The topic of LGBT is a pretty controversial one for Russia. Apart from the official position of the government, there are many different points of view which altogether make it really hard to evaluate, for example, a level of gay tolerance in Russia. Nevertheless, it is quite safe to say that there is no direct aggression, no one is patrolling the streets in search of LGBT people and there are definitely people who belong to LGBT community in Russia. Plus, there are actually various LGBT rights organizations. In general, no one is going to ask you about your sexual orientation or gender identity. And even if they ask, you can always say that is none of their business.
It would be unfair to say that LGBT tourism in Russia is a wide-spread phenomenon. LGBT people have their doubts as to whether Russia is a great destination for them. It is hard to say that they are too cautious, Russia is still an old-fashioned country in many aspects. But it would be also unfair to exaggerate the actual situation. In general, people in Russia do not care about your sexual orientation or gender identity. It is not something everybody discusses on a daily basis. Obviously, in big cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg it is more safe, especially in tourist destinations. There are even gay clubs there and certain LGBT culture. But at the same time there are those who bear certain negative feelings вЂ“ unfortunately, like in many other countries in the world. So the common sense here is just to assume that you are visiting a country with a different culture and to follow certain simple rules of conduct.
Russian Culture and LGBT
Even though the situation with attitude towards LGBT in Russia is ambiguous, we have our famous LGBT people. One of them was a well-known project T.A.T.UвЂ“ an extremely popular girl band that used lesbian image to promote themselves. It is still not clear if they were actually homosexual, bisexual or just exploited the image, but in any case they gained huge success. Other famous person who was gay is Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky. He is definitely well-known all over the world and we are really proud of being his fellow countrymen.
Russia Way In would like everyone to have great time when visiting Russia. We even believe that Russia can become a more tolerant country with time making its way to LGBT travel trends lists.В
In the meantime, we have prepared simple instructions that will help anyone belonging to LGBT community enjoy their time in the country.
- Avoid public demonstration of your affections. Just like in Muslim countries, it would be ok to hold hands and to hug, but nothing more in public.
- Choose neutral style in clothing, without any specific LGBT symbols.
- Ask your guide which parts of the city it is better to avoid and what safety rules there are (that is actually reasonable for any tourists).
- If you still have your doubts, you can always ask for a personal guide to accompany you wherever you might want to go.
As you can see, these rules are nothing really limiting and most likely you will not have a chance to face some unfriendly people during your trip. In general, Russia is a very hospitable country and we would really love to help you discover it!