Sir Elton John has said that he traveled to Russia to help people there see gays as human.

From a Moscow stage last weekend, the openly gay John denounced the government's increasingly hostile stance against LGBT rights and dedicated his show to the memory of Vladislav Tornovoi, a 23-year-old man from Volgograd who was murdered after he came out gay to two friends.

John told the crowd that music has the power to overcome prejudice.

In a blog post, John explained why he decided to travel to Russia and speak out against the nation's law which prohibits the promotion of “gay propaganda” to minors.

“In Moscow I spent hours with gay activists, federal doctors, human rights lawyers and people living with HIV,” John wrote. “They told me that since the new legislation has been adopted it's getting harder and harder to deliver basic HIV information or healthcare to gay men for fear of seeming to 'promote' homosexuality, which is against the law. Gay people lie even to their children about their sexuality, in case it jeopardizes their families.”

“That night at my concert I made a statement, directly to the audience, about how sad, shocking and isolating this new law seemed to me. A young woman with a rainbow banner cheered. I realized then, with thousands of Russians cheering for a man they know to be gay, that I had made the right decision. I believe the Russian people are decent and will be persuaded – but they need to hear us, and see we are human. They can't do that from a distance of two thousand miles.”

John, a vocal AIDS activist, added: “Saving people from HIV is worth taking a risk for, and there is nothing that fuels the AIDS epidemic more effectively than stigma and isolation.”