2 NIGHTS IN HOMOPHOBIC MINSK, BELARUS



I never really wanted to go to Belarus, but my friend after many attempts finally talked me into going to the capital Minsk. Apparently, it is becoming 'hipster cool' to visit soviet block developing countries.

So we arrived, checked in into the Soviet style hotel where you can hear every word people say in the next room. Next task - opening Grindr. Not impressive (nor I expected it to be) - you can see the boys in the neighboring countries, hundreds of miles away. Moreover, hardly anyone speaks English. However this time we were lucky, my travel buddy found a guy who invited us for a night out on the same night.

Soon enough we were ready, took our 1.5 EUR Uber (yes they have it!) to CASTA DIVA - the main Minsk’s long standing gay club. At the entrance we saw 5-6 guys hanging out, we just passed them and went downstairs to the club - apparently, that was the whole Friday night crowd... Oops.


A few minutes later they also came into the club - I guess everyone was interested in foreigners. We spent the night with couple of them, mostly chatting and drinking adult beverages - specials for 2.5 EUR. Among the other stories they told us how a guy was beaten to death leaving this very club. Homophobia is deeply rooted here and I feel terrible hearing about the lives these boys are living. No surprise they all want to leave - if not to Western Europe, then at least to Ukraine (which doesn't look like a very gay-friendly country to me).

The club was tiny: just one bar with a tiny dancing area and a karaoke room. Capacity could hardly exceed... well 50... Apparently singing karaoke is way more popular than dancing. Keep in mind all the songs are in Russian! Well, that night they did an exception - I was honored with one English song.

The next night our new friends took us to the only gay party that is called FRIENDS. It's a secret monthly party that has a closed group page on Facebook for the members. At that time it had only 150 members - that’s how big the gay scene is in this 2 mil people city. Organizers never announce the location in advance; on the day of the event they send members SMS with it. Safety is really important here.

The Soviet style bar where FRIENDS party was happening was super packed. Interestingly we could see more lesbians than gays. Boys were trying hard to be ‘masc’ and ‘straight looking’; which always looks ridiculous. Later into the night 'straight looking' part was slowly fading away… duh!


The drinks were dirty cheap - 15 EUR gave us a bottle of vodka, mixers and a VIP table. Yes, our new friends insisted we need that table!

Like this party was not enough - we jumped into the Uber and went back to the last nights club - do not ask me why, I was already drunk! CASTA DIVA was not busy again. All we could do was sit, drink vodka and watch Belarusians sing karaoke.

To be honest local boys were friendly and nice, but I didn't fully enjoy their basic gay night life. I couldn't really let my hair down even though I consumed a ton of questionable quality local vodka. I'm not even sure I could recommend visiting; but if you are ever there for work or any other reason - meet locals - they are friendly and your only chance to enjoy the weekend nights.

🍭Book your hotel close to MINSK gay bars 🍭

The generous ratings:

CASTA DIVA (CLOSED) 🍭🍭

hotness of the crowd ---------🍭🍭

friendliness of the people ----🍭🍭🍭🍭

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lights and sound --------------🍭

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FRIENDS 🍭🍭

hotness of the crowd ---------🍭🍭

friendliness of the people ----🍭🍭🍭🍭

music quality ------------------🍭🍭

drinks --------------------------🍭🍭

lights and sound --------------🍭

coolness of the venue --------🍭

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