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 (see story) are challenging the old traditions and attitudes. It is not easy or always safe but the challenge is great and their determination is strong. Almost yearly, during Pride events, gay activists are arrested, interrogated and released after the usual harassment. Meanwhile, behind closed doors countless LGBT singles and couples are experiencing the slow but steady lifting of the ‘iron curtain’ on homosexuality in Russia, starting in Moscow and St Petersburg.

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Nikolay Alexeyev Founder and Chief Organizer of the Moscow Pride since
Nikolay Alexeyev Founder and Chief Organizer of the Moscow P...
Russian activist Nikolai Baev with the LGBT organization GayRussia.ru in
Russian activist Nikolai Baev with the LGBT organization Gay...
Russian activists Alexander Sheremetjev (L) and Maria Yefremenkova (R) with
Russian activists Alexander Sheremetjev (L) and Maria Yefrem...
The only gay sex shop in all Russia--all 6.5 million
The only gay sex shop in all Russia--all 6.5 million square ...
Entry to Queer shop
Entry to Queer shop...
Clothing for sale in Queer shop
Clothing for sale in Queer shop...
Wall poster in Queer shop
Wall poster in Queer shop...
Many books, in English and Russian, for sale in Queer
Many books, in English and Russian, for sale in Queer shop...
From this shop is published the only gay magazines in
From this shop is published the only gay magazines in Russia...
From this shop is published the only gay magazines in
From this shop is published the only gay magazines in Russia...
From Queer shop is published the only gay male magazine
From Queer shop is published the only gay male magazine in R...
A blurred photo of a gay club located in a
A blurred photo of a gay club located in a back alley...
A back alley entrance to a another gay club
A back alley entrance to a another gay club...
Two women entering a lesbian club
Two women entering a lesbian club...
Unimposing entrance to St Petersburg's premier gay club/disco Central Station
Unimposing entrance to St Petersburg's premier gay club/disc...
St Petersburg's premier gay club/disco Central Station
St Petersburg's premier gay club/disco Central Station...
Gay friendly bar/restaurant in St Petersburg
Gay friendly bar/restaurant in St Petersburg...
Inside Dali, bar/restaurant in St Petersburg
Inside Dali, bar/restaurant in St Petersburg...
Gay friendly bar/restaurant in St Petersburg
Gay friendly bar/restaurant in St Petersburg...
Tverskaya Street area where trendy shops, cafes and bars are
Tverskaya Street area where trendy shops, cafes and bars are...
Tverskaya Street area where trendy shops, cafes and bars are
Tverskaya Street area where trendy shops, cafes and bars are...
Evening cruise through the park
Evening cruise through the park...
Gay friends along Moscow's Tverskaya Street
Gay friends along Moscow's Tverskaya Street...
Gay friends along Moscow's Tverskaya Street
Gay friends along Moscow's Tverskaya Street...
Tverskaya Street area where trendy shops, cafes and bars are
Tverskaya Street area where trendy shops, cafes and bars are...
Gay friends
Gay friends...