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Nomadic Boys. For the video of this song, the two band members, Lena Katina and Julia Volkova, were running around in the rain dressed in schoolgirl outfits and kissing, making out in the rain. Obviously the band were quite successfully! But despite this, the very fact that such a public homosexual image was being shown and accepted across Russian society in the early s speaks volumes about attitudes to LGBTQ in Russian society. In this gay travel guide to Russia, we discuss the situation in relation to LGBTQ rights, how it has evolved over the past decade, and where it stands today. Over the past few years, the Russian government has been monitoring and censoring online use more and more. Let's not beat about the bush.

After many years of travelling all around the world, we've put together our top favourite gay travel apps we love using and have become so dependant on.

A few points to bear in mind:. It is one of our favourite gay travel apps for planning because unlike Airbnb, you know your host is gay or at least gay friendly. It's very easy to use and the website also offers useful destination gay guides. Once you've signed up, you can download the app, or use the mobile-friendly version of their website and choose a stay.

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ManAboutWorld is one of our favourite online gay media. It aims to inspire gay travellers with detailed, informative and up-to-date articles written by gay men like yours truly!

As well as fascinating content about so many different destinations, they also give excellent advice about LGBTQ safety in countries where being gay is illegal or a big taboo.

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ManAboutWorld is unique because it's the first gay travel magazine created specifically for iPads, iPhones and Android devices.

Whilst some of the content is free to view, the entire magazine is part of a paid subscription. Whether you're a solo traveller or a couple in an exclusive relationship, Grindr is a must, particularly when travelling to places where being gay is not accepted, or worse, illegal.

For most of us living in western Europe and North America where there is a very developed LGBTQ scene, and being gay is legal and very much accepted by society, Grindr is mainly used as a dating app for fun encouters.

We had never thought to do this beforehand. When it used to be illegal to be gay in India, we used Grindr to find out to discover the gay parties taking place in Delhi - without it, there was no other way for gay travellers to find out about them unless you already knew people locally. Some of the best friends we've made in each new place we've visited has been from Grindr, whether it was in Beijing, Buenos Airest or Bucharest.

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We applaud it and love the fact that it makes meeting locals so easy. Also, note the many other gay dating apps, usually depending on where you are and of course, what you're into :.

But ultimately, when it comes down to it, Grindr is the main one that almost every other gay man in the world is likely to have, which is why we headlined this section with it. Whilst we're not here to discuss or pass judgment on anyone who is or who is not taking PrEP, one thing's for sure, it's massively altered the way we gay boys approach and prepare for safe encounters.

As far as we're concerned, anything that promotes safe fun and helps to minimise the spread of HIV infections when taken with all the precautions and checks of course! So what has this got to do with travelling?

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Well, let's face it, when on holiday, chances are, we're all going to be more active. If you're taking PrEP daily or on-demand event-based dosingit's easy to lose track of when to take your blue pill with all the change of timezones when travelling. However, information about local clinics is at the moment only limited to Poland and Thailand.

Sadly, many countries in the world monitor Internet use in quite an invasive way. China is the classic example, where almost anything Western is banned Twitter, Facebook, Google, Instagram, Dropbox etc!

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Government monitoring of the Internet is also prevalent in most of the Islamic and Arabic countries, where gay apps like Grindr are banned. Examples include Lebanon, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. For example, the VPNs we used when we were in Beijing China would connect to the nearest server they could find that is not subject to government Internet monitoring - usually in Hong Kong. A VPN is also very handy if you want to watch your favourite TV channels online which otherwise cannot be accessed outside of your country.

Another vital reason we strongly advise using a VPN no matter where you go is because using a VPN allows you to browse anonymously. Thankfully VPNs are cheap and easy to set up. It's the most user-friendly to install, with over server locations. They offer a 7-day full money-back guarantee trialwhich is what got us.

Google Maps has been one huge lifesaver for us during our travels in Asia, especially when travelling in India when tuk-tuk drivers frequently tried to take us to the wrong destination so they could get a commission.

Google Maps just keeps getting better and better all the time, and as a result, we rely on it more and more. We love that you can pre-download the map of the area you're going to visit, allowing you to use your phone as a GPS during a road trip.

You can easily find gay bars, gay clubs or gay hotels with the search function which comes very handy.

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In addition, Google Maps gives you the best route to cycle, walk or take public transport to your destination, which makes it even more valuable. In most cases, we've found ourselves being savvier than locals when it comes to directions as a result of Google Maps. A credit card you can use anywhere in the world with no exchange fees to pay in other currencies!

TransferWise is a way to set up borderless accounts to enable you to send and receive money in the US, UK, Europe, Australia, with more countries being added over time. Unlike your local bank and Paypal, the fee is cheaper and the exchange rate muuuuch fairer on TransferWise. If like us you send and receive money a lot abroad, you'll no doubt have shared our frustration with Paypal's whopping fees and unfair exchange rates. TransferWise instead offers the exchange rate on the day and charges a much lower fee.

The app is also very easy to use. TransferWise also has a Mastercard credit card you can use anywhere in the world, using the real exchange rate.

It's similar to Revolut - another travel gem we rave about, but we found TransferWise to be more global than Revolut and better for us. Enjoy a small LGBT group tour without the confines of a typical resort vacation. HE Travel is known for offering the finest gay cultural tours on Earth. Want something a little more customized for you? Maybe you want a romantic holiday, an extension on a tour, or a holiday with friends? Gay guys and lesbians can be pretty tough.

From canyoning to bungee jumping, the adrenaline club is for the most adventurous gay travelers. Since travel is part of our name, we believe it is important to help offset the damage.

Read more. What a unique and fascinating place to visit-from the glaciers and the tectonic plates, to the waterfalls, geysers, and lava tubes.

Great guides and a great group of guys.

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I cant wait to return. It was my 16th I think trip with HE travel and my 6th with Andrew as guide. The Kathmandu pre-trip was very good and the Everest flight was a dream come true. I put my fear aside and allowed myself to play and be a kid jumping, running, diving, and exploring with such enthusiasm.

I feel renewed.

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The knowledge of the staff and accommodations were A They made our 20th anniversary trip a memorable one. It used to be the official residence of the Russian Emperors between to It's an impressive building, built in the Elizabethan Baroque style. Nowadays the palace forms part of the State Hermitage Museum, which is the second-largest art museum in the world! If you join a tour of the Hermitage Museum you'll be able to marvel at paintings, sculptures, jewellery and other art forms from around the world, including pieces that belonged to Empress Catherine the Great - yasss Queen!

Another stunning palace you need to see in St.

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Petersburg is the neoclassical Mikhailovsky Palace. Here you can see the world's largest collection of Russian art, covering all main trends from over a thousand years! You can join a guided tour of the museum if you're interested in learning about Russian art and the building itself.

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We also really enjoyed exploring the extensive gardens behind the palace as well as the Field of Mars and Summer Garden just beyond that. We took a journey on the famous Trans-Siberian Express when we visited Russia and we would definitely recommend other visitors make the effort to experience this once-in-a-lifetime journey! Stretching 9, kilometres 5, miles across Russia from Moscow to Vladivostock, the Trans-Siberian is the longest railway line in the world.

You can also explore the Trans-Mongolian route which gives you the chance to travel through three different countries Russia, Mongolia and China from Irkutsk to Beijing. Whichever part you choose, it's truly a train trip you'll never forget!

During our travels on the Trans-Siberian Express, we organised a stopover in Irkutsk to break up the journey and give us a chance to explore the region. We then joined a tour from Irkutsk to Lake Baikalwhich is the largest freshwater lake in the world by volume and the world's deepest lake!

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It's so big it seems like you're standing next to the ocean, not a lake, except there's no salt in the water. We also visited Olkhon Island which is the biggest island within Lake Baikal. Here we stayed with a local family and learned about their spiritual beliefs surrounding the island which was fascinating.

If you'd feel more comfortable visiting Russia as part of a group don't worry, there are some gay tour operators organising gay group tours you can join! You'll be able to relax and feel perfectly at ease with other gay travellers while you explore the sights of this magnificent country.

Out of Office organises a gay group trip to Russia which explores Moscow, St. Petersburg and Pushkin. You'll definitely feel like the long-lost Romanov princess as you prance among stunning gardens and explore opulent palaces.

After transferring via the high-speed Sapsan train to St. Petersburg you'll then get to explore the Hermitage within the winter palace - one of our highlights! Grindr is allowed in Russia, but use your common sense for your personal safety at all times. Over the the last 5 years, the Russian government has been tightening control over online activity and has also demanded apps hand over information about its users or face being banned in Russia.

It has to date done this to TelegramLinkedIn and Tinder. As far as we know Grindr and Hornet are not yet blocked in Russia, but regardless of this, we strongly recommend using a VPN to access your gay dating apps. This will allow you to hide your location and browse the web anonymously. We used Grindr and Hornet extensively during our trip to Russia and at no stage did we ever encounter any issues, but we were always careful.

We found it is a great to connect with locals, particularly when travelling to smaller cities like Yekaterinburg, Irkutsk, Kazan etc where there is absolutely no gay scene at all. Beware of Catfishing whilst travelling in Russia as there have been reports of violent homophobic gangs targetting gay guys on the dating appsso please take care!

Our Founder Hanns Ebensten ran the first exclusively gay adventure tour down the Grand Canyon in and we most recently acquired OutQuest Global Adventures, bringing even more gay travel tours to gay men, lesbians & their friends. Nov 25,   Topping the LGBTQ+ Danger Index is Nigeria, which is considered the worst country for violence against gay travelers. There, people can be Author: Laura Begley Bloom. Locke and Key star Connor Jessup is dating 13 Reasons Why star Miles Heizer and the relationship was just made Instagram official. Connor, who is currently playing Tyler Locke in Locke & Key on Netflix, posted a picture of the couple on Instagram with the cute caption: "I'm late but I love you, you're good, you make me better, happy v+1 day".

Always meet the other person in a public area, ask for pictures first, cross-check their name on Google as well as on other social media channels to see if things add up. The sad reality is that due to the anti-gay propaganda law, you'd be hard-pressed to find any gay events taking place in Russia.

Sadly, they always get shut down by the government, risking violence if they do go ahead. In Junethe Moscow City Hall even went as far as enacting a year ban on gay pride parades taking place in the city! We recommend watching this brief video to you an idea of the different attitudes prevalent across different sections of Russian society towards the LGBTQ community and Gay Pride events. It's interesting and inspiring to see more positive reactions by the younger generation:.

It's not just about the vodka, although that does play a huge part in Russian cuisine!

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Here is our pick of the top foods and drinks you should try in Russia:. Vodka is one of the national symbols of Russia so it's not surprising that this is a massive industry throughout the country. Russians are also the biggest consumers of vodka in the world which is very noticeable once you're there. A typical supermarket will have an entire row devoted to just vodka as you can see in this picture!

There are vodka museums in both Moscow and St.

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Petersburg if you want to learn more about the history of the drink, or just try a few different varieties during your travels. We really liked the Russian Standard variety which is made from a traditional Siberian recipe.

Oct 05,   Cape Town located in South Africa offers a variety of attractions for the mature gay traveler. Outdoor activities include pristine beaches, wine tasting, and tours of exotic wildlife.

While it's mostly known as a sour beetroot soup, the word borscht just refers to any sour soup. The red beetroot version is definitely the most well-known and popular in Russia. Borscht is usually served cold during summer but is just as yummy to have hot during winter.

Along with beetroot, it's often made using meat, potatoes, carrots, cabbage and onion. It's usually topped with sour cream and makes for a hearty, filling meal. We've loved every kind of dumpling we've ever tried and pelmeni Russian dumplings were certainly no exception!

Pelmeni is made using quite simple ingredients but they're delicious Russian comfort food. The dough is made from just flour and water, sometimes with eggs. The filling is usually some kind of minced meat or mushrooms for vegetarian versions with onion and spices. They're then served with sour cream or even just butter. It sounds boring but they're honestly just so yummy especially on a cold day. They freeze well too since they were traditionally used as preserved food in the Siberia region. A typical street food we encountered and loved during our time in Russia was piroshki.

You may also find sweet versions filled with fruit or jam. They're perfect for eating on the go as they're hand-sized, so we often grabbed a couple while wandering around markets or exploring Russia's city streets.

Don't get them confused with pierogis though, as they are made with a different type of dough and then boiled or boiled and fried so they're slightly different. Omul is a type of fish that's part of the salmon family and is only found in Lake Baikal in Siberia.

We tried some during our Trans Siberian journey and were pleasantly surprised. The traditional way of preparing the omul is by spreading it open with skewers, covering it in salt and then smoking it over a fire. It sounds simple but the flavours are actually incredible and complex when you eat some! First, the flesh just sort of melts into your mouth with saltiness then the smokiness and sweetness of the fish comes through.

It was like nothing we've ever tried before but we ended up loving it!

Jun 10,   Provincetown is not new on the gay scene. In fact, gay travelers began making it their summer retreat as early as the s and 30s. The resort town continues to thrive as a safe and welcoming place for LGBTQ travelers. Though summer is the high season, you'll find endless reasons to stick around all-year long. YourTravelMates is a social platform where every traveler can share their experiences, find awesome travel buddies and gain invaluable knowledge from locals. The service welcomes everyone who is interested in traveling to join and help build the greatest travel community out there. Aug 07,   Beware of catfishing on the gay dating apps: Stefan is the co-founder, editor and author of the gay travel blog doursim.com As a travel nerd, he has explored more than 80 countries across 5 continents. What he loves the most about travelling is discovering the local gay scene, making new friends and learning new cultures.

We've put together some handy hints and tips to help you plan your own trip to Russia. Read on to find out everything the gay traveller should know before they go.

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How to get there : There are three major airports near Moscow and one by St. Petersburg, so it's relatively easy to travel to Russia by plane.

You can also travel to the country by train from most of the surrounding countries and even as far away as Beijing.

Visa requirements : Nationals of some countries don't need a visa to visit Russia for certain periods, but if you are coming from the United States, Canada, Australia or the United Kingdom then you will need to apply for a Russian visa well in advance of your travels.

Citizens of countries within the EU can get an e-visa but make sure you always check your personal visa requirements before booking anything. Getting around: Russia is bigso if you're looking to travel within the country you can fly, although it's a lot more affordable to use trains. As well as the famous Trans-Siberian Express there are high-speed trains like the Sapsan, which travels between Moscow and St.

There are also good metro systems in the main cities, the Moscow and St. Petersburg metros are both renowned for having the most gorgeous metro stations many people have ever seen!

If you're travelling from the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Australia or many other countries then you will need to bring a travel adaptor with you.

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