Ukraine, Lviv Photos 1

Lviv is the largest city in western Ukraine and is regarded as one of the main cultural centers of the country. The old heart of Lviv with its 19th century buildings and cobblestone roads survived World War II and then the Soviet occupation largely unscathed. There are many industries and institutions of higher education such

Ukraine, Lviv Photos 2

Lviv is the largest city in western Ukraine and is regarded as one of the main cultural centers of the country. The old heart of Lviv with its 19th century buildings and cobblestone roads survived World War II and then the Soviet occupation largely unscathed. There are many industries and institutions of higher education such

Ukraine, Kiev Photos 2

Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, is a progressive stylish and educated city with magnificent church architecture, world class museums and a long history of invasion and occupation. Today it vibrates with modern life, high tech, antique shops and vegetable markets .  

Ukraine, Kiev Photos 1

Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population is about 3 million. It is a major industrial, scientific and cultural center for Eastern Europe. It is also the location for many  industries, schools and universities and

Greece, Corfu Island, Achilleion Palace

Corfu is a resort island in the northwest of Greece where Greek mythology once flourished, where European royalty secluded and sunbathed and modern tourists swamp the beaches and hills in the summer season. On a hill overlooking the Ionian Sea is the beautiful Achilieion Palace built in 1890 by Empress Elisabeth of Austria and Bavaria

Yalta, Crimea, Ukraine

Yalta is an historic resort city that bubbles with modern life, cruise ships, shops and restaurants and a long waterfront promenade along the Black Sea. Surrounding the city are snowcapped pine covered mountains, vast vineyards and sprawling suburban townships. Since the 19th century the city was a health spa for health impaired aristocrats and commoners

Balaklava, Ukraine

Balaklava is today a sleepy and charming harbor town with yachts, cafes, high hills and a 15th century Genovese castle ruin. Its history goes back 2500 years. However, it’s history is darker and more ominous than now meets the eye. In the mid 20th century here was located an enormous and highly secretive Soviet nuclear

Turkey, Istanbul 2012

The ancient city of Istanbul is divided into Europe and Asia, old and modern, tradition and innovation. Muslim tolerance, magnificent mosque Ottoman architecture, a beautiful location on the sea, and the countless high and low end eateries, all make this city a universally appealing place to live and visit.  

Ohrid Lake, Macedonia

Ohrid Lake is one of Europe’s largest (about 20 miles long) and deepest (about 1000 feet) lakes. It is on the western border between Macedonia and Albania. The town of Ohrid is in Macedonia and is a charming, church-filled ancient settlement with Roman ruins, an appealing lakeside promenade, waterfront cafes, a medieval fortress and magnificent

Odessa, Ukraine 1

Odessa, Ukraine is a lively commercial, industrial, touristic port city on the Black Sea. It was once the valued seaport for the Soviet Union. Today it still houses some of Russia’s naval ships, by agreement until 2036. The city is famous for it Potemkin  Steps, 192 granite steps (installed in 1841) that lead down to

Odessa, Ukraine 2

Odessa, Ukraine is a lively commercial, industrial, touristic port city on the Black Sea. It was once the valued seaport for the Soviet Union. Today it still houses some of Russia’s naval ships, by agreement until 2036. Each year the city mounts a ‘Carnival Humorina’ with a colorful parade of revelers in costumes, funny facial

Gay Ukraine Up Close

Introduction Here are two personal testimonies from gay Ukrainian men who know well the ardors of living gay in Ukraine. The first is from a well know TV entertainer and singer who quit the scene rather than be humiliated. The second is by an angry man who has felt confined and limited by his society

Gay Life in Liechtenstein

Introduction The principality of Liechtenstein is a charming mountainous landlocked country sandwiched between Switzerland and Austria where “Gay Life in Liechtenstein” is generally comfortable. That is to say, since the entire population of this tiny independent country is only about 35,000 an organized  gay ‘scene’ would be so small as to be virtually nonexistent. Mostly,

Gay Life in Luxembourg

Introduction A person who happens to be gay (LGBT) in 21st century Luxembourg is fortunate to live in safe protective place with freedom of expression. “Gay Life in Luxembourg” is a right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness like any other citizen of the country. Here is high tolerance of homosexuality and most gays

Gay Life in Lithuania

  Introduction Here is one of those former Soviet bloc countries where modern “Gay Life in Lithuania” is in conflict with old traditions as the country emerges from the repressive mentality that stigmatized and criminalized homosexuality. Two forces are clashing head on in Lithuania: progressive and tolerant human rights standards of European Union membership and

Gay Life in Kosovo

Introduction: Kosovo has had a difficult time becoming a nation and developing  “Gay Life in Kosovo” has been even harder.  Captured by the Ottomans then the Serbians subsumed into socialist Yugoslavia, then split off as part of independent Serbia in 1989 and again split off from Serbia to become an independent country in 2008. It’s no wonder such a struggle for identity and survival has left little time for such delicate issues as human rights,  arts and letter–and especially for gay equal rights. Finding a decent gay life has not been and will not be easy for native citizens or western visitors.

The following is a lengthy collection of reports that attempt to portray the patchwork LGBT situation that is gay Kosovo, a nation torn by strife and hardship and warfare over the past century. It is not a simple story and not a glorious one. Homosexual citizens in Kosovo are far from equal in dignity, freedom and respect. One may hope that joining the European Union will slowly wean the country away from the crime of deep homophobia.

Gay Life in Estonia 2012

Introduction Establishing a “Gay Life in Estonia” is becoming an achievable reality through education, tolerance and government support. Estonia is a small country with hope in the air and in the streets that reaching a level of gay tolerance and presence will not take a decade more and not through bloodshed and social upheaval. First, both

Gay Life in Montenegro: Past and Present

From the Ottoman Empire to Modern Gay Rights Montenegro is a small Adriatic country has been shaped by a variety of cultural influences throughout history. Eastern Orthodox, Slavonic, Central European, Islamic, and seafaring Adriatic cultures (such as the Republic of Venice) have been the most important in recent centuries. Montenegro saw its independence from the

Gay Life in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Introduction: Article 26 of the Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) constitution recognizes that “all persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law on any ground such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.” Some rights activists argue the reference to sex prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. But it is not a clearly defined issue and therein are the considerable troubles LGBT people face against a homophobic society in trying to enjoy “Gay Life in Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

Gay Life in Portugal

“Gay Life in Portugal” is a struggle but it’s alive and well. Portugal is an example of a culture that is not afraid to lean into the future of humanity. Despite old cultural habits, legal challenges and archaic religious beliefs this small country with an enormous history of world dominion has grabbed the mantel of future humanism and said yes to the newest social phenomenon of gay marriage, an idea that revolts most of the world but entices Portugal to take on the challenge of change.

Gay Life in Austria

  Introduction Austria has a dramatic history in Europe . During the 17th and 18th centuries, Austria became one of the great powers of Europe and, 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

Gay Life in Albania

Introduction: Albania is a mixed situation for gay and lesbian citizens. On one hand, in February 2010, the Parliament of Albania unanimously approved an all inclusive anti-discrimination law which bans discrimination in on the grounds of various characteristics, including sexual orientation and gender identity. However, on the negative side, according to BalkanInsight.com, “…ingrained attitudes among the public leave Albanian gays and lesbians on the fringes of society. They face intolerance, physical and psychological violence – often from the police – and discrimination in the workplace.”

The result is frustrating and risky for LGBT citizens who want to move ahead to a progressive “Gay Life in Albania” of better human rights but are caught in retrograde religious (Muslim and Catholic) opinions and resistant old traditions. Add to these the ever-present hostility of neo-Nazi extremists who fight any effort of gay Europeans to display Pride in public. The new new Albanian anti-discrimination legislation is intended for joining the European Union, whose members are required to adopt comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation. This received a big welcome gesture from humanists but angered the homophobes. So Albania is making strides to emerge into the 21st century while most people are rural poor who know little more than their own potato gardens.

Gay Life in Slovakia

Introduction Both male and female same-sex sexual activity are legal, since 1962, in Slovakia. Predominantly Christian Slovakia, unlike its atheist and liberal neighbor, the Czech Republic, is more conservative on issues dealing with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender rights. The age of consent was equalized with the heterosexual age of 15 in 1990. An Anti-Discrimination Act

Kurdish, Gay and Proud in Diyarbakir

An interview with a Kurdish Leader of Hebûn LGBT activist group Introduction Diyarbakir city is the capital of the Diyarbakır Province in eastern Turkey. The population is about 1,600,000. Kurds are the predominant population today. Other groups include Turks, Assyrians, Armenians, Arabs and Yazidis. Kurds rarely make it onto the international media, and that’s even