Gay Russia: Quite a Pink Surprise!

posted in: E'S CORNER 8
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Remember, no eye contact, be cautious. Is this the street? Watch it, be careful. Don’t ask anyone, it’s dangerous! Are you sure it’s here? Yes, it’s here: next to the hot guy, with the mini-shorts and the bare chest, the one standing on the sidewalk, out in the open, by the door, hot, very Russian and very gay! And thus we entered a fantastic club in the centre of Saint Petersburg. We came out several hours later, drunk and happy, having danced the night away. Off we went, through the streets, admiring the palaces, amongst the crowd of party goers, laughing, till dawn: and the cosmos rewarded us with the pinkest sunrise we’ve ever seen, over the Neva River. Oh yes, Saint Petersburg you are so gay!

Gay Russia Pink Sky
Pink Sky over St. Petersburg

We were pretty apprehensive when we decided to go to Russia. Being an openly married couple traveling around such a homophobic country was a risk. It’s not a political thing; we believe homophobia and any phobia must be fought directly, going to a place, being there. But safety first, so we had agreed that if we didn’t feel comfortable we would take off to greener pastures. After two months in Russia we didn’t want to leave!

Gay Russia Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg – St. Isaac’s Cathedral

I’m not saying that there aren’t homophobes, unfortunately those are everywhere. I’m sure that for the LGBT community living there things must be quite different. I can’t for sure know what my fellow Gay Russians must be going through. Especially coming from Barcelona, where we can kiss, hold hands, and be gayer than Christmas anywhere anytime. So yes, we didn’t hold hands or kissed in public, and that’s not okay and it must change. Every morning before living the hotel, we would kiss and fumble each other “to last the entire day”.

Gay Russia Petrof Palace
Petrof Palace Hotel in Moscow

However, we never made an effort to hide we were a couple, it is pretty obvious. We didn’t encounter a single problem. Every hotel gave us one bed, as requested. We were greeted professionally in every single train, plane, taxi and hotel. In fact, most Russians treated us nicely, with a smile and sincere interest. At every restaurant and coffee house (Russian food is delicious), we would sit down and check out guys, without any fear.

Gay Russia Moscow
Pedestrian street in Moscow

Moscow of course has a vibrant gay scene. We went out to a fantastic club full of gorgeous Russians and to a couple of coffee houses. Walking about we could see queer guys and girls. We even saw a beautiful lesbian with a pretty vocal anti establishment t-shirt on the metro! Petersburg too has a couple of bars and discos. In Krasnoyarsk we met a super cool couple, Dima and Andrey, and their friend, Arseni. What a treat! They took as everywhere, showed us hidden corners and partied with us. Russian hospitality at its best.

Gay Russia Krasnoyarsk
With friends outside Krasnoyarsk

So yes, Russia is a nature lover paradise, an architect’s dream and an attack to the senses. After two months we feel we barely scratched the surface so we are definitively coming back. Don’t miss on the biggest country in the world. Don’t let people scare you, a bit of caution and an open heart will do the trick. Be sure to visit soon, such a wonderful place will for sure become the next big gay destination!

Gay Russia Matryoshkas
Bizarre Matryoshkas

8 Responses

  1. Glauber
    | Reply

    I wanna go to russian to study, to do my doctorate, but I have fear… Looks like a great and a beauty place, but…

    • happyfrogtravels
      | Reply

      Hi Glauber, are you afraid of a widespread homophobia? It’s true that Russia is not the safest place on Earth to be gay. But in my experience it’s far from being the worst. If you maintain a low key profile you’ll be just fine. But then again living in a place where you can’t express freely is not the most fun thing. Nevertheless I found Moscow and St. Petersburg blooming with gay life, and kind of out in the open. So if you decide to enroll in a Russian University I highly recommend any of those two cities (I personally enjoyed Moscow much more).

      • Glauber
        | Reply

        Yeah, i’m afraid of a widespread homophobia. And I agree, is not fun live in some place that I cant express freely. It could be hard. And yes, i’m looking for Moscow/Lomossov University because i’m reseach in russian litterature (Dostoiévski) and there is enough interesting stuff to search there.

        • happyfrogtravels
          | Reply

          I totally understand you. I can emagine studying at Lomonosov would be the best for your research. It’s a tough choice, but as I said Moscow has a thriving gay community, so at least you could make friends. I grew up in a homophobic society and maintaining a low profile always kept me out of the trouble. But after a while it gets tiring. So basically if it’s only for a couple of years I would give it a shot!
          BTW You should see the main University building, it is absolutely gorgeous!

          • Glauber

            yeah, i saw some photos and i thinked “omg! this is beautiful!”
            i’ve been thinking about get out from brasil because… here things are difficult, we have a corrupt government, we have an economy flirting with inflation, we have unemployement, we have violence, we have homphobia, and we have ignorant people so… And if you want to be PhD on something you’ll not have a job!

          • happyfrogtravels

            Well, don’t get me wrong, but I think highly educated people are undervalued these days practically everywhere. That said, I am sure some places are better than the others. It’s a tough choice you have to make, so think about all the good sides and the bad sides and decide upon a place you want to go. It is either choosing the University that best suits your reserach or the place that feels comfortable to live. I chose the second and ended up in Barcelona, where Universities are not world’s best, but at least it’s a great place to live! Good luck with your choice!

          • Glauber

            Thanks in advance. I would like to know more about Russia with you and with this site. And yes, its a It’s a choice that I have to think about well before…

            Let me ask you something: you living in Barcelona, right? And you speak spanish, right? But… you understand portuguese? I saw you already came to Brazil, so… Or only spanish and english? They’re very close languages. I can try speak in spanish, but i don’t feel safe to.

            Another question: is there any way to keep in touch with you? I mean… in real time, like DM on twitter, or messenger on facebook?

          • happyfrogtravels

            Yes, I speak spanish. In Brasil it was impossible to communicate in English, so I used Spanish all the time (or better said portuñol!).
            You can get in touch with me through an e-mail, facebook, twitter or other social networks. You’ll find all the info in the footer (lower part) of the website.

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