Mongolia: Tales of a Dusty City, Friendly Nomads and a Few LGBT Natives by Maggie Young http://www.sfreporter.com/santafe/blog-3973-sapphic-nomads-two-santa-feans-explore-mongolia.html Last summer (2012), we (Katie Cook and Maggie Young), photo right, went on a year-long journey to discover the range of LGBT experiences of people we meet around the world. Along the way, we are seeking out, meeting with, and interviewing LGBT folks. In addition to adding to our own (admittedly limited) insight and education, we have been creating audio segments for the radio station, This Way Out, as well as collecting hundreds of hours of film footage for a future documentary about global LGBT issues. We call ourselves the Sapphic Nomads. Our journey took us to Mongolia, a small hilly, desert-y country in Central Asia with a population of only 2.8 million, sandwiched between China and Russia. We arrived to this beautiful and somewhat incongruous country via the Mongolian Express, whichSee the Full Version Here
After the breakdown of communist regimes in Eastern Europe in late 1989, Mongolia saw its own Democratic Revolution in early 1990, which led to a multi-party system, a new constitution in 1992, and the - rather rough - transition to a market economy. Mongolia is the most sparsely populated independent country in the world with a population of around 2.9 million people. It is also the world's second-largest landlocked country after Kazakhstan. The country contains very little arable land, as much of its area is covered by arid and unproductive steppes. Mongolia's economy is centered on agriculture and mining. The country has rich mineral resources, and copper, coal, molybdenum, tin, tungsten, and gold account for a large part of industrial production. Homosexuality in Mongolia has virtually no presence, no venues and no activism. There are no laws specifically against homosexuality in Mongolia, however "satisfaction of immoral sexual needs" may still be illegal. Accurate information is hard to find. However, one 2008 report said: "There are two organizations which hold monthly parties for their hundreds of members. It is all very furtive. Unfortunately someone had a hidden camera at one party and the photos found their way on to the Internet. Now people are afraid of being outed."
GlobalGayz News & Reports Archive:
Capital: Ulaanbaatar - Pop. 812000
Area: 1566500 sq. km. / sq. miles.
Language: Khalkha Mongol, Turkic, Russian
Religion: Tibetan Buddhist (50%), No religion (40%)
Status of Homosexuality: Legal but not accepted
Telephone Country Code: 976
Related GlobalGayz Articles & Photos:
Intro: Across the vast steppes of the once-great empire of Ghengis Khan, a quiet and rural culture struggles to emerge from recent Communist oppression. In the capital of Ulan Bator, a U.N. consultant finds refreshing sexual attitudes in a warm gay relationship with a modern native Mongolian. Also see: Gay Mongolia News & Reports 1999 to present Mongolia Photo Gallery By Richard Ammon and Ron Austin Autumn 2000 Updated March 2012 Finding a Scene Occasionally, a trip to a far off land doesn’t include my connecting with native gay and lesbian folks. This was the case in Mongolia. Instead, my time there was consumed by a long Jeep trip of a thousand miles across the steppes of the country’s center hinterlands. However, the year before, I met two gay (western) United Nations staff members who lived and worked in Ulan Bator, the Mongolian capital. During their two-year tenureSee the Full Version Here
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East-Central Asia. It borders Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest city, is home to about 38% of the population. Mongolia’s political system is a parliamentary republic. At 1,564,116 square kilometres, Mongolia is the nineteenth largest, and the most sparsely populated independent country in the world with a population of around 2.9 million people. Ulan Bator The city was founded in 1639 as a Buddhist monastery center and, in the 20th century, grew into a major manufacturing center defined by its broad boulevards and squares and Socialist Classicist-style buildings. Most of the photos here were taken on a weeklong jeep trip across the steppes to Great White Lake several hundred miles west of Ulan Bator. A steppe is a grassland plain without trees –and without roads, in this case. About 30 percent ofSee the Full Version Here