir

*suggest

Mariia
2 months ago
Reply to  kir

But us Ukrainians have been dealing with attempts to ruin Pride for years and now it is really difficult to do so because everything is organized on a high level. A lot of police, secret route, metro stations closed. The main thing is not to be caught after the event. I am from Donetsk btw

L’oiseau
L’oiseau
2 months ago
Reply to  Mariia

Yet the scene where he kisses a boy was not transmitted… Also, in Ukraine a gay couple (or even a single man) cannot use a surrogacy to have a baby, which is allowed for heterosexual couples (or single women) which in my account goes under discrimination towards gay people.

Mariia
2 months ago
Reply to  L’oiseau

Yes, I know that, we have a long way to go. But the situation is still better than in Russia

Hello_123
Hello_123
2 months ago
Reply to  Nikko

Don’t assume someone’s sexuality or pressure them into coming out

Sot
Sot
2 months ago

Such an iconic way to show your sexuality..! It’s really important to come out and present your true self and that shouldn’t only come from LGBTQ+ community members but the whole world… That’s why I appreciate Manizha, Senhit and others so much! On the other hand, people like Sergey and Kirkorov should take notes. I mean, they’re already pretty famous in Russia and they shouldn’t really care about losing a handful of homophobic fans when it comes to revealing everything that’s inside you…

Fast Food Music Lover
Fast Food Music Lover
2 months ago

This is awesome. Every performance should end with a kiss. The world needs more love!

Heartbeater
Heartbeater
2 months ago

Good for him

Ben
Ben
2 months ago

Kirkorov and Jacques Houdek next.

Dawid
Dawid
2 months ago
Reply to  Ben

Wat, Houdek isn’t outed yet? You must be joking

Rose
Rose
2 months ago

I’m glad he had the courage to come out and we should support that, especially with how conservative Ukraine is.