Despite Institutionalized Homophobia, Sochi Gay Scene Stands Strong
With all of the horrible things coming out of Russia thanks to President Putin's anti-gay witch hunt, it's nice to hear about a place within the country where things aren't quite so bleak. The combination of being a resort town and casual southern attitudes results in Sochi having comparatively lax attitudes regarding gays and the gay scene. As the Calgary Herald reports:
The city was a gay hub in Soviet times, a fact facilitated by the Soviet Union's closed borders, an easygoing southern temperament and, for many visitors, a healthy distance from family and friends back home — giving the place a "What-happens-in-Sochi-stays-in-Sochi" appeal.
"Sochi is a multinational city, they're relaxed about everyone," [Valery Kosachenko] said.
The driving force behind this acceptance appears to be less compassion and more capitalism, but a safe(r) space is still a thing to be grateful for when few alternatives exist.