The Most Popular American Actor In Russia Came Out And His Co-Star Isn’t Happy About It

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Odin Biron, who plays the American son of gay dads on a popular Russian TV show, came out as gay. His Russian co-star, who has called for burning LGBT people alive, “hit his head against the wall and cursed fate.”

1. Odin Biron, who plays an American doctor on the popular Russian sitcom Interns, came out in an interview printed in the Feb. 9 issue of New York magazine.

The 30-year-old Minnesotan, pictured left, plays a character called Phil.

2. Ivan Okhlobystin, a Russian actor who has called for burning LGBT people alive, plays Phil’s boss, Doctor Bykov.

3. In response to the news of Biron’s coming out, Okhlobystin tweeted: “Bykov never finds out that Phil is a pervert. But when Okhlobystin learned that his friend Odin is a sodomite, he hit his head against the wall and cursed fate.”

4. “The Patriach said: we must do everything to prevent approval of the sin of sodomy ‘on the spaces of the Holy Rus.’ I absolutely agree.”

5. Okhlobystin is a former Orthodox priest and a vocal supporter of Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

“God bless you, Novorossia!”

6. Before Biron came out, the two actors were on good terms, according to the New York article. “When he’s not saying outrageously offensive stuff, I really like that man,” Biron told the magazine.

7. “He’ll say, ‘Odin, I’m gonna bomb the crap out of America, but I’m gonna save Minnesota because of you,’ ” Biron told New York.

8. In a statement sent from Biron’s email Wednesday, the actor thanked his supporters:

This week New York Magazine published a profile in which I spoke publicly for the first time about my sexuality. It was quickly picked up by the Russian-speaking media. First, I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the support I have received both in Russia and in the United States. I am thrilled to see that people are recognizing the good in my decision to go forward with this story.

I have always been a very private person, which is difficult enough in an industry that requires actors to be more and more in the public eye. I long ago accepted my sexuality, as have those close to me, including friends, family and many of my colleagues. It is largely thanks to their years of support and love that I now feel ready to take this step.

I do not see myself as an activist and didn’t set out to involve myself in politics. But at a time when sexual minorities in Russia face greater adversity, both socially and legally, than at any time in recent memory, I feel compelled to use my unique platform to speak out. If my coming out publicly can give hope to anyone, or encourage them to do the same, then the sacrifice of my privacy is worth it.

I have always firmly believed that the work of an artist is to remind us of our common humanity. The Russian public brought me into their homes through the character of Phil Richards, and I believe they accepted me. Now I appeal to the good conscience of the Russian people, and I can only hope that friendship in Russia is stronger than hate and fear — that the past 10 years has solidified a relationship that cannot now be tarnished.

9. Read New York‘s interview with Odin Biron here.

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