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Gay Life in Ukraine 2012-14

| October 16th, 2014 | Comments Off

Introduction There are many fronts in the universal struggle for gay rights and LGBT equality. Some of these fronts are violent, some are passive, some are out and proud and colorful while others are underground. All of them involve courage, stealth, strategic planning, public relations, political lobbying and greater or lesser amounts of money. In 2012 Ukraine the efforts for “Gay Life in Ukraine” are no less strained and courageous. Yet, despite Orthodox Catholic opposition, homophobic skinheads, political bigotry and a conservative society, the ‘International Forum of LGBT–Festival Kiev Pride2012′ (one of 19 LGBT groups that form the larger ‘Council of LGBT Organizations of Ukraine’)–tried to stage a Pride Parade and Festival in May 2012. It was cancelled by the authorities who feared violence. In was to be a test whether Ukraine was ready or not for the European Community with its tolerant human rights standards. It was not. For LGBT

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Gay Ukraine After the Revolution: Life is Dangerous

| August 2nd, 2014 | Comments Off

Activist Globa Bogdan, who had his hopes for Kiev Pride dashed this year, says the culture of machismo threatens LGBT Ukrainians.   By Thom Senzee July 09 2014 The Advocate (http://www.advocate.com/world/2014/07/09/kiev-activist-life-dangerous-lgbt-ukrainians) (Photo right: activist Globa Bogdan at Baltimore Pride 2013 ) For Bogdan Globa, founder and executive director of Tochka Opory|Fulcrum, an LGBT rights advocacy organization in Ukraine, the dream of celebrating LGBT Pride the way he saw it done in America seems farther away than ever following the cancellation of Kiev’s 2014 March for Equality last week. Yet this young gay activist remains determined and optimistic in a country he sees as intoxicated with machismo after having stood up to its behemoth neighbor to the north, Russia. However, that bravado is making it harder than ever to be an LGBT Ukrainian. Globa, whose organization includes a project similar in mission to PFLAG called TERGO, and his mother, Olena Globa,

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Gay Slovenia

| May 28th, 2014 | Comments Off

Intro: Slovenia, a former Yugoslavia republic, is a small pretty country of mountains, fertile pastures and picturesque villages. Old town Ljubljana looks storybook. History stretches back to Roman times. Having escaped the horrors of the 90’s Balkan wars for the most part, the citizens here have moved forward with modest prosperity. Homophobia exists of course but it has not been violent or virulently religious. Gay activists work busily and quietly to push for more complete partnership recognition and registration. Also see: Gay Slovenia News & Reports 2000 to present Gay Slovenia Photo Galleries By Richard Ammon Updated May 2014 Progress and Peace If you read the Slovenia News & Reports page on this site, you will see a progressive country that has allowed civil partnerships since 2006. More recently, the Constitutional Court ruled that the country’s law on inheritance and succession discriminates same-sex couples and required that it be made

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Best Gay Nude Beach in Ukraine: Simeiz Village

| October 17th, 2013 | Comments Off

Below is an article from the Ukrainian gay newspaper ‘Our World’ praising the attractions of this heavenly beautiful place. Introduction The fame of Simeiz (located on the Crimean peninsula, near the city of Yalta) as a gay resort goes as far back as to the 70s, when homosexuality was still criminally prosecuted and hundreds of Soviet gays were jailed each year. In part due to its remoteness from main tourist attractions of the Republic of Crimea haunted by happy heterosexual families, Simeiz used to be (and so remains) the most flamboyant gay beach of the former Soviet Union. In terms of infrastructure, it has not much to offer as compared to Sitges in Spain. Simeiz’s fame has spread rapidly around the world. Today in summer you can find here gays from Moscow and Kiev, USA and Holland, UK, France, Australia and Belgium. Gay Black Sea Area Simeiz is a spa

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Russian Gay Activist Speaks Out 2013

| October 2nd, 2013 | Comments Off

Gay City News October 2, 2013. By Doug Ireland Nikolai Baev, 38, (photo right)  is a veteran Russian gay activist born and raised in Moscow. He founded the first gay group in the city of Novosibirsk when he was a university student there, and is one of the original organizers of the efforts to stage the banned Moscow Gay Pride. Baev has been on the front lines of the most militant wing of the Russian gay movement’s work. As one of the handful of Russian queers brave enough to speak out in the media, Baev has again and again defied official repression. Nikolai Baev address his nation’s draconian new law, the value of boycotts, and the status of organizing Baev is the complainant in a lawsuit challenging a repressive, “no-promo-homo” law passed in 2006 in the city and region of Ryazan that came in response to the first Moscow Gay

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Gay Russia 2010-13

| August 1st, 2013 | Comments Off

Introduction Gay Russia is a vast subject with a short modern history. Life is not easy for LGBT Russians and most prefer to remain in quiet safe closets. But three LGBT organizations are challenging the old traditions and attitudes. It is not easy or always safe but the challenge is great and their determination is strong. By Richard Ammon GlobalGayz.com Updated 2013 Note: This is a long report covering gay life in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. The major sections are: Finding the Scene–overview Gay History–from 1700’s to present Saint Petersburg–gay scene Activist Groups–three organizations Moscow–gay scene Finding the Scene It’s not easy for an outsider to get a proper take on the LGBT ‘scene’ in Russia. This vast country of eleven time zones stretches more than ten thousand kilometers—6300 miles—from Western Europe to far eastern Vladivostok. As the  world knows, the Russian Duma (parliament) fast-tracked an anti-gay propaganda law before

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Gay Greece–Crete

| July 22nd, 2013 | Comments Off

A Gay Traveller on Crete, Greece: Traveler and writer Tim Mitchel sent this first hand report from Greece’s largest Mediterranean island. By Tim Mitchell Special report to GlobalGayz.com June 2013 Say ‘Greece’ to most gay men and they will immediately say ‘Mykonos’, even if they haven’t been there. But of course Mykonos is not Greece any more than Greece consists only of Mykonos! Savvy gay travellers realised a long time ago that there are other islands to visit and many of them have discovered that Crete has more to offer than just the gay (often mixed) scene that you find on Mykonos. (Photo right: Heraklion city, capital of Crete) About Crete Best to start with a little more about Crete; the place, so diving straight in with a few statistics. Crete is the largest Greek island (and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean; map left), it’s a long narrow

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Northern Spain: Barcelona to Veruela Monastery

| April 23rd, 2013 | Comments Off

A drive across northern Spain from Barcelona to Bilbao passes through rolling green hills, ancient villages with southern views of the Pyrenees Mountains.  Posted Madrid, Community of Madrid, Spain.

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Is Barcelona the Best Gay City?

| April 15th, 2013 | Comments Off

A couple of weeks in the Mediterranean twin cities of Barcelona and Sitges is enough to see this destination as one of the prime LGBT places to visit or live. This journalist was easily convinced of the sites and insights for a good life here.   By Richard Ammon GlobalGayz.com April 2013   Of course it’s impossible to say anything is the ‘best’ thing in this complex and multi-layered world but I will ignore that issue  and claim that the twin cities Barcelona and Sitges offer LGBT denizens of this partied-out and discriminated world one of the most desirable areas to live. This selection is based on several criteria of lifestyle measurements that include: 1 gay marriage 2 LGBT rights and protections 3 Pride visibility 4 city location and appearance 5 climate 6 LGBT district Let’s start with an opinion poll of which there are many; I picked this one

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Gay Life in Andorra, Europe

| March 28th, 2013 | Comments Off

Intro: An updated story about this remote and beautiful country of Andorra high in the Pyrenees Mountains between Spain and France. Yes, there are LGBT people here, as everywhere, but their numbers are few and there is no gay organization.   by Richard Ammon GlobalGayz.com Updated March 2013   It’s hardly a secret that homosexual people are everywhere. GlobalGayz receives daily news and reports from around the world that proves our presence in every country as well as Antarctica where a healthy crop of lesbian-flavored scientists rotate in and out of that daunting continent. We also receive individual commentaries from unexpected places such as Sao Tome and Principe off the west coast of Africa where being gay means no more than being left-handed. Some time ago we received another report from another postage-size country, Andorra, high in the Pyrenees between Spain and France—a fortunate location between two pro-gay cultures. In

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Serbia, Belgrade Automobile Museum

| January 6th, 2013 | Comments Off

This privately owned museum on a small street not far from St Marks church displays about 40 old cars from the 1920’s to the 1960’s. Some are American, some British, some French and German. The Cadillac convertible was Tito’s touring car.   Posted Serbia.

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Albania, Saranda City

| January 6th, 2013 | Comments Off

Saranda is the capital of the District of Sarandë, Albania, and is one of the most important tourist attractions of the Albanian Riviera. It is situated on an open sea gulf of the Ionian Sea in the Mediterranean 2 nautical miles from the Greek island of Corfu. The city of Saranda has a population of about 32,000.[2] Near Saranda are the remains of the ancient city of Butrint, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Alongside its ethnic Albanian majority, Saranda is home to an ethnic Greek minority and is considered one of the centers of the Greek minority in Albania.   Posted Elbasan, Albania.

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Macedonia, Lake Ohrid

| July 31st, 2012 | Comments Off

Ohrid Lake is located on the western border of Macedonia with Albania. It is a beautiful and serene area with ancient ruins, scenic church settings, charming old town cafes and modern hotels. The lake is the deepest lake of the Balkans, with a maximum depth of 288 m (940 ft) and a mean depth of 155 m (508 ft). It covers an area of 358 km² (138 sq mi), containing an estimated 55.4 km³ of water. It is 30.4 km long by 14.8 km wide at its maximum extent with a shoreline length of 87.53 km, shared between Macedonia (56.02 km) and Albania (31.51 km).   Posted Korca, Albania.

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Macedonia, Skopje

| July 31st, 2012 | Comments Off

Skopje is the capital and largest city in the country of Macedonia (not to be confused the with Greek province of Macedonia). It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991. The territory of Skopje has been inhabited since at least 4000 BC. The city developed rapidly after World War II, but this trend was interrupted in 1963 when it was hit by a disastrous earthquake. Today’s visitor can see a huge revitalization of the area around Macedonia Plaza with new archway, museums, artwork, pavements and modern offices.  

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Serbia, Belgrade 2

| July 30th, 2012 | Comments Off

Belgrade is a beautiful and gritty city with a wide variety of architecture, parks, sculpture, with diverse religions and countless eateries. This gallery shows the mausoleum of Marshal Josef Tito who ruled Yugoslavia for forty years and kept the diverse ethnic and religious tribes together as a single Slavic country.  Also here are images of the beautiful parliament building and the enigmatic sculptures in front of it.   Posted Belgrade, Central Serbia, Serbia.

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Serbia, Belgrade 1

| July 30th, 2012 | Comments Off

Belgrade is the bustling capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the polluted Sava and the clean Danube rivers. The city has a population of over 1.1 million, making it one of the largest cities in Eastern Europe. It is one of the oldest prehistoric settlements of Europe, in the 6th millennium BC. Here the rich find opportunity, the poor find meager living and the Roma live in squalor. Unfortunately homophobia runs high against gay people.   Posted Belgrade, Central Serbia, Serbia.

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Sarajevo Museums

| July 28th, 2012 | Comments Off

Sarajevo City has numerous fine museums; some are traditional and others are unique and unusual. The most traditional is the National Museum built in 1913 with its Roman and Illyrian sculptures surrounded by Doric columns, as well as the priceless Sarajevo Haggadah Jewish Codex book. Adjacent to the National Museum is the daunting Sarajevo War Museum that surrounds a visitor with dark memories and artifacts of the ’90s Yugoslav War–including damage to the building itself and an aging statue of Tito. Another museum of historical interest is the Archduke Ferdinand Assassination Museum (Sarajevo 1878-1918 Museum) located at the very spot where the Archduke and his wife were killed in 1914 that sparked World War I. The most unusual museum is the Tunnel Museum on the outskirts of the city. This underground passage helped Sarajevo to survive during the Serbian/Yugoslav siege that almost brought the city to ruin and starvation in

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Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mostar City

| July 26th, 2012 | Comments Off

Mostar is a city and municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the largest and one of the most important cities in the Herzegovina region. The city is situated on the Neretva river and is the fifth-largest city in the country. The Old Bridge, built by the Ottomans in the 16th century, is one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. It was bombed during the Yugoslav wars in the 1990’s but has since been rebuilt. With its many destroyed buildings it is somewhat painful to visit, but there are many new buildings that show life back in full bloom.   Posted Federacija Bosna i Hercegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sarajevo City 1

| July 26th, 2012 | Comments Off

Sarajevo is a ‘tough’ city, that is, it is clearly in recovery mode from the devastation by the Serbian armies in the ’92-’95 Yugolslav War. It is also in recovery from a forty year communist controlled lifestyle in which life was sparse with little hope of personal prosperity. There are plenty of remnants and reminders of those ugly years mixed in with new shiny buildings, new prosperity, new freedoms, upscale car, some fashion, youthful rock music and pop culture. Universities are busy teaching the trades of technology, science, design and art. The museums are popular and exhibiting great art and artifacts including the famous 14th century Sarajevo Haggadah Jewish Codex (worth a billion USD).   Posted Federacija Bosna i Hercegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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Croatia, Zadar

| July 20th, 2012 | Comments Off

Zadar is an ancient city, built in the center of the Croatian Adriatic, full of historical and cultural monuments. It is three thousand years old, a city with a tumultuous and dynamic history. It has been destroyed, looted, devastated by succeeding civilizations, however, each time emerging stronger, richer and more beautiful. Zadar appeared for the first time in history in the 4th century B.C. as a settlement of the Illyrian tribe of Liburnians. Today it is a important residential, commercial and touristic destination with ancient ruins and the famous modern ‘Sea Organ’.   Posted Zadar, Zadar County, Croatia.

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Croatia, City of Split

| July 18th, 2012 | Comments Off

Split, on the Adriatic shoreline of Croatia, is centered around the ancient Roman Palace of the 3-4th century Emperor Diocletian fronting on the bay and city port. The population is about 178,000 and a metropolitan area numbering up to 350,000. It is the largest Dalmatian city and the second-largest city of Croatia. Modern life continues inside the ancient palace that teems with tourism and local shops, cafes and restaurants.     Posted Split, Split-Dalmatia, Croatia.

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Montenegro, Podgorica City

| July 17th, 2012 | Comments Off

Podgorica is the capital and largest city of Montenegro. The city’s position at the confluence of the Ribnica and Morača rivers on the fertile Zeta Plain and the Bjelopavlići Valley has been conducive to settlement since Roman times. The city is close to winter ski slopes as well as resorts on the Adriatic Sea. The population is about 151.000. It is the administrative, economic, cultural and educational center of Montenegro. The LGBT scene there is very small with one full activist organization and another that is supportive of gay rights. Read the story: Gay Life in Montenegro     Posted Podgorica, Podgorica, Montenegro.

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Croatia, Dubrovnik City

| July 16th, 2012 | Comments Off

Dubrovnik is a major Croatian seaport city on the Adriatic Sea coast of Croatia and one of the most attractive tourist destinations on the sea. Its total permanent population is about 43,000, with several thousand visitors arriving every day. In 1979, the city was appointed to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. It is among the ten best medieval walled cities in the world. The prosperity of the city has always been based on maritime trade. In the Middle Ages, as the Republic of Ragusa, it became the only eastern Adriatic city-state to rival Venice. Supported by its wealth and skilled diplomacy, the city achieved a high level of development, particularly during the 15th and 16th centuries. It was demilitarized in the 1970s to protect it from war, but in 1991, after the breakup of Yugoslavia, it was besieged by Serb-Montenegrin forces for seven months and received significant shelling

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Montenegro, Kotor City

| July 14th, 2012 | Comments Off

Kotor is a coastal city in Montenegro, secluded in the southern end of the Gulf of Kotor. The Bay is one of the most indented parts of the Adriatic Sea and is sometimes called the southern-most fjord in Europe. The city has a population of about 14,510. This picturesque old Mediterranean city is surrounded by an impressive city wall built by the Republic of Venice; Venetian influence remains predominant in the city’s architecture. High overhead is the old fortress that guarded the city, a popular tourist climb of many hundreds of steps. Together with the nearly overhanging limestone cliffs of Orjen and Lovćen, Kotor and its surrounding area form an impressive scenic site. Many visitors come by cruise ship attracted both by the natural beauty of the Bay and by the quaint old town of Kotor itself. The city is a World Heritage Site. Posted .

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Gay Life in Montenegro 2012

| July 10th, 2012 | Comments Off

GlobalGayz interview with Zdravko Cimbaljevic, (former) director of LGBT Forum PROGRESS in central Podgorica; with an additional description of Juventas  and Montenegro Gay Portal   Lay of the Land and Culture Montenegro is often overlooked as a tourist destination. Indeed it is often overlooked in general or looked down upon politically, economically and ignored for industrial investment. There are historic reasons (ethnic and tribal wars) and current day reasons (dangerous mountain roads, human rights neglect, political corruption) for ignoring this southern corner of Eastern Europe. But these are reasons observed in the abstract; they are statistical generalizations and media reports. (photo right: native costumes and Orthodox priests in parade)   Montenegro is a historic study in warfare. For the past 600 years the natives here have fought against the Turks, Venetians, Serbs, fascists, Nazis, then Serbians again. Alex expressed exasperated yet grateful relief that he is the first generation in his

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