Is Russia Safe for Queer Travelers? – Nomadic Boys

Author: , September 15th, 2018

Russia for queer travelers

Editor’s note. We had some trepidation about posting this, given Russia’s current role in world affairs. But sunlight is the best disinfectant, and Russia is home to an active queer community, however suppressed it may be. So we decided it was important to shine a little light on that community.

Stefan’s coming out song in February 2003 was “All The Things You Said”, a pop hit by Russian girlband t.A.T.u, who were marketed as a lesbian couple. For the video of this song, the two band members, Lena Katina and Julia Volkova, were running around in the rain dressed in school girl outfits and making out.

Obviously the band were (quite successfully!) targeting a very specific heterosexual male demographic. But despite this, the very fact that such a public homosexual image was being shown and accepted across Russian society in the early 2000s, speaks volumes about attitudes to LGBTQ in Russian society…so what the hell went wrong since?!

Just before travelling on the Trans Siberian across Russia in 2014, almost every other person warned us “you better be careful in Russia boys, probably best avoid going altogether!”

With hindsight we are so glad we ignored this advice.

Yes, we were nervous when we first touched down at Domodedovo airport in Moscow. After all, we all know Russia has a terrible reputation for LGBTQ rights, particularly in light of the awful anti-gay propaganda law passed in 2013. Nonetheless, we were absolutely fine during our travels there. We were even pleasantly surprised that there are thriving gay scenes in Moscow and St Petersburg.

This is our advice about travelling safely in Russia for gay travellers based on our first hand experience exploring the country as a same sex couple.

Is it legal to be gay in Russia?

The good news first: it is legal to be gay in Russia! In fact it has been legal since 1993. In addition, the age for sexual consent (16 years old) has been the same for both straight and gay couples since 1993, except in Chechnya. It’s also legal for a single gay man to adopt, you can change your legal gender, and gays are allowed to serve in the Russian military (under a “don’t ask don’t tell policy) unlike in some European countries like Cyprus, which has a total LGBT ban in its army!

Another surprising fact about Russia is that gay men are allowed to donate blood without any restrictions. In the UK, we are required to have 3 months of no sexual relations before we can even be considered.

By AUTHOR – Full Story at SOURCE

LOCATION Gay Travel Resources

St. Petersburg Pride A Success Despite Problems

Author: , September 21st, 2014

RussiaIn a stunning show of poise, purpose, and power, organizers of the International Queer Culture Festival made the event — also known as QueerFest — a reality in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Thursday even as thugs and public figures tried to stop them.

According to GLAAD, and a report from one of the organizers of St. Petersburg QueerFest, Vitaly Milonov, the infamous anti-LGBT member of the city’s legislative assembly (and proponent of Russia’s so called anti-homosexuality propaganda law) had to be barricaded from entering by event as did other bigoted hooligans.

Nevertheless, the homobphobes allegedly assaulted guests by spraying them with a green, noxious substance, by pushing guests, and in at least one case, by rying to pull a festivalgoer by the legs out of the event while fellow QueerFest attendees kept their friend away from the thugs by pulling back the victim by the arms.

By Thom Senzee – Full Story at The Advocate | Russia Gay Travel Resources

St. Petersburg Pride Held in Russia Despite City Denial

Author: , July 28th, 2014

russia pride event field of mars150 people gathered to attend an LGBTI pride event in a public park in Russia, despite being told by Russian authorities they should hold the event at a landfill site. The event was held yesterday (26 July) at the Field of Mars park in St Petersburg, a public park where federal law decrees such an event was allowed to be held.

The pride rally was organized by gay rights group Ravnopraviye (Equality), even though they were banned from marching, because of Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law.

The group had previously applied for a permit from city authorities to hold a pride march but were flatly refused.

By Liam Johnson – Full Story at Gay Star News | Other Gay Travel Events

Image via Queerussia

Gay Guide to Russia’s St. Petersburg

Author: , May 3rd, 2013

St. Petersburg, Russia - AutostraddleEver wanted to visit a truly exotic land? Alea at Autostraddle took a trip to St. Petersburg (the one in Russia, not Florida), and reports back:

I arrived in St. Petersburg, Russia on September 5, where I eagerly met the new host family that I would be living with for the next three and a half months. With its elegant architecture, massive churches and broad streets, Petersburg makes you feel like you’are living in a dream. Though it’s got its share of pros and cons, the memories you make in this gorgeous city will stick with you forever.

Get Down With Your Bad Self

As a general rule for club going in Russia, the party doesn’t really start until well after 1 am! For those of you staying in different parts of the city, it helps to be aware that the metro closes at 12 pm and that bridges leading back to specific islands go up, and could leave you stranded. Try to book a hostel or hotel in the center of the city so that you can avoid these hassles because who really wants to go home before midnight anyway?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Russia.