Rosa, Lusya, Gelya, Lara and Fira are the names of five star Moscow transvestites – seen here through the eyes of a journalist who has come to interview them for a magazine.
Rosa’s real name is Robert. He is the club’s owner – a fortyish, ex-army man who was once married and fathered a child. His marriage broke up when his wife had to be admitted to a psychiatric home. He hasn’t seen or heard from her in eleven years – but then she walks into his club.
Lusya grew up as Dmitri in a tiny village in the sticks. He’d always dreamed of making it big in Moscow but first had to eke out a living doing all manner of jobs before discovering his talent as a dancer and performer. But now he longs to return to a simple life in the country.
Gelya was still known as Gennady when he once wrote a letter to Madonna at the age of eight. His letter was never answered. When he was ten his mother sent him to dancing school – for which he was mercilessly teased at school and called ‘girl’. Gennady’s mother was a seamstress. He later took great pleasure in taking his revenge by climbing into her gowns and using them to drive the worst of his deriders out of their minds at a party.
Lara began performing as a transvestite in the seventies. One of the members of the audience was a Communist functionary, who, it transpired, was secretly a bird of the same feather. Even as a child Fira was prone to shooting off his mouth. He began as a comic and later moved into transvestism. He’s been in love so often, but has now been diagnosed HIV-positive …