Toronto to Host Pride House During Russian Olympics

Author: , December 1st, 2013

TorontoToronto is carrying on an Olympic tradition that had its beginnings in Vancouver, but has been outlawed for the Winter Games in Sochi. Both Vancouver, in 2010, and London, for the 2012 Summer Olympics, had a Pride House – a safe space and resource centre for gay athletes, coaches, volunteers and visitors. But Russia denied an application for a Pride House in Sochi, where the anti-gay climate is sure to be one of the stories of the Games.

And so Toronto will host its own Pride House in February, to celebrate the Games and shine a spotlight on Russia’s anti-gay laws.

“We hope to use that as an opportunity to raise awareness for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) peoples human rights in Russia, to celebrate the Russian community, and the LGBT community in Russia in ways that we don’t see happening now,” said Barbara Besharat, of PrideHouse Toronto.

Authored By Lori Ewing – See the Full Story at Edge Boston

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Russian Gay Group Plans Games After Sochi Olympics

Author: , October 30th, 2013

RussiaA group in Russia has announced plans to hold a “gay games” in Moscow just days after the Winter Olympics take place in Sochi in February 2014.

Russia has been heavily criticised because a federal bill banning gay “propaganda”, which was signed into law by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in June.

It prescribes fines for providing information about homosexuality to people under the age of 18 – ranging from 4,000 roubles (#78) for an individual to 1m roubles (#19,620) for organisations.

Authored By – See the Full Story at Pink News

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Sochi’s Gay Scene Thriving

Author: , September 30th, 2013

Sochi Winter GamesA man named Ravil catapults onto the dance floor and starts stomping out the lezginka, the arrogant rooster strut of the Chechen national dance.

Ravil’s spontaneous performance is made even more unusual by the fact he’s in one of the two gay clubs in Sochi, the southern Russian town that will host the Winter Olympics amid Vladimir Putin’s harsh crackdown on gays. The morality campaign – centered on a law banning gay “propaganda” – has threatened to overshadow the games as it provokes an international outcry.

Paradoxically, Sochi is a far cry from the conservative lifestyle that the president is trying to promote.

At club Mayak, for example, the dancers are as diverse as the city itself: a Muslim who is a former market butcher, an Armenian who owns a strip club in a nearby town, a Ukrainian who loves to sing like Whitney Houston and dress like Adele.

See the Full Story at the Wisconsin Gazette

Click here for gay travel resources in Russia.