After actor Wentworth Miller declined an invitation to attend the St. Petersburg International Film Festival to protest Russia's legal discrimination against gay people, iconic diva Cher become the latest celebrity to openly turn down a chance to fly to the Eurasian country over its anti-gay legislation. The 67-year-old singer revealed she had been asked to open the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi but she "immediately said no."
"I want to know why all of this gay hate just exploded over there," said the "Woman's World" singer to her friend who proposed the gig to her. "He said the Russian people don't feel the way the government does." But until the anti-gay law there is lifted, Cher, who is a known gay icon, an advocate for the LGBT community, and mother to transgender son, Chaz, won't be going there anytime at all.
Regarding Chaz, she admitted she was concerned over his transition and how she was so "frightened" when her son first told her about his decision to become a transgender. "One time I called Chaz and he had forgot to change his voicemail and it was his old voice. It shook me a bit. These are small changes that as a mother you never forget. It is the last taboo. It used to be against the law. Thank God we've come so far," she recalled.
Cher's open-mindedness stems from the fact that she and then husband Sonny Bono were treated badly for being different. "Sonny was always getting into fights - people would called him 'f-g' and he'd get his nose broken - only because we were dressing different. And these were our street clothes! You can't forget that," she said.