Gay Russia 2010-18

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

Gay Life in Modern Ireland–Dublin

Intro: Ireland is a visual treat with ancient stone walls, historic cities, colorful villages, sprawling green pastures, great ocean cliffs and warm hospitality. A three week drive around the entire periphery of the island revealed famous sites such as Dublin’s Books of Kells, Blarney’s Castle, the Giant’s Causeway, Waterford’s crystal factory and the grim war wall-murals of Derry and Belfast. Threaded throughout all these famous venues is a thriving and struggling gay and lesbian life force that was given legal birth in the early 1990’s when homosexuality was decriminalized. Since then, many organizations, individuals and activists have pushed for an equal share of modern Ireland’s social and economic prosperity. Gay marriage has been legal since November 2015.

Gay Life in Belfast, Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is a part of the British empire, not a part of southern Republic of Ireland. The island was divided in 1921 amid much conflict. In the late 1960s, conflict with Northern Ireland between Protestant unionists and Catholic nationalists erupted into three decades of violence known as the Troubles, which claimed over 3,500 lives and caused over 50,000 casualties.

Sectarianism and religious segregation still remain major social problems, and sporadic violence happens occasionally. Economic growth came from the “peace dividend” agreement which increased trade between the north and south, and significant increase in tourism, investment and business from around the world. Gay life in Northern Ireland is modest and lively with a handful of venues and laws that favor LGBT life–except gay marriage which is currently (2018) being debated in the Parliament of Northern Ireland.

Malta–One of the Best for LGBT Citizens

Malta is a remarkable two-island nation (European) in the middle of the Mediterranean. It has historic sites left over from a succession of rulers– Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Sicilians, Spanish, Knights of St. John, French, and British . It has impressive fortresses, megalithic temples and the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum, a subterranean complex

Gay Life in Austria

Austria has a dramatic history in Europe . During the 17th and 18th centuries, Austria became one of the great powers of Europe. In response to the coronation of Napoleon I as the Emperor of the French, the Austrian Empire was officially proclaimed in 1804. In 1867, the Austrian Empire was reformed into Austria-Hungary. In 1938 Austria was occupied and annexed by Nazi Germany. This lasted until the end of World War II in 1945 after which a Provisional Austrian Government was set up and legally recognized by the Western Allies in the following months. It was not until 1955 that Austria regained full sovereignty. Since then “Gay Life in Austria” has vigorously emerged and celebrates the truth and beauty of same-sex love including gay marriage.

Gay Life in Estonia 2017

In 2014 the Estonian parliament passed a gender-neutral Civil Partnership Act on a close vote of 40 to 38. It was a major achievement that resulted from much lobbying and persuasion of the congress. It was a gain for LGBT citizens and for the country itself as it continued its growth away from half a century of brutish control by the Soviet bear next door. The Civil Partnership Act came into effect on January 1, 2016. This was a milestone event also as Estonia became the first ex-Soviet country to legalize same-sex partnerships. The new law acknowledges civil unions for all couples, regardless of the gender of the partners, and grants same-sex couples rights and responsibilities similar to marriage between heterosexuals.

Gay Life in Lithuania 2017

Lithuania is a mostly rural country, sparsely populated with 2.8 million people (yet, the most populous of the three Baltics countries) with hundreds of tiny villages some only a handful of wood and stucco houses, perhaps a store or two, maybe a rail depot surrounded by sprawling crop lands, pine forests and lakes all criss-crossed

Gay Life in Latvia 2017

My introduction to gay Latvian affairs happened one afternoon in the office of LGBT organization Mozaika (Mosaic) the only LGBT organization in Latvia working for the protection of LGBT rights and human rights in Latvia. In 2005 following public homophobic expressions toward Riga Pride that year, some members of the LGBT community, their friends and

Gay Life in Derry, Northern Ireland

By Richard Ammon Edited June 2017 Two Young Men’s Journeys through War and Bigotry: Seamus and Paul Seamus “At fourteen I was told by my (Catholic) school teacher that homosexuality was a satanic evil that dwells within—but if such a person was not consciously aware of his condition he was, instead, mentally ill.” This

Piraeus and Athens Photo Gallery 2016

Piraeus is the port city adjacent to Athens from which hundreds of cruise and commercial and cargo ships arrive and depart weekly. It was the location for many of the Olympic Games 2004. A new subway was built for the Games and is now used by thousands of passengers a day between Athens and Piraeus.

Mykonos and Delos Islands 2016

  These two small islands 120 miles (190 kms) off the coast of mainland Greece are famous for being famous. Mykonos has about 11,000 year-round residents, most of whom live in and around the main town of Chora.  The tiny neighboring island of Delos has no permanent inhabitants; it is an outdoor museum of antiquities.

Piraeus and The New Athens Museum

Ancient Athens draws more visitors than modern Athens. The antiquities have a magical draw for people; here the distant past civilization is tangible and visible. It was opened in 2009, five years (late) after the 2004 Athens Olympics. Read about the drama behind the construction:      

Slovakia, Bratislava Photo Gallery (2016)

Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, is set along the Danube River by the border with Austria and Hungary. It’s surrounded by vineyards and the Little Carpathian mountains, crisscrossed with forested hiking and cycling trails. The pedestrian-only, 18th-century old town is known for its lively bars and cafes. Perched atop a hill, the reconstructed Bratislava Castle