Sochi Gay Scene Vanishing As Olympics Approach


Prior to the Olympics, Sochi was one of the primary gay destinations in Russia thanks to some odd regulations during the Soviet era that demanded husbands and wives vacation away from each other, spas and resorts were divided by sex, and people were often roomed with strangers. After Russia won the right to host and chose Sochi as the host city, however, the gay population began shrinking, and after President Putin's gay persecution laws went into effect the gay scene is all but nonexistent. According to Roman Kochagov, co-owner of the gay cabaret club Mayak:

There is no gay community here. It's a myth. The number of gays has dropped for years. Every year there have been fewer and fewer … now they have almost all disappeared.

Gays are fleeing the country in droves, many heading to the more tolerant atmospheres of places like Barcelona and Berlin.


  1. disgusted american says

    any gay person that Can get out of Russia – should ASAP……after the Olympics, you can count on Putins Boot being on the necks of the LGBT community, they will be persecuted for any failures of the Olympics as well.

  2. Derrick from Philly says

    If you guys are serious, I don’t think mass expatriation of Russian (or African) Gays would work. I know it wouldn’t. Who’s going to take them?

    I think they’re going to Barcelona and Berlin as vacation spots because Sochi has become unfriendly–maybe hostile.

    Gays in the former USSR (and Africans Gays) have got to create their own strategies for attaining civil….I mean, basic human rights (let’s get those first). They cannot copy the methods used by Gay activists in the West…well, maybe they have to modify them.

    I always wondered whether Central & South America wouldn’t be better places for Gays fleeing oppressive regimes to go. Well, I don’t know what the job picture is down there–but the people seem mighty nice….on TV.

  3. Martin says

    Derrick, don’t be stupid. Expatriation of every single generation of gays leaving behind those that couldnt afford it to suffer?

    Duh ! Of course it wont work.

  4. Mike Ryan says

    I think every gay person in Russia should get out of Russia and deprive the Russian people of the most creative, intelligent and beautiful people they will ever see or know. Russia should be left with just homophobic fanatics.

  5. Derrick from Philly says

    @”Derrick, don’t be stupid. ”

    Oh, honey, I don’t know which one of us is more stupid. But I can certianly see which one of us is more a pompous b.tch.

    I was not seriously talking about mass expatriation. I was speaking to the sense of desperation that some Gays in the West feel when we hear about the desperate circumstances of Gays in Russia and Africa. WE WISH/FANTASIZE them being able to escape.

    I was also trying to point out that they have to find their own way towards achieving freedom–and that way may be a much slower pace than what happened in the West.

    Stupid, huh? All right, Miss Intellectual

  6. Rick says

    “Prior to the Olympics, Sochi was one of the primary gay destinations in Russia thanks to some odd regulations during the Soviet era that demanded husbands and wives vacation away from each other, spas and resorts were divided by sex, and people were often roomed with strangers”

    The more experience I have of other cultures, the more I have concluded that the key to sexual freedom for men is for the genders to live in separate spheres.

    Bisexuality is rampant in Islamic countries, despite “official” policies that are homophobic, largely because men spend pretty much all their time with each other, away from women.

    A culture that pressures men to develop social and emotional attachments to and dependence on women is a culture that results in men being unable to express themselves with each other sexually, as well.

  7. Nellie says

    Who’d want to Live in Russia? The place is a hole. If I was gay and in Russia I’d save enough money to get out of there. You can’t live in a place where you’re in constant danger even if you’re discreet.

  8. andrew says

    @Disgusted American: It is counter productive for people living in backward societies to flee to Western Europe or the Americas. That just takes the pressure off the oppressive governments. They should stay and fight for their equality. Would Cuba still be under the Castro dictatorship today if hundreds of thousands of Cubans had stayed in their country and struggled to make it more democratic instead of taking the easy way out and fleeing to the USA?

  9. Damien says

    What’s that, Rick?

    Chapter four in your Thesis for Liberty College?

    I love it when low-rent, xtian-educated arm-chair psychologists spend all their time ramming their craptacular theories down everyone’s throat.

    Only problem here, Rickaroo?

    No one is buying it.

  10. jar says

    @Andrew- you should read up on Cuban history and then reconsider your comment.

    America is founded upon desperate immigrants seeking a better life. This trend continues to this day. Why is it laudable to emigrate for economic opportunity, but not for basic human rights? I frankly don’t understand the argument against massive expatriation. Russian gays living in freer societies can still have an impact on Russian society. Consider the black American intellectuals and artists who fled the racist policies of America. Do we not consider James Baldwin, Nina Simone, Thelonius Monk, etc. strong voices for American equality simply because they moved to France?

  11. says

    to all our brothers in Russia … Please for the love of life Get out NOW .. dont wait do it before the games begin . After the games it will be even worse COME to America and seek asylum . Obama is very pro gay

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