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An inside look at Sochi's vibrant gay culture
Surprise! The Russian resort town's mayor is dead wrong
 

On Monday, Sochi Mayor Anatoly Pakhamov told the BBC that "we do not have [gay people] in our city." Obtuse, yes. But it's also in line with the Kremlin's distinct anti-gay stance, which has become an increasingly contentious issue in the run-up to next month's Olympics.

Considering the mayor's opinions on the matter, it's pretty easy to see why he hasn't received an invitation to Mayak, one of Sochi's two gay clubs. But had he gone to the cabaret, he might have seen how very vibrant the city's gay culture is.

To give you a taste of what Mayor Pakhamov is missing out on, here's an inside look at Sochi's vibrant gay culture.

Gay rights activist Vladislav Slavsky (left) poses for a photo with his boyfriend in a park near the Black Sea promenade in Sochi. | (REUTERS/Thomas Peter)


Andrew Tanichev, co-owner of Sochi's gay cabaret club, The Mayak. | (REUTERS/Thomas Peter)


Sergei Baklykov, a 32-year-old Ukrainian who sings like Whitney Houston, prepares for a nightly cabaret show at Mayak. | (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)


A Mayak performer adjusts her undergarments. | (REUTERS/Thomas Peter)


Dancers take five during a cabaret show. | (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)


(AP Photo/Sergei Grits)


(Lesya Polyakova/Demotix/Corbis)


(AP Photo/Sergei Grits)


(AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

 
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