Gay life in Riga

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Of course, the capital of Latvia differs from Western Europe. The experts from gay travel portals say that it is impossible to compare Riga to Berlin or Barcelona. But different does not mean worse. East-European cities have their own charm.

LGBT community of Riga had to suffer a lot fighting for the rights. Riga tried to organize its first pride event in 2005, but government and church leaders and even several important public figures denounced the event and homosexuality in general, and the parade went off with more protesters than participants, with eggs, tomatoes, and even faeces being thrown and reports of violence being common. In 2006, the parade was unlawfully banned by the government under the pretext that it would threaten the peace of the country. Even after the ban, a conference was organized by the gay rights group Mozaika instead, but the participants were again faced with protesters throwing faeces and holy water at the participants.

But now the situation is changing. And that fact that Riga was chosen to host Europride last year (and this time the attempt was successful, with no eggs or tomatoes thrown in people ;)) shows it clearly – Riga may not be excited of homosexuality as a fact, but it is ready to accept gay people. . Today, the gay rights groups are better organized and have the support of European officials and participants, and the potential for change and understanding is higher than ever. The gay scene is developing, there are 2 gay bars in Riga which are worth visiting – XXL and Golden. There are also gay saunas and gay hotels.

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